The first eight boys and girls from both sides of the Mississippi River have been selected for the 2008 Canon Cup teams. There is strong experience on both sides and the final members of each squad will be announced after the update of the Polo Golf Rankings Monday, July 7, following the conclusion of the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Headlining the West Team Boys is Cory Whitsett of Houston. This will be Whitsett’s second appearance and he’s looking to improve upon his record from 2007. Currently ranked No. 2 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Whitsett is having a knock-out year thus far with a win at the Western Junior in June. The 16-year-old has two additional top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish at the AJGA Championship at Traditions over Easter Weekend, where he fell short of fellow West Team member Jordan Spieth of Dallas.
Whitsett and Spieth will be in good company at The Stanwich Club when they are joined by Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash., Chan Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, Hyun Seok Lim of La Palma, Calif., Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., and Rak Cho of Brea, Calif. Jones was also a member of the team in 2006 and 2007.
For the West Team Girls, there will be plenty of veterans to coach the rookies around the course. Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings, will take her two years of experience into the 2008 Canon Cup. The rising senior has two top-three finishes to her resume in 2008. She also owns three AJGA titles and has been a member of the PING Junior Solheim Cup team twice.
Two other veterans will join Kim in Connecticut. Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., will appear in her fourth Canon Cup this summer and Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., will be playing for the second year. These three girls will be teamed with Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif., and Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif.
The East will be looking to earn its first victory in four years in the 2008 Canon Cup. Sean Dale of Jacksonville, Fla., is currently ranked No. 3 in the Polo Golf Rankings and will be appearing in his first Canon Cup. Dale had a strong 2007 showing with a runner-up finish at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. He also took home the title at the 2007 Bobby Chapman and advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Two players on the Canon Cup East Boys Team will be making the trip for the second consecutive year. Wesley Graham of Port Orange, Fla., and Luke Guthrie of Quincy, Ill., will test their skills once again when joined by the rest of their team. T. J. Vogel of Cooper City, Fla., Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., William Sjaichudin of Bradenton, Fla., Austin Cody of North Charleston, S.C., and Phillip Choi of Orlando, Fla., will round out the East Boys squad.
Five girls on the East Team know how to get it done, as they have played in at least one additional Canon Cup. Marika Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., will make this her fifth and final Canon Cup appearance. The University of Central Florida signee will be joined by other Canon Cup pros Allie White of Lancaster, Ohio, Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., Courtney Ellenbogen of Blacksburg, Va., and Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla.
Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla. is the highest ranked player on the squad at No. 4 in the Polo Golf Rankings. In her first year of national junior golf competition, Tanco has made quite a name for herself. She was victorious at the Scott Robertson Memorial in May and went on to win the Rolex Girls Junior Championship in June.
Rounding out the top eight on the East Girls Team are Pearl Jin of Bradenton, Fla., and Stacey Kim of Columbus, Ga.
The Canon Cup, now in its 19th year, will be played at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn., July 29-August 1. Be sure to stay tuned to ajga.org next week for the final team selections.