West Keeps Streak Alive, Wins Sixth Straight Canon Cup
West wins 25.5-24.5 at Old Sandwich Golf Club
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — With the jockeying and the back-and-forth nature of the 2010 Canon Cup, it was only fitting that this year's outcome was decided at the very end. For the sixth consecutive year, it was the West that came out on top as it kept its record streak alive and beat the East, 25.5-24.5.
The American Junior Golf Association's Canon Cup, now in its 21st year, brings together the nation's top 40 juniors in an East versus West (divided by the Mississippi River) team match play tournament. Each squad consists of 20 players — 10 boys and 10 girls — who were selected based on the Polo Golf Rankings. This year, the event was held at Old Sandwich Golf Club. The West Team leads the all-time competition with a 12-8-1 record.
After Preston Valder of Yorba Linda, Calif., flipped his match from 1-down through 15 holes to a 1-up victory over Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., it all came down to the match between Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., versus Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J.
Playing in the second-to-last match, Morris stood on the 17th tee with a 1-up lead and knowing the West was leading, but not knowing exactly what she had to do on the hole.
“There was a lot of pressure,” said Morris, who was playing in her third and final Canon Cup. “My heart was racing, but I wanted to do well for them and for me. But it was exciting at the same time. I was playing pretty well, so for it to all come together was really exciting.”
Despite the magnitude of the situation, Morris was able to calm herself, trust her yardage and stick a 7-iron to the middle of the green. Chung followed by hitting her tee shot left into a greenside bunker, and after she failed to convert her up-and-down, all Morris had to do was two-putt to win the match and clinch the Cup.
After Morris cozied her putt to two feet, Chung conceded and the celebration began. But it wasn't until her teammates rallied around her that Morris knew her team had won.
“You don't get into that type of situation a lot where all the pressure is on you,” Morris said. “But when you do, and you succeed, it feels really cool. To be able to step up, under pressure, is really awesome.”
To get to that point, the West strung together six straight points after trading wins with the East to start the day.
“We just knew we had to keep fighting until the end,” said Valder, who recorded 3.5 points on the week. “We figured it might come down to the last couple matches, so we just kept saying we needed to believe and grind it out.”
Valder and Czuchry were locked in a tight battle until Valder sank his putt for birdie on No. 16 to square the match.
“When I made the putt on No. 16 and my team roared, it gave me goosebumps,” Valder said. “It was awesome.”
Early in the morning, Jay Hwang of San Diego picked up a decisive 7-and-6 victory over Nicholas Reach of Moscow, Pa., to break a 15-15 tie and improve to 4-0 for the tournament. Hwang and the East's Stephen Behr Jr. of Florence, S.C., were the only two players to post four wins on the week.
The East was able to grab a 19-17 lead, but at the time, it only led in three other matches, while the West led in eight.
Two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., upended U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., 4 and 3, to get the East within one at 23.5-22.5. Shortly before that, 2009 FootJoy Invitational winner Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky., took down 2010 FootJoy winner Tanner Kesterson of Plano, Texas, 6 and 5.
“Everything just depended on today and how we did,” Valder said. “It was stressful, it being so close, but it was really cool to win like that.”
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 AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
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 Cristie Kerr. Alumni of the West Team include Ryan Moore, Grace Park and Paula Creamer.
For more information about Canon Cup, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Final results from the Canon Cup conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Old Sandwich Golf Club. Par: Boys: 36-35 — 71; Girls: 36-35 — 71. Yardage: Boys: 6,790; Girls: 6,166. Rating/Slope: Boys: 73.6/138; Girls: 76.7/139
TOTAL — West 25.5, East 24.5
Day One — West 8, East 7 (Four-ball, Mixed Foursomes)
Day Two — East 8, West 7 (Foursomes, Mixed Four-ball)
Day Three — West 10.5, East 9.5 (Singles)
Kyung Kim, Chandler, Ariz. (2012) WEST def. A.J. Newell, Tampa, Fla. (2011) EAST, 2 & 1
Jay Hwang, San Diego, Calif. (2011) WEST def. Nicholas Reach, Moscow, Pa. (2011) EAST, 7 & 6
Ashlan Ramsey, Bradenton, Fla. (2013) EAST def. Casey Grice, College Station, Texas (2010) WEST, 4 & 3
Stephen Behr Jr., Florence, S.C. (2011) EAST def. Kramer Hickok, Plano, Texas (2011) WEST, 2 & 1
Shannon Aubert, Championsgate, Fla. (2014) EAST def. Emily Collins, Colleyville, Texas (2010) WEST, 3 & 2
Andrew Knox, Cary, N.C. (2010) EAST def. Andrew Levitt, Ladera Ranch, Calif. (2012) WEST, 2 & 1
Lindsey Weaver, Scottsdale, Ariz. (2012) WEST def. Emma Talley, Princeton, Ky. (2012) EAST, 1-up
Will Zalatoris, Plano, Texas (2014) WEST def. JD Tomlinson, Gainesville, Fla. (2011) EAST, 2-up
Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. (2011) WEST def. Kelly Shon, Port Washington, N.Y. (2010) EAST, 2 & 1
Michael Kim, Del Mar, Calif. (2011) WEST def. Logan Harrell, Huntersville, N.C. (2010) EAST, 2-up
Tiffany Lim, San Jose, Calif. (2011) WEST def. McKenzie Talbert, North Augusta, S.C. (2013) EAST, 2 & 1
Jeff Wibawa, Encino, Calif. (2010) WEST vs. Franco Castro, Alpharetta, Ga. (2010) EAST, halved
Ani Gulugian, Irvine, Calif. (2010) WEST def. Suzie Lee, East Northport, N.Y. (2010) EAST, 5 & 3
Oliver Schniederjans, Powder Springs, Ga. (2011) EAST def. AJ McInerney, Henderson, Nev. (2012) WEST, 2 & 1
Ginger Howard, Bradenton, Fla. (2012) EAST def. Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif. (2011) WEST, 1-up
Preston Valder, Yorba Linda, Calif. (2011) WEST def. Drew Czuchry, Auburn, Ga. (2010) EAST, 1-up
Victoria Tanco, Bradenton, Fla. (2012) EAST def. Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif. (2010) WEST, 4 & 3
Patrick Rodgers, Avon, Ind. (2011) EAST def. Seiji Liu, Beverly Hills, Calif. (2010) WEST, 1-up
Rachel Morris, Carlsbad, Calif. (2010) WEST def. Karen Chung, Livingston, N.J. (2013) EAST, 2 & 1
Justin Thomas, Goshen, Ky. (2011) EAST def. Tanner Kesterson, Plano, Texas (2011) WEST, 6 & 5