West wins the Canon Cup with largest margin of victory ever

LAKE FOREST, Ill. - The West Team retained possession of the Canon Cup as it cruised to a 35.5-14.5 victory over the East Thursday in the 13th annual event. Five members of the victorious West squad went a perfect 4-0-0 in their four matches.

The Canon Cup, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association and hosted by Conway Farms Golf Club, featured 40 of the nation's top junior golfers ages 13-18. The competition annually pits East vs. West in a match play format similar to the Ryder Cup. The East holds a 7-5-1 advantage over the West, and past participants include Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Beth Bauer and Cristie Kerr.

The West jumped ahead quickly in this year's match, taking an 11-4 lead after day one. The West then picked up 11 of a possible 15 points during the second day of competition. Needing only 3.5 of 20 points to win Thursday, the West went out and won four of the first five singles matches of the day to seal the deal early. The winning squad set a new record for margin of victory with it's 21-point win. The previous margin of victory was 14 points when the East defeated the West in 1990, 32-18.

Andrew Dresser (Carrollton, Texas), Allison Martin (Bakersfield, Calif.), Jonathan Moore (Portland, Ore.) and Ashley Rollins (Austin, Texas) all were unbeaten and untied during the week, each accounting for four victories. Paula Creamer (Pleasanton, Calif.), Ashley Knoll (The Woodlands, Texas), and Kevin Larsen (Santa Barbara, Calif.) also were undefeated with records of 3-0-1.

"It was great," Moore, 17, said. "Each match my partner played well and hopefully I helped them play comfortably as well. We all had a great time together.

"It means a lot to be able to go undefeated," he continued. "Very few people are able to do it and it means you helped your team out and that's what you are trying to do."

One of the featured matches paired the top two ranked girls against each other, No. 1 In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., versus No. 2 Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas. Park was victorious with a 2 & 1 win.

"It was great to end the way we did," said West Captain Gus Montano, who is 2-0 as captain. "We had a lot of momentum and confidence after the first day and we fed off of that the rest of the week. We knew we were going up against a tough East team and we got them when we were peaking."


Defending Champions Take 22-8 Advantage Into Singles Matches

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The West Team went unbeaten in foursome matches Wednesday morning and tacked on two points in the afternoon to take a 22-8 lead into the final day of the Canon Cup. The West needs just 3.5 of the 20 points up for grabs Thursday in Singles Matches to win the Cup for the second straight year.

The Canon Cup, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association and hosted by Conway Farms Golf Club, features 40 of the nation’s top junior golfers ages 13-18. The competition pits East vs. West in a match play format similar to the Ryder Cup. The East holds a 7-4-1 record against the West, and past participants include Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Beth Bauer and Cristie Kerr.

Already staked to an 11-4 lead after a strong opening day, West Captain Gus Montano told his squad to imagine they were a point down – and the team responded Wednesday morning by playing as if they couldn’t afford to lose. The West won eight of the 10 morning matches and halved the other two as it increased its lead to a shocking 20-5 heading into the afternoon matches.

“We’re playing so well and the chemistry is there,” West Captain Gus Montano said. “It was great to come back out and continue what we were doing yesterday.”

In the morning matches, the East had the upper hand in several pairings but was unable to close the deal in any of them. Erica Blasberg of Corona, Calif., and Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., won three straight holes to win their match after trailing while heading to the 15th tee. Teams of Seung Su Han (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Kevin Larsen (Santa Barbara, Calif.), and Paula Creamer (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Whitney Welch (Las Vegas) each forced halves after being two holes down with three to play.

“Everyone has played real solid,” said Randy Lowry (Spring, Texas), who is one of sieven unbeaten and untied West players. “It’s been real intense, though, and we can’t change the game plan for tomorrow.”

The East rallied Wednesday afternoon and compiled a 3-2 record in mixed fourball, gaining some critical momentum heading into Thursday’s singles matches. Elizabeth Janangelo (West Hartford, Conn.) and Jessie Mudd (Louisville, Ky.) highlighted the East’s afternoon. The duo made back-to-back eagles on holes seven (Janangelo) and eight (Mudd) in their 5 & 4 win.

“We showed some of the best team spirit I’ve ever seen,” East Captain Matt Cuccaro said. “I really think we responded this afternoon and we have a lot of motivation heading into tomorrow. I respect the golf ability and personality of everyone on this team and wouldn’t change a thing.”

The West won the first two matches of the afternoon thanks to Lowry and fellow Texans Ashley Knoll (Houston); Andrew Dresser (Carrollton); and Ashley Rollins (Austin). All four of the Lone Star State natives are unbeaten at this year’s Canon Cup, and will look to stay unblemished Thursday.

“Losing the afternoon matches left a bad taste in our mouths,” Montano added. “We’ve got something to prove tomorrow and we hope to capture the Cup – early.”


13th annual Canon Cup gets under way near Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The West squad took charge Tuesday during the first day of play at the 2002 Canon Cup by grabbing an 11-4 lead at the par-71 Conway Farms Golf Club. In the morning four-ball matches, 7 1/2 of the available 10 points were awarded to the defending champions. The West team’s momentum continued into the afternoon where it picked up points in four of the five mixed foursome matches.

The Canon Cup, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, features 40 of the nation’s top junior golfers, ages 13-18. The competition pits the East vs. West in a match-play format similar to the Ryder Cup. Teams (10 boys and 10 girls) were selected based on a point system and include four captain’s picks per squad. Past participants include Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, Beth Bauer and Cristie Kerr.

Paula Creamer of Pleasanton, Calif., and Allison Martin of Bakersfield, Calif., earned a point for the West in four-ball match play when they defeated Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla., and Jackie Beers of Midlothian, Va., by coming back from 1-down with two holes left to play.

“Allison and I had fun during this morning’s match,” said Creamer, who drained the winning birdie putt on No. 18. “Our team has bonded together really well and it really feels like everyone wants to help the whole team do their best.”

Creamer, 16, also teamed with Seung Su Han of Chino Hills, Calif., in Tuesday afternoon’s mixed foursomes to defeat Mallory Code of Tampa, Fla., and Will Dottley of Madison, Miss.

“This was the first time we met,” said Creamer. “We played well together as a team and were able to make a lot of putts fall. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s matches.”

James Vargas of Miami, who is playing in his fourth Canon Cup, paired with Kevin Kisner of Aiken, S.C., in the first match of the morning and defeated Anthony Kim of La Quinta, Calif., and Spencer Levin of Elk Grove, Calif., 1-up.

“We played really aggressive this morning and it turned out to be a great match all-around,” said the 18-year-old. “I think our entire team will be more comfortable tomorrow after today’s experience. It’s good to get the first day’s nerves out of the way.”

West squad captain Gus Montano was pleased with his team’s performance on the first day of competition.

“Today was a good day for the West. Everyone was playing well together and the putts just kept on falling,” said Montano, who claimed last year’s Cup during his first year as captain. “This was one of the scenarios that you draw up on paper and just hope it happens.

“We’re going to change a few things around tomorrow, but the chemistry will still be there,” said Montano. “It’s much easier when the players get along as well as these do.”

Erik Olson of Renton, Wash., punctuated the West’s day with a dramatic 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to halve the final match of the day.

Matt Cuccaro, leader of the East squad, is confident in his team and believes that this tournament is far from over.

“We have numerous veterans on the East who are leaders both on and off the course,” said the first-year captain. “This was not the way we had wanted to start out, but there is still a lot of golf to play and a lot of points that can come our way.”