Meet the Teams Playing in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship: Part 2

Published on
Team North Carolina posing on the course.

Team North Carolina posing on the course.

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 so can get to know the competitors.
Here are the next four teams:
Recreational Season Facility: TPC Twin Cities
Coach: David Branstad, PGA  |  Assistant Coach: Tony Serpico
Representing TPC Twin Cities, Team Minnesota is ready to take on Scottsdale and Grayhawk Golf Club. The team was previously coached by Jay Norman, PGA, who unexpectedly passed away in 2019. Their motto quickly became “Play for Jay,” and Norman’s widow, Jennifer, even surprised the team at Grayhawk Golf Club the same year. ESPN cameras captured the reunion during the broadcast.
“Jay Norman was the best mentor and friend anyone in the golf industry could ask for,” said Branstad. “ The fact that we are going to make it back means everything to us, and so does being able to continue to do this in Jay’s honor.”
Player Chase Birdwell, 13, notably made a hole-in-one during the Championship broadcast last year, which was one of two the Minnesota team made during the 2021 Championship.
Recreational Season Facility: Haworth Country Club
Coach: Mark Thornewell, PGA  |  Assistant Coach: Chip Ranco, PGA
Punching their first ticket to the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship, Haworth Country Club is located northwest of Manhattan in Haworth, New Jersey.  
“It means so much to Chip, the team and me to have qualified for our first National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship,” said Thornewell. “All eight players worked so hard and believed in each other, and now their dream will be reality in Arizona! They almost always play individual events, so this opportunity to team up and be together has been so fun for them.”
Thornewell continued, “I personally love running PGA Jr. League because I have very fond memories of playing junior golf myself in England. I still keep in touch and meet up with friends from those days. The scramble format enables all abilities to experience the thrill of on course matches. Six years ago, my club had zero juniors and no youth programs at all. Now we have well over 100 kids enrolled in PGA Jr. League. I feel lucky and honored to be helping grow the game through such a fun and successful program.”
Recreational Season Facility: Saratoga National Golf Club
Coach: Anders Mattson, PGA  |  Assistant Coach: Bob Cain, PGA
Saratoga National Golf Club will be representing Team New York. In mid-September, the team defeated their New York counterparts in Syracuse 9-3 to earn their trip to Grayhawk.
Since Team New York’s Wyatt Dolinksy was 8-years-old, he's always picked up some challenging tricks to master. He'll turn on YouTube to teach himself stacking dice into a cup, various card tricks such as a Sloppy Shuffle, juggling, and finishing a Rubix Cube (he’s completed this task in 50 seconds).
Recreational Season Facility: Waterford Golf Club
Coach: David Brent Reneau, PGA  |  Assistant Coach: Mike Abate, PGA
PGA Jr. League has been the cornerstone of PGA Coach Brent Reneau’s junior program at Waterford Golf Club for the past seven years. 
“It’s been a great way to get kids playing golf through a fun and competitive experience,” said Reneau. “Team North Carolina is excited to make the Championship in Arizona and is looking forward to making a run for the title.”
Team North Carolina teammates are also former and future Drive, Chip & Putt contestants, including Slater Meade, who qualified for next year’s Drive, Chip, & Putt National Finals and John John Santospago, who competed at the National Finals in 2020.
Meet the first four teams in Part 1 HERE!