Teams are now set for the 14th annual AJGA Canon Cup, the American Junior Golf Association announced Wednesday. The 2003 event will be played at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga., August 4 - 7.
The Canon Cup pits East vs. West (divided by the Mississippi River) in a team match play format over three days. The first two days of competition include foursome and four-ball matches, and the final day is reserved for singles matches. Teams (10 boys and 10 girls) were selected based on a point system and include four captains’ picks per squad.
Of the 40 participants this year, 32 are Polo Golf Junior All-Americans, while nine boys and nine girls who are ranked in the top 20 of the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings (as of July 13) will represent their respective teams.
Matt Cuccaro, the East Team captain and AJGA director of tournament development, has five players returning from last year’s squad, including second-team Polo Golf Junior All-American Mallory Code of Tampa, Fla., who is set for her fourth Canon Cup. The East side also features the top-ranked boy in the Golfweek/Titleist Rankings, Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., who has captured two major championships in 2003. The East Boys are strong as eight of the 15 top-ranked boys are competing for Cuccaro.
Six players return from last year for the defending champion West squad. Among the returnees for Captain Gus Montano, AJGA director of education, are the reigning Polo Golf Boys Junior Player of the Year Seung Su Han of Chino Hills, Calif., and first-team Polo Golf Junior All-American Jonathan Moore of Portland, Ore., who finished the event last year with a perfect 4-0 record.
“Canon is very proud to sponsor the AJGA’s premier match play competition,“ said Debra Epstein, vice president and general manager, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The Canon Cup allows aspiring young golfers the opportunity to experience the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship through this unique team competition.”
The West squad will look to retain the title and improve its 5-7-1 record against the East after winning last year 35.5-14.5. The West team won two of the first three Canon Cups before the East team ran off five straight wins and a tie from 1993-98. Past Canon Cup participants include Tiger Woods, Stewart Cink, David Gossett, Charles Howell III, Ty Tryon, Beth Bauer, Cristie Kerr, Kelli Kuehne and Grace Park.
“I really enjoyed playing in the Canon Cup,” said David Gossett, PGA TOUR player. “It was fun and they treated us so nice. I remember working hard all summer long so I could get on the Canon Cup team. It’s the best juniors in the country so the competition is high.”
The Canon Cup is part of Canon’s overall commitment to support youth programs. Canon recently launched the Canon4Kids program with PGA TOUR player Briny Baird to help find missing children. Baird displays a different child’s image on his golf bag each week he plays on the PGA TOUR. In addition, Canon donates money to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for every birdie, eagle and hole-in-one he makes during the tournaments in which he plays. Canon makes a similar donation to NCMEC for birdies, eagles, and holes-in-one made by LPGA Tour player Michelle McGann.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The company is listed as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked No. 43 on the Business Week list of “Top 100 Brands.” Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking second overall in the United States in 2003, with global revenues of $24.5 billion. Canon U.S.A. employs more than 10,000 people at more than 30 locations. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 13-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman and Cristie Kerr.