By Walker McCrary, AJGA Communications
The 2015 Wyndham Cup is fast approaching and after the final round of the Rolex Tournament of Champions, the final spots on each team will be filled. One boy and girl from both the East and the West will be asked to fill the final position on their respective team after the tournament.
The Wyndham Cup is an annual team match play competition featuring the 10 best male and female junior golfers from the East versus their counterparts from the West. Matches include four-ball, mixed four-ball, foursomes, mixed foursomes and singles. One point is awarded for each match won and half a point is given to each team for matches that end in a tie. As a result, it is possible that matches may be won prior to the 18th hole. A team needs 25 ½ points to win the Wyndham Cup. Should the championship end in a tie, the team that currently holds the Cup, the West, would retain the Wyndham Cup. The event is highlighted by the team camaraderie and spirit generated by the juniors and team captains.
In the East Boys Division, Aden Ye of Lake Mary, Florida, is in the clubhouse after finishing the Rolex Tournament of Champions tied for 66th place. After earning his 3.03 points from the tournament, he finishes with 19.97 points. To overtake Ye and claim the final spot, Garrett Barber of Stuart, Florida, must finish in at least 10th place, while Wilson Furr of Jackson, Mississippi, must finish in at least third.
East Team Captain Mark Oskarson says the final spot on his team is not a bad thing as last year, the tenth boy in, Qi Wen Wong, went 4-0-0 in the 2014 event. Traditionally, the final spot is a player who is playing extremely well.
For the West Boys Division, Kaito Onishi of Irvine, California, currently holds the final spot with 30.82 points coming into the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Jacob Solomon of Dublin, California, needs to finish in at least fourth to have a chance to jump Onishi, and Norman Xiong is also in contention for the final spot. Three players competing for one spot makes the West Team Captain Jason Miller very excited about the finish of the tournament.
“The Rolex Tournament of Champions allows for players to compete not only for the tournament title but also for a chance to compete for his or her respective team at Wyndham Cup,” said Miller. “It always seems like it comes down to the 18th hole and we never really know who is going to get the final spot before the last putt drops.”
Maddie Rose Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, has put herself in a good position to grab the East Girls Division final spot. A seventh-place finish or better for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish commit will likely clinch the final spot on the team.
Stephanie Lau of Fullerton, California, holds the lead for the final spot on the West Girls Division team, but Beth Lillie of Fullerton, California, can steal the spot with a third-place finish or better.
The process for figuring out the highest-ranked player involves both the points a player earns for finishing an event and the number of events a player has played in the last year. For example, if a player has played in 10 events and compiled 200 points, the player's average points would be 20.00.
When the final groups are heading down the No. 18 fairway in Sunriver, Oregon, there will surely be a lot of excitement from both team captains and other team members as they find out who their final teammates will be.