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The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.

 

Ridley: "Just remember the two very simple words of ‘Thank you.'"
Fred Ridley, USGA President, addresses the more than 200 players, parents and Caves Valley Golf Club members at the Canon Cup Opening Ceremonies Monday night.

USGA President Fred Ridley, a member at Caves Valley Golf Club, addressed the attendees at Monday’s Opening Ceremonies at the 15th annual Canon Cup, as did Billy Andrade, a PGA TOUR veteran, AJGA alumnus and former Rolex Junior Player of the Year.

Their attendance at Canon Cup turned out to be a reunion from the 1987 Walker Cup, when Ridley served as captain to Andrade and the victorious U.S. Team at Sunningdale Golf Club in England.

While speaking fondly of his Walker Cup experiences, Ridley iterated his wish to see today’s juniors parlay their AJGA and Canon Cup experience into future participation in the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup matches.

“There is nothing greater than playing on a team and playing for your country,” he said. “I know many of you are going to have that opportunity. All I would say is that the professional tour may be calling, but it will still be there after that match.”

Ridley himself has maintained an outstanding amateur career, deciding against turning pro like many of the teammates with whom he won an NCAA Championship at the University of Florida – Andy Bean, Andy North and Gary Koch.

“People ask me if it’s something I regret, “ he said. “Absolutely not. I’m very happy I made the decision I did. There is a wonderful life in golf other than playing on Tour.”

While continuing to practice law, Ridley is currently in his first of two years as USGA president, overseeing the “For the Good of the Game” initiative, which will provide $70 million by the end of the decade to golf programs for kids, disabled players and others in need.

“I can assure you there will be an emphasis on junior golf – and that includes the level at which you play the game,” he said, speaking directly to the Canon Cup participants for a moment.

Ridley captured an up-close view of junior golf at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship this summer, where he walked away impressed by the skill and the sportsmanship on display, especially after watching the championship match between Julieta Granada and Jane Park.

“You could tell they were trying as hard as they could to win that championship, but they weren’t going to let it affect their friendship,” he said.

Ridley also encouraged the juniors to give back to the game.

“Because you are all great golfers, you’re going to have the red carpet rolled out for you quite often. As you know already, it takes dozens or hundreds or sometimes thousands of volunteers to run great golf tournaments. If there’s anything you remember from what I say tonight, it is that these volunteers do what they do because they like you and they love the game of golf. Just remember the two very simple words of ‘Thank you.’”

Just as Ridley and the USGA are dedicated to amateur golf, so is Caves Valley. When Caves Valley was dedicated in 1991, they reinforced that commitment by inviting four noted amateurs to begin a tradition known as the Chesapeake Cup. Ridley, Jay Sigel, Vinnie Giles and Charlie Yates were featured in that inaugural event.

“There’s no place in the world I enjoy coming to more than Caves Valley,” Ridley commented. “It’s all about the people – it’s about the members, it’s about the staff and it’s about the leadership who are so committed to providing this excellent environment to enjoy the game.”

For many in attendance at this week’s Canon Cup, the feeling will surely be the same.

HEADLINES

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION

TITLE SPONSOR
Since 1990, Canon has supported junior golf and the American Junior Golf Association. The Canon Cup has produced countless memories while focusing the spotlight on golf's next generation of champions.

A LOOK BACK AT 2003
Last year, the West Canon Cup team staged a memorable comeback on the final day to defeat the East 26-24.