Jeffery Kang celebrates his birdie putt on No. 17, which squared his singles match with Evan Beck.
WEST WINS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE CANON CUP
Last boys match decides Canon Cup on 18th hole
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The West took its fifth consecutive Canon Cup victory in one of the most exciting Canon Cups to date. After a back and forth battle throughout the singles matches, the West took the victory in the final boys match to secure the win with 25.5 points to the East’s 24.5 points.
The American Junior Golf Association’s Canon Cup, now in its 20th year, brought together the nation’s top 40 juniors in an East versus West (divided by the Mississippi River) team match play tournament. Each squad consisted of 20 players – 10 boys and 10 girls – who were selected based on the Polo Golf Rankings that rewarded them for top finishes in national junior golf events. This year, the event was held at Forest Highlands Golf Club on the Canyon Course. The West Team leads the all-time competition with an 11-8-1 record.
After winning 10 points Wednesday, the East was three points down heading into Thursday’s singles matches. The East took the first three points, bringing the score to a tie at 16.5 points apiece. The East then went on to take its first lead of the tournament during the sixth match. Emilie Burger of Hoschton, Ga., took on Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., and won 3 and 2. Despite the setback, the West was nowhere near conceding defeat. Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., beat Haley Stephens of Greer, S.C., to even the score.
“I am in awe of the last five years,” said Rah, who has a 14-3-3 record in her five career Canon Cups. “The other wins I took for granted. This year we were able to pull it off with a whole new team. It was well earned.”
The lead then went back and forth between the West and East as the matches progressed. Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., notched her first match play victory against Katie Sylvan of San Diego, to bring the lead back to the East, putting them at 24.5 points and one point away from taking home the Canon Cup. With only two matches left, the West was down one point.
“I am so impressed with how the team pulled together and never gave up,” said West Captain Jason Miller.
Giving up was not in anyone’s vocabulary Thursday. In the final boys match, Jeffery Kang of Fullerton, Calif., took on Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va. After a back and forth round all day, Beck was 1-up going into No. 17. Kang played the hole aggressively and attempted to drive the green. He fell short, but got up and down for birdie to send the match to No. 18 all square.
On No. 18, Kang played safe and laid up with his second shot. Beck took a different approach, attempting to hit the green in two. His second shot fell short and left him in a lateral water hazard. After a couple unsuccessful attempts to recover from the hazard, Beck conceded the match, which secured the Canon Cup once again for the West.
“I was so nervous standing on the tee box,” Kang said. “I am really honored to actually get the last point and so proud of the team. We were able to pull through in the end.”
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. The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
In 1990 the inaugural Canon Cup featured then rising stars Tiger Woods and Emilee Klein representing the West Team, squaring off against Stewart Cink and Vicki Goetze of the East. Since then, notable juniors to represent the East include Charles Howell III, Lucas Glover and Casey Cristie Kerr. Alumni of the West Team include Ryan Moore, Grace Park and Paula Creamer.
For more information about Canon Cup, please contact AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Final results from the Canon Cup conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Forest Highlands Golf Club’s Canyon Course. Par: Boys: 35-36--71; Girls: 35-36--71. Yardage: Boys: 7,007; Girls: 6,272. Rating/Slope: Boys: 72.8/133; Girls: 75.3/143
Total Score: West 25.5, East 24.5
Day Three – Singles Matches: East 11, West 9
Austin Cody, North Charleston, S.C. (2010) EAST def.
Michael Weaver, Fresno, Calif. (2009) WEST, 4 & 3
Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. (2013) EAST def.
Alexandra Stewart, Peoria, Ariz. (2010) WEST, 3 & 1
Austin Cook, Jonesboro, Ark. (2009) WEST def.
Patrick Winther, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. (2010) EAST, 2-up
Stephanie Kim, Whitestone, N.Y. (2009) EAST def.
Victoria Sungmin Park, Irvine, Calif. (2009) WEST, 2 & 1
Ben Itterman, Carlsbad, Calif. (2010) WEST def.
Dominic Bozzelli, Pittsford, N.Y. (2009) EAST, 1-up
Emilie Burger, Hoschton, Ga. (2009) EAST def.
Tiffany Lim, San Jose, Calif. (2011) WEST, 3 & 2
Yaroslav Merkulov, Penfield, N.Y. (2010) EAST def.
Mario Clemens, Beverly Hills, Calif. (2009) WEST, 4 & 3
Jane Rah, Torrance, Calif. (2009) WEST def.
Haley Stephens, Greer, S.C. (2009) EAST, 4 & 3
Landon Tujague, Dallas, Texas (2009) WEST def.
Michael Hebert, Orlando, Fla. (2009) EAST, 2 & 1
Madison Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla. (2009) EAST def.
Hana Lee, Hacienda Heights, Calif. (2011) WEST, 4 & 3
James Back, Cerritos, Calif. (2010) WEST def.
Byeong-hun An, Bradenton, Fla. (2010) EAST, 3 & 2
Tiffany Lua, Rowland Heights, Calif. (2009) WEST def.
Courtney Gunter, Matthews, N.C. (2009) EAST, 6 & 5
Gavin Hall, Pittsford, N.Y. (2013) EAST,
Anton Arboleda, La Canada, Calif. (2010) WEST, 1-up
Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif. (2011) WEST def.
Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. (2011) EAST, 3 & 2
Billy Kennerly, Alpharetta, Ga. (2011) EAST def.
Stewart Hagestad, Newport Beach, Calif. (2009) WEST, 3 & 2
Simin Feng, Orlando, Fla. (2013) EAST def.
Rachel Morris, Carlsbad, Calif. (2010) WEST, 2 & 1
Cameron Wilson, Rowayton, Conn. (2010) EAST def.
Zachary Blair, Ogden, Utah (2009) WEST, 5 & 4
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y. (2013) EAST def.
Katie Sylvan, San Diego, Calif. (2009) WEST, 3 & 2
Jeffrey Kang, Fullerton, Calif. (2010) WEST def.
Evan Beck, Virginia Beach, Va. (2009) EAST, 1-up
Ani Gulugian, Irvine, Calif. (2010) WEST def.
Kelly Shon, Port Washington, N.Y. (2010) EAST, 2 & 1