Meet the Teams Playing in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship: Part 1

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Team California and their fans.

Team California and their fans.

The 2022 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship is almost here and the 12 teams are preparing to tee it up at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Each of the teams earned their spot in the Championship via Regional qualifiers. The Championship is set for Oct. 6-9 and will be televised live on select ESPN networks.
We'll be taking a closer look at the 12 teams so you can get to know them a bit better before they tee it up at Grayhawk. Here are the first four:
Recreational Season Facility: Encinitas Ranch Golf Course
Coach: John Mason, PGA | Assistant Coach: Jackie DeWald-Mason
Your 2015 and 2018 National Champions, Team California hails from San Diego County. Team California captured the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Regional Championship at Wailea Golf Club in Kihei, Hawaii, Sept. 4. 
Team California’s Anna Fang, 13, competed in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay Golf Club, where she qualified for match play and won her first match.
One Team California alumnus competed on both the 2015 and 2018 National Champion –– Jay Leng, Jr., who is committed to Stanford University.
Recreational Season Facility: Torrington Country Club
Coach: Bob Sparks, PGA | Assistant Coach: Jim Bunel
Connecticut has been well-represented at the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship since Honorary PGA President and PGA Jr. League Coach Suzy Whaley first led a team in 2014.
“It is an honor to represent Connecticut in the National Championship,” said PGA Jr. League Coach Bob Sparks, PGA, who leads the Torrington-based team in their quest for a Championship. “I really have enjoyed the family atmosphere and relationships that our PGA Jr. League families have developed. The wonderful culture of junior golf in our area can be attributed to PGA Jr. League, and we are all very thankful.”
Recreational Season Facility: Marriott Golf Academy (Orlando)
Coach: Cori McAuliffe, LPGA | Assistant Coach: Jeff Beaver
The Sunshine State is celebrating its second consecutive trip to the desert for the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship. Coach Cori McAuliffe, LPGA, leads the Orlando-based team to Grayhawk in 2022.
“Being a part of a team is something unique and special in golf,” said McAuliffe. “PGA Jr. League allows younger players the opportunity to learn and grow from older, more experienced players. Likewise, it gives the more experienced players the opportunity to be a leader. PGA Jr. League is equally beneficial to all skill levels.”
Recreational Season Facility: Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont)
Coach: Kevin Weeks, PGA | Assistant Coach: Clayton Pendergraft, PGA
Representing Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Team Illinois is headed to the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship for its shot at the trophy.
“PGA Jr. League is much more than the Championship,” said Coach Kevin Weeks, PGA. “It is a portal to introduce new players to the game of golf in a fun environment. I have seen many players try the game through PGA Jr. League and develop a passion for the sport and blossom into great players. For others, it becomes a weekly family outing, and it is always rewarding to see three generations of a family playing together.”
Notable Team Illinois alumnus Ben Sluzas was the 2018 and 2019 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 3A Individual State Champion, recently won the Badger Invitational and is now a member of the Northern Illinois University Men’s Golf Team.