Meet the 12 All-Star teams that advanced to the 2018 PGA Jr. League Championship
By PGA of America
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Twelve All-Star Teams of 10 junior golfers have won their respective Regional competitions to advance to the 7th PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental. For the third consecutive year, the Championship returns to Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 16-19, where it will stay through 2022.
At the Championship, the 12 teams are divided into two divisions – Ryder and Wanamaker – and play each other in a series of round-robin, nine-hole matches, utilizing a two-person, scramble format. The teams were introduced and divisions announced by 11-year-old Utah native and PGA Jr. League player Warren Fisher via Facebook video Oct. 24.
Below are the 12 Regional Champions and their Captains and Coaches, which includes the regular season golf facilities of each All-Star team:
Players are from Fairview Farm Golf Course (Harwinton, Conn.); Chippanee Golf Club (Bristol, Conn.); Crestbrook Park Golf Course (Watertown, Conn.); and Watertown (Conn.) Golf Club
Captain: Bob Sparks, PGA; Coach: Jim Bunel, PGA Associate (both of Fairview Farm Golf Course)
All players are from Encinitas (Calif.) Ranch Golf Course
Captain: John Mason, PGA; Coach: Jackie DeWald-Mason
Players are from Bellingham (Wash.) Golf & Country Club and Skagit Golf & Country Club (Burlington, Wash.)
Captain: Rick Blankenburg, PGA, Bellingham Golf & Country Club; Coach: Keith Wilson
All players are from 1757 Golf Club in Dulles, Va.
Captain: Scott Holmes, PGA; Coach: Mike Aldrich, PGA
All players are from Mallard Creek Golf Club in Columbia Station, Ohio
Captain: Jim Wise, PGA; Coach: Chris Reed
Players are from David Toms Golf Academy (Shreveport, La.); East Ridge Country Club (Shreveport, La.); and Southern Trace Country Club (Shreveport, La.)
Captain: Shaun Webb, PGA; Coach: Adam Young (both of David Toms Golf Academy)
Players are from Hartefeld National Golf Course (Avondale, Pa.); Wilmington (Delaware) Country Club; Rock Manor Golf Course (Wilmington, Del.); and Kennett Square (Penn.) Golf & Country Club
Captain: Dave Seeman, PGA, Hartefeld National Golf Course; Coach: Shawn Gross
Players are from Hot Springs (Ark.) Country Club; Pleasant Valley Country Club (Little Rock, Ark.); and Hot Springs Village (Ark.)
Captain: Barry Howard, PGA; Coach: Leo Di Marino (both of Hot Springs Country Club)
All players are from Axis Golf Academy in Montgomery, Texas
Captain: Ben Willman, PGA; Coach: EJ Kim, PGA
All players are from TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga.
Captain: Patrick McCrary, PGA; Coach: Greg Powers
All players are from Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill.
Captain: Kevin Weeks, PGA; Coach: Clayton Pendergraft, PGA
All players are from TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn.
Captain: Jay Norman, PGA; Coach: Tony Serpico, PGA Associate
*Denotes team that has competed in past Championship(s)
“We’re delighted to showcase a field of talented junior golfers, and it’s very exciting to watch their teamwork and dedication propel them through the postseason and ultimately to the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “We also look forward to seeing their friends and families have fun and make lasting memories in Scottsdale.”
Each team will compete against the five other teams in its division throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday; and on Monday morning (Nov. 17-19). The two teams with the best division records will compete for the national title Monday afternoon (Nov. 19). In addition, the runner-up teams from each division will compete for 3rd place overall.
Two former national champions are in this year’s field, including reigning 2017 champion Team Georgia (Duluth); and Team California (San Diego), who captured the 2015 PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental at Disney’s Palm Course in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Teams Delaware, Louisiana and Minnesota are representing their states and competing in the Championship for the first time. Four other teams are seasoned Championship veterans, including Teams Arkansas and Texas competing in their second consecutive Championships; Team Illinois its third; and Team Ohio its fourth.
Each of the last two years, PGA REACH, Grayhawk Golf Club and National Car Rental have worked together with Golf Channel to air a two-hour, primetime special highlighting the event. This year’s show will debut on Dec. 4, airing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT.
PGA Jr. League brings friends and families together around fun, co-ed team golf experiences, with expert coaching and instruction from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Boys and girls learn and play golf in a fun and inclusive team environment, utilizing a scramble format for competition that accommodates players of all skill levels.
Following the close of the regular season (July 31), 10-player All-Star Teams were formed from a combination of players in each league, based upon standings. All-Star Teams competed in Sectional qualifiers, followed by Section Championships hosted by all 41 PGA Sections nationwide. In total, 48 Section Champions moved to 12 Regionals, with the 12 Regional winners advancing to the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental.
This year, a record 51,000 boys and girls played on nearly 4,000 teams nationwide, up from 42,000 kids on 3,400 teams in 2017. Based on the growth of the program, the PGA Jr. League Championship expanded from eight teams to 12 this year.