Category - Amateur Programs

Georgia (RVA) Captures Second Straight Boys Title at the 2023 PGA High School Golf National Invitational

By Alan Cox
Published on
The winning Team Georgia (RVA) squad.

The winning Team Georgia (RVA) squad.

Georgia (RVA) from Alpharetta carded a three-day total of 879 to successfully defend its boys team championship title at the 2023 PGA High School Golf National Invitational presented by Titleist & FootJoy on July 19.
The three-day, 54-hole event was conducted on the Fields Ranch East and West courses at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas, as well as the nearby Tribute Golf Links.
Georgia (RVA) entered the final round trailing by four strokes to a familiar opponent in Georgia (MLT) as the two teams play for schools three miles apart and practice at the same golf course north of Atlanta. Georgia (RVA) posted a team score of 13-over-par 301 on July 19 at Fields Ranch East to ultimately win the title by six strokes over Georgia (MLT), which recorded a three-day total of 885.
The top five was rounded out by California (DLS) in third with 893, Virginia (CLG) fourth with 894 and Hawaii (WKA) in fifth at 913. 
Georgia (RVA) was led by individual medalist Charles Beeson and runner-up Nicholas Canitano, who both said the team title meant more to them than any individual accomplishments.
Charles Beeson
Charles Beeson
“It’s all about friendships,” said Beeson, who is coached by PGA Professional Danny Elkins. “You’re going to play with these kids your whole high school career and maybe even college. It’s fun to be with the team . . . everybody’s rooting for each other.”
Beeson approached the par-5, 537-yard 18th hole of Fields Ranch East not only knowing Georgia (RVA)’s team victory was in sight, but also that he needed at least a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff with his teammate.
Canitano, who had finished just two groups earlier with an even-par 72 and held a one-stroke lead in the clubhouse, was among those cheering Beeson on the 18th green.
The winning and runner-up Georgia teams are within 3 miles of each other.
The winning and runner-up Georgia teams are within 3 miles of each other.
“I hit a nice little driver down the center fairway,” said Beeson. “I had 220, so I hit a nice 6-iron and with adrenaline down wind, put it about eight feet. Nicholas is in first at that point and he wanted me to make it just as much, even though it was to beat him. It was a fun way to finish the round.”
Beeson’s hole-out for eagle won him the individual medalist honors, giving him a final round of 2-under-par 70 and a three-day total of 5-under-par 211. Canitano finished one stroke back (4-under-par 212), followed by Tyler Brand (Virginia CLG) in third at 1-under-par 215 and Jack Jerge (California DLS) in fourth at even-par 216.
As the individual medalist, Beeson will receive exemptions into the 2024 North & South Junior Championship at Pinehurst and the 2023 Junior PGA Championships next month in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 
Georgia (RVA)’s other final-round scores were posted by Joseph Canitano (7-over-par 79) and Kai Marko (8-over-par 80), who were both returning members of the 2022 championship team.
The Georgia (RVA) team looks forward to having “bragging rights” over Georgia (MLT) for the next year during practices. 

There was definitely a little bit of extra motivation. We didn’t want to be the losing team and have them remind us of that every day. But now we get to do it to them, so that will be fun.

Nicholas Canitano of Georgia (RVA) on beating their fellow Georgia team.
Adds Mason Fundingsland from the runner-up Georgia (MLT) team: “I mean, it feels great that our friends won. But, it's kind of a pain to lose to them because we're never gonna hear the end of it.”
The 2023 PGA High School Golf National Invitational was the first amateur championship played at PGA Frisco and the fifth edition of the event since its debut in 2019. The invitation-only field consists of golfers who have won their respective state high school championships as a team or as an individual from small, large, public or private schools. Individual and team champions are crowned following the three-day 54-hole stroke-play event. 
The Girls Invitational was held last week on the Fields Ranch East and West Courses at PGA Frisco as well as Old American Golf Club. Texas (RGN) from San Antonio took home the girls team championship while Athena Yoo (Georgia LMB) claimed individual medalist honors.