SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Since the ripe age of three, Team Minnesota’s Kathryn VanArragon has been swinging a golf club. Fast forward 10 years, after trading in the plastic clubs for a set of irons, and it’s no surprise her name is forever etched in Minnesota’s history books. In June, VanArragon became the first-ever 7th grader to claim the Minnesota State AAA High School Golf Championship title — by three strokes.
“It was amazing, and I’m just really grateful I had that experience, especially as a 7th grader,” VanArragon said about winning gold. “It was a good experience to have at that age. It sets the standard for once I start competing in high school.”
Fun and fearlessness — a tandem for VanArragon that knows no limits and continues to shine bright for PGA Jr. League’s Team Minnesota. Captain Jay Norman, PGA, and Coach Tony Serpico’s squad are competing in the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Rental Car at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, for the very first time this year. The Championship, which teed off on Saturday, has also teed up an unforgettable week for Team Minnesota.
Her calm and quiet demeanor has ironically revealed that she was born to make noise in the golfing capacity. Following her brother Caleb VanArragon’s lead to join the PGA Jr. League team out of Blaine, Minn., the 13-year-old has proven time and time again there isn’t much that fazes her.
Whether it was competing against girls who were three-to-five years older than her at the Minnesota State Championship or now being the lone girl on a roster of 10 for Team Minnesota, VanArragon shows no signs of backing down – or being afraid of any task that is put in front of her.
In fact, she led Team Minnesota to an impressive 2-0 record after Day 1 of divisional play on Saturday, currently sitting ahead in the Wanamaker Division standings of Defending Champion Team Georgia (1-0-1), with Sunday and Monday’s competition still on the horizon. “I think her biggest asset is not being intimated by anything or anyone,” Minnesota Assistant Coach Tony Serpico said. “At the state championship, girls were outdriving her, but she didn’t care. She keeps up with them by just sticking to her game.”
“I practiced a lot leading up to state, but it was really just a tournament I was trying to do my best in,” VanArragon said of her preparation ahead of the high school state tournament. “I didn’t have many expectations or think I would have a chance to win, I was just trying to do my best, and go out there and have fun.”
“It’s been an unbelievable experience and more than we ever could have imagined,” Serpico said. “Seeing the kids’ eyes light up after stepping on the property for the first time, and watching them realize how big of an event this is, has been really cool to witness.”
Perhaps it’s the biggest stages where the Blaine, Minnesota, native will continue to perform best. Only time will tell, but if history unveils anything, it’s that her impact on the links won’t end at Grayhawk Golf Club this week. Beyond a shadow of doubt, VanArragon’s talent, love of the game and finding the fun in every challenge will be a game-changer today, tomorrow and for years to come.
The 7th PGA Jr. League Presented by National Car Rental is being held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 16-19. For live scoring, please click here. For a video of both Seth Curry and Alex Morgan joining as PGA Jr. League Ambassadors this weekend, please click here.
The Championship continues with Sunday’s Day 2 of morning and afternoon divisional sessions. Monday morning will be the final session of divisional play. The top four teams will play in Monday afternoon’s Championship session, with the top two teams in each division playing for first and second place; and the two second-place teams from each division playing for third and fourth place.
Live scoring, stories and updates can be found here.
Ryder Division Standings (Entering Sunday, Nov. 18)
California (San Diego): 2-0-0 Record, 15.5 Points
Ohio (Columbia Station): 1-0-1 Record, 14 Points
Louisiana (Shreveport): 1-1-0 Record, 13 Points
Washington (Bellingham): 1-1-0 Record, 12 Points
Virginia (Dulles): 0-1-1 Record, 10 Points
Connecticut (Harwinton): 0-2-0 Record, 7.5 Points
Wanamaker Division Standings (Entering Sunday, Nov. 18)
Minnesota (Blaine): 2-0-0 Record, 15.5 Points
Georgia (Duluth): 1-0-1 Record, 16.5 Points
Texas (Montgomery): 1-1-0 Record, 12 Points
Illinois (Lemont): 0-1-1 Record, 11 Points
Delaware (Wilmington): 0-1-1 Record, 9.5 Points
Arkansas (Hot Springs): 0-1-1 Record, 7.5 Points
News & Notes
BIG AMBASSADOR NEWS
Golden State Warriors All-Star and two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Alex Morgan were just named the newest PGA Jr. League Ambassadors. They join Ambassadors Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie, Rickie Fowler and Lexi Thompson, all of whom are committed to growing youth golf.
For a video of the announcement of Seth Curry and Alex Morgan becoming PGA Jr. League Ambassadors, please click here.
NATIONAL CAR RENTAL SUPPORT
Tonight, Presenting Partner National Car Rental will host a private reception at Topgolf for a fun and relaxing evening, open to all Championship players and their families.
GOLF CHANNEL COVERAGE
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.
Below are PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental yearly results:
Year Champion Score Host Facility/Location
2017 Georgia (Duluth) 6 ½ to 5 ½ Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
2016 California (Livermore) 8 to 4 Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
2015 California (San Diego) Playoff (1st hole) Disney’s Palm Course (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.)
2014 California (San Ramon) 7 to 5 TPC Sugarloaf (Duluth, Ga.)
2013 Georgia (Atlanta) 6 ½ to 5 ½ TPC Sugarloaf (Duluth, Ga.)
2012 California (San Francisco) 8 ½ to 3 ½ Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont, Ill.)
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