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Teams set for 20th Annual Canon Cup

Twenty boys and girls from each side of the Mississippi River set to face off at Forest Highlands Golf Club

BRASELTON, Ga. - The East and West teams for the 2009 Canon Cup have been set. Ten boys and 10 girls from each side of the Mississippi River are slotted to take center stage at the Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., as the 20th Anniversary of the Canon Cup gets under way. Both teams are filled with tremendous talent, as the field has claimed a combined 49 victories in AJGA play. After 19 years of this match play event, the West team leads the series at 10-8-1.

The West team enters the event looking for their fifth consecutive victory and boasts the return of five Canon Cup veterans: Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif.; Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif.; Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif.; Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif.; and Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif.

Rounding out the girls of the West will be Hana Lee of Hacienda Heights, Calif., Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif., Alexandra Stewart of Peoria, Ariz., and Katie Sylvan of San Diego.

The Canon Cup West team is helmed by Rah, a four-time Canon Cup veteran with a record of 11-3-2. Now in her final season of junior golf, Rah’s impressive resume includes five victories in AJGA competition, including the 2007 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She will continue her golf career at Oklahoma State University in the fall.

Also on the West team will be Lua, who is competing in her second consecutive Canon Cup after recording an undefeated effort of 4-0-0 in 2008. Lua, a 2009 graduate, has recorded 23 top-10 finishes in her AJGA career. Her stellar play led her to the semifinals of the 2007 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and the 2008 Women’s Public Links. The four-time Rolex Junior All-American will continue her golf career at UCLA in the fall.

Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., will be a strong competitor for the West as she competes in her third Canon Cup. After appearances in 2007 and 2008, her Canon Cup record is 4-4-0. In 2007, Park was victorious at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship after defeating Ayaka Kaneko in the final round, 4 and 3.

Teeing it up for the boys of the West will be James Back of Cerritos, Calif. Back, a second-team Rolex Junior All-American, was victorious at the 2009 Heather Farr Classic presented by Longbow Golf Club and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2008 Polo Junior Golf Classic. The rising senior is currently ranked No. 8 in the Polo Golf Rankings.

Also representing the West will be Anton Arboleda of La Canada, Calif., Zachary Blair of Ogden, Utah, Mario Clemens of Beverly Hills, Calif., Austin Cook of Jonesboro, Ark., Stewart Hagestad of Newport Beach, Calif., Ben Itterman of Carlsbad Calif., Jeffrey Kang of Fullerton, Calif., Landon Tujague of Dallas, and Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif.

The Canon Cup East team will arrive in Flagstaff looking for its first victory since 2004. Their team is filled with 10 Rolex Junior All-Americans and one Canon Cup veteran.

Two-time Rolex Junior All-American Austin Cody of North Charleston, S.C., will return for his second straight Canon Cup appearance. Cody, a rising senior, has recorded five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in AJGA competition. He is currently ranked No. 24 in the Polo Golf Rankings.

Alongside Cody is Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va. Beck, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the Polo Golf Rankings, has claimed three AJGA championships, highlighted by a victory at the 2008 Junior PLAYERS Championship. The 2008 first-team Rolex Junior All-American advanced to the final round of the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur before falling to Cameron Peck, 10 and 8. Beck will attend Wake Forest University in the fall.

Appearing in his first Canon Cup will be Patrick Winther of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Winther took the AJGA by storm, recording back-to-back Invitational victories at the Polo Golf Junior Classic in November, defeating Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Va., 7 and 6 in the title match and the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods in February.

Joining Cody and Beck on the East team will be Byeong-hun An of Bradenton, Fla., Dominic Bozzelli and Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., Michael Hebert of Orlando, Fla., Billy Kennerly of Alpharetta, Ga., Yaroslav Merkulov of Penfield, N.Y., and Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn.

Playing in her first Canon Cup will be Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla. Feng, a rising freshman, has already notched three wins in AJGA competition, including a victory at the 2009 ANNIKA Invitational. Thus far in 2009, she has recorded five top-10 finishes in national competition.

Joining Feng will be Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J. In May and June, Chung raked in three top-five finishes in AJGA play. Her second-place finish at the Rolex Tournament of Champions prompted a 10-spot jump in the Polo Golf Rankings, landing her at No. 16. The 2008 first-team Rolex Junior All-American advanced to the final round of the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship before losing to Alexis Thompson five and four.

Also teeing up for the East Girls will be Emilie Burger of Hoschton, Ga., Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., Courtney Gunter of Matthew, N.C., Stephanie Kim of Whitestone, N.Y., Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., Madison Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., Kelly Shon of Port Washington, N.Y., and Haley Stephens of Greer, S.C.

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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

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 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. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.

For more information, please contact Ashley O'Dell (aodell@ajga.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (770) 868-4200.

2009 Canon Cup Teams - By Name

BOYS

West

Name
Hometown
Graduation Year
Anton Arboleda
La Canada, Calif.
2010
James Back
Cerritos, Calif.
2010
Zachary Blair
Ogden, Utah
2009
Mario Clemens
Beverly Hills, Calif.
2009
Austin Cook
Jonesboro, Ark.
2009
Stewart Hagestad
Newport Beach, Calif.
2009
Ben Itterman
Carlsbad, Calif.
2010
Jeffrey Kang
Fullerton, Calif.
2010
Landon Tujague
Dallas, Texas
2009
Michael Weaver
Fresno, Calif.
2009

East

Byeong-hun An
Bradenton, Fla.
2010
Evan Beck
Virginia Beach, Va.
2009
Dominic Bozzelli
Pittsford, N.Y.
2009
Austin Cody
North Charleston, S.C.
2010
Gavin Hall
Pittsford, N.Y.
2013
Michael Hebert
Orlando, Fla.
2009
Billy Kennerly
Alpharetta, Ga.
2011
Yaroslav Merkulov
Penfield, N.Y.
2010
Cameron Wilson
Rowayton, Conn.
2010
Patrick Winther
Howey in the Hills, Fla.
2010

GIRLS

West

Ani Gulugian
Irvine, Calif.
2010
Hana Lee
Hacienda Heights, Calif.
2011
Tiffany Lim
San Jose, Calif.
2011
Tiffany Lua
Rowland Heights, Calif.
2009
Rachel Morris
Carlsbad, Calif.
2010
Kristen Park
Buena Park, Calif.
2011
Victoria Sungmin Park
Irvine, Calif.
2009
Jane Rah
Torrance, Calif.
2009
Alexandra Stewart
Peoria, Ariz.
2010
Katie Sylvan
San Diego, Calif.
2009

East

Emilie Burger
Hoschton, Ga.
2009
Doris Chen
Bradenton, Fla.
2011
Karen Chung
Livingston, N.J.
2013
Simin Feng
Orlando, Fla.
2013
Courtney Gunter
Matthews, N.C.
2009
Stephanie Kim
Whitestone, N.Y.
2009
Annie Park
Levittown, N.Y.
2013
Madison Pressel
Boca Raton, Fla.
2009
Kelly Shon
Port Washington, N.Y.
2010
Haley Stephens
Greer, S.C.
2009