PGA Jr. League Championship highlight show to air on ESPN2
By PGA of America
PGA of America
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The broadcast of the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental has found its new home on ESPN. PGA REACH, Grayhawk Golf Club and National Car Rental are teaming with the network to air a two-hour highlight show of the 2019 Championship on ESPN2 this Sunday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
The 8th PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental was contested at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Oct. 11-14. Twelve All-Star Teams of junior golfers from across the country competed in the Championship, with 2017 Champions Team Georgia (Duluth/Atlanta) defeating Team Texas (Montgomery/Houston) 7 to 5 to capture the national title.
“Partnering with ESPN to broadcast the PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental is such an impactful way to share the fun and unique aspects of this program with a broad audience,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley, PGA/LPGA. “It’s exciting to think about the ripple effect of boys and girls watching the broadcast and realizing that they, too, can wear a PGA Jr. League jersey, learn the game from local PGA and LPGA Professionals and play golf with their friends.”
ESPN’s coverage of the event includes daily highlights from each round of play as well as fun and inspirational player and coach vignettes throughout the broadcast. The ESPN reporter team includes Dottie Pepper, Matt Barrie, Andy North and Michael Collins. Collins worked alongside 11-year-old junior reporter and PGA Jr. League player Warren Fisher of Riverton, Utah, who adds an entertaining and colorful player’s perspective to the Championship.
In 2020, ESPN will broadcast the 2020 PGA Jr. League Championship live for the first time from Grayhawk Golf Club on Oct. 8-11.
The PGA Jr. League Championship has been held at the picturesque Grayhawk Golf Club since 2016, where it will remain through 2022. The facility has embraced the event, helping create an experience PGA Jr. League players and their families alike can enjoy.
“The overall experience is just as important as the competition. Maybe even more important,” said Joe Shershenovich, PGA Director of Golf at Grayhawk Golf Club. “We like to treat the players, families and coaches to a relaxed, fun event where they can enjoy the moment together. They bring home lifelong friendships and memories, win or lose.”
As the Presenting Partner of the PGA Jr. League Championship, National Car Rental continues to elevate the onsite experience all weekend long with a video game-packed All-Star Team Zone for the kids, Parents Lounge and a special night out at Topgolf Scottsdale.
“At National, we’re focused on being stewards of the game by helping to instill a love of golf in the next generation while reinforcing the life skills golf teaches – teamwork, honesty, integrity – to help young golfers grow into future leaders,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing for National Car Rental. “That’s why we’re proud to help enhance the PGA Jr. League Championship experience for players and their families by creating an environment centered around fun, recreation, good health and sportsmanship.”
While the postseason provides an aspirational experience for the 19 percent of PGA Jr. League players who identify as competitive golfers, the primary focus of the program is on its developmental and recreational seasons held throughout the spring, summer and fall. PGA Jr. League brings boys and girls together to learn and play golf on co-ed teams, with expert coaching from PGA and LPGA Professionals. This year, a record of more than 60,000 boys and girls participated in PGA Jr. League.
Following the summer season, All-Star teams of 10 players each were formed from a combination of players in each local league. These teams moved through Section Championships in August to earn a spot at one of 12 Regionals held across the country in September. The 12 Regional Champions advanced to the PGA Jr. League Championship, where they were split into two divisions – Ryder and Wanamaker – and played each other in a series of round-robin, nine-hole matches, utilizing a two-person, scramble format.