SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – PGA of America, Grayhawk Golf Club and National Car Rental have partnered with Golf Channel to air a two-hour, primetime special highlighting the 2016 PGA Junior League Golf National Championship presented by National Car Rental. The special will air Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, with a rebroadcast at 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. The National Championship, was hosted by Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 19-21.
Golf Channel coverage will include player features and highlights from each round of play, in addition to the awards ceremony following the Championship matches. An encore telecast of the Championship also will air on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT.
“We’re very excited to partner with Golf Channel for this unprecedented telecast of the PGA Junior League Golf National Championship,” said PGA President Paul Levy. “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the talent of our PGA Junior League Golfers, as well as the fun and inclusive nature of the program.”
“PGA Junior League Golf’s rapid growth in participation is a testament to the PGA’s commitment to providing kids with a fun environment to learn the game from PGA and LPGA Professionals,” said Molly Solomon, Golf Channel Executive Producer. “We can’t wait to showcase their love for the game through PGA Junior League Golf’s team scramble format. When golf embraces alternative ways of conducting competition, we all win.”
The PGA Junior League Golf National Championship kicked off Friday, Nov. 18, with a skills challenge, followed by an exhibition that featured Gary McCord, LDRIC the Golf Robot and PGA Tour caddies Jim “Bones” Mackay (Phil Mickelson) and Joe Skovron (Rickie Fowler). Eight All-Star Teams of junior golfers competed for the title on the back nine of Grayhawk Golf Club’s Tom Fazio-designed Raptor course.
“Golf Channel’s coverage will bring much-deserved attention to the event,” said Joe “Shoe” Shershenovich, director of golf at Grayhawk Golf Club.
“It will give the participants a chance to relive the incredible experience of playing in the National Championship; something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, it will also inspire more juniors to participate in PGA Junior League Golf next year.”
“As a longtime partner of the PGA of America, National focuses on supporting the tremendous work the PGA does to grow the game of golf at the local level,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing at National Car Rental. “We’re proud to make an investment in the future of the sport by sponsoring this exciting championship event, which will showcase some of the nation’s most talented young golfers.”
Below are the eight Regional Champions, including the home golf facilities of each from the regular season, that competed in the 2016 PGA Junior League Golf National Championship presented by National Car Rental:
· Northeast – Team Connecticut (all participants are from Suzy Whaley Golf Academy in Cromwell, Conn.), Captained by PGA Vice President Suzy Whaley, PGA, LPGA
· West – Team California (all participants are from Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore, Calif.),
Captained by Jeff DeBenedetti, PGA
· Southeast – Team Georgia (all participants are from Crooked Creek Club in Alpharetta, Ga.),
Captained by Tom Joyce Jr., PGA
· Mideast – Team Ohio (all participants are from Mallard Creek Golf Club in Columbia Station, Ohio),
Captained by Jim Wise, PGA
· Midwest – Team Illinois (all participants are from Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, Ill.),
Captained by Carol Rhoades, PGA
· Mid Atlantic – Team New Jersey (all participants are from Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, N.J.), Captained by Anthony Latham, PGA
· Mississippi Valley – Team Alabama (participants are from Bocking Golf Academy at Burningtree Country Club in Decatur, Ala.; The Ledges in Huntsville, Ala.; Valley Hill Country Club in Huntsville, Ala.; and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove in Owens Cross Roads, Ala.), Captained by Craig Bocking, PGA
· Southwest – Team Texas (all participants are from Twin Creeks Country Club in Cedar Park, Texas), Captained by PGA Apprentice Jeff Ronquillo
Through PGA Junior League Golf, boys and girls ages 13 and under learn and enjoy the game with instruction and direction from PGA and LPGA Professionals. The kids wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with their friends, competing in a popular scramble format that reinforces the team concept and creates a nurturing environment for learning the game. Captains are allowed to substitute players every three holes, so that all team members can participate.
PGA Junior League Golf has cemented its status as one of the PGA of America’s fastest growing programs, with teams in all 41 PGA Sections and in 47 states this year. The program has seen a 300 percent increase in participants the past three years, expanding from 9,000 kids on 740 teams in 2013 to 36,000 kids on 2,900 teams in 2016.
Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie, Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson serve as Official Ambassadors for PGA Junior League Golf.
PGA Junior League Golf is the key youth program of PGA REACH, the charitable arm of the PGA of America.
For more information about PGA Junior League Golf, visit PGAJLG.com.
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