Oklahoma team ready to vie for PGA Jr. League national championship

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Photo: Left to right, Cary Cozby, Emerson Majma, Harrison Shaw, Chase Jones, Chase Hughes, Ainslie Stanford, Porter Hart, Banks Cozby, Evyn Cannon, Amanda Fisher.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A talented team of Oklahoma all-stars has its sights set high when competition begins Friday in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Twelve teams from across the country qualified for the Oct. 7-10 competition by winning regional competitions in September.

Amanda Fisher, captain and architect of the Oklahoma team playing out of Battle Creek GC in Broken Arrow, which includes some of the top juniors from the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, said she thinks the team is capable of winning the national championship. It certainly was the class of the regional tournament, winning the regional final 11.5 to .5 over Mission Hills, Kan.

The eight-player Oklahoma squad consists of Evyn Cannon, Emerson Majma, Chase Jones, Porter Hart, Ainslie Stanford, Harrison Shaw, Banks Cozby and Chase Hughes. All are talented young players, while Hughes, Majma and Cannon have been successful at a national level in U.S. Kids Golf events.

“I think we can do really well,” Fisher said. “We’re all really excited to get this opportunity.”

For the first time, the Championship will be broadcast live, with coverage on: ESPN2 and ESPN+ on Friday, Oct. 8; ESPNEWS and ESPN+ on Saturday, Oct. 9; and ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 10. All times are below.

Beginning Friday, each team will play nine-hole, two-person scrambles and count the scores against the other seven teams. There will be four nine-hole sets over the two days. Oklahoma is paired with Connecticut but is competing against all seven other squads to make the top four. The top foru teams will compete Sunday and Monday in match play to determine the championship.

Oklahoma has four players 11-and-under and they hit from a shorter set of tees than the four that are 12-15. Fisher said her pairings will likely be centered on the personalties, as she has four extroverts and likes to pair them with players who tend to be quieter by nature.

“For the players and their Captains, Coaches and families, the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship will deliver an amazing experience that they will always treasure,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson. “Fun and teamwork are at the heart of PGA Jr. League, and these qualities will certainly be on display at Grayhawk Golf Club. That’s why the PGA of America and our PGA Professionals are extremely proud to present this very special Championship live for the first time ever on the ESPN family of networks.”

The eight-player All-Star teams represent 12 states at the Championship including:

  • Team California – Encinitas (California) Ranch Golf Course
    Captain: John Mason, PGA
    Coach: Jackie DeWald-Mason
    2015 and 2018 National Champions
  • Team Connecticut – Torrington (Connecticut) Country Club
    Captain: Bob Sparks, PGA
    Coach: Jim Bunel
    Third consecutive Championship appearance
  • Team Florida – Marriott Golf Academy (Orlando)
    Captain: Cori McAuliffe, LPGA
    Coach: Jeff Beaver
    First Championship appearance
  • Team Illinois – Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (Lemont, Illinois)
    Captain: Kevin Weeks, PGA
    Coach: Clayton Pendergraft, PGA
    Fifth consecutive Championship appearance
  • Team Minnesota – TPC Twin Cities (Blaine, Minnesota)
    Captain: David Branstad, PGA
    Coach: Tony Serpico, PGA Associate
    Third consecutive Championship appearance
  • Team New Jersey – Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club (Bedminster, New Jersey)
    Captain: Jeremy Eccles, PGA
    Coach: Shannon Fish
    First Championship appearance
  • Team North Carolina – Waterford Golf Club (Charlotte)
    Captain: Brent Reneau, PGA
    Coach: Mike Abate, PGA
    Second consecutive Championship appearance
  • Team Oklahoma – Battle Creek Golf Club (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma)
    Captain: Amanda Fisher, LPGA
    Coach: Cary Cozby, PGA
    Second consecutive Championship appearance
  • Team Pennsylvania – Westwood Golf Club (West Mifflin, Pennsylvania)
    Captain: Troy Williams, PGA Associate
    Coach: Jason Higginbotham
    First Championship appearance
  • Team Tennessee – Clear Creek Golf Club (Bristol, Virginia); Blackthorn Club (Jonesborough, Tennessee); Pine Oaks Golf Club (Johnson City, Tennessee); and Cattails and MeadowView (Kingsport, Tennessee)
    Captain: Casey Barnes, PGA
    Coach: Duncan Hill, PGA Associate
    First Championship appearance
  • Team Texas – Brookhaven Country Club (Dallas)
    Captain: Joey Anders, PGA
    Coach: April Pyle
    First Championship appearance
  • Team Utah – Thanksgiving Point Golf Club (Lehi, Utah)
    Captain: Tele Wightman, PGA
    Coach: Jeff Pedersen
    First Championship appearance

The National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship kicks off Thursday, Oct. 7, with a fun Skills Challenge and Welcome Party hosted by National Car Rental. Play begins Friday (Oct. 8) with an 18-hole team aggregate stroke play scramble, counting the top three of four pair scores per nine holes. On Saturday (Oct. 9), the same format and scoring is followed, and the 18-hole totals from both days will be combined for a 36-hole aggregate team total.

The final four teams are seeded based on their Friday and Saturday performance and will compete in head-to-head match play in the semifinals on Sunday (Oct. 10). The two winners will then face each other in the Championship match in the afternoon, while the other two teams will compete for third place.

ESPN will air six hours of live coverage across ESPN2 and ESPNEWS Friday through Sunday, in addition to two hours on ESPN+ Friday and Saturday. On-air talent includes PGA Honorary President and PGA Jr. League Captain Suzy Whaley, Michael Collins, Andy North, and Taylor Zarzour. Collins and North were on-site for the 2019 Championship, which was taped and aired as a two-hour highlight show on ESPN2. The broadcast schedule is as follows:

Friday, Oct. 8

  • 10 a.m.-noon CDT:  ESPN2
  • 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT  – ESPN+

Saturday, Oct. 9

  • 1030 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CDT – ESPNEWS
    (Re-airing on ESPN2 at 2 a.m. CDT, Sunday, Oct. 10)
  • 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT – ESPN+

Sunday, Oct. 10

  • 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. CDT – ESPN2

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source