By Anne-Marie Colant (@AJGAmedia), AJGA Communications
After a long, stormy week at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, the Wyndham Cup teams are finally complete. Mark Oskarson, coach for the East and Jason Miller, coach for the West greeted the newest members of their teams as they excitedly walked off No. 18 green. They will be assisted by Blair Thompson in the West and Katie Tahara in the East. John Pak, No.15 in the Polo Golf Rankings and Jayna Choi, No. 28 will join the East and Matthew Wolff, No. 22 and Gurleen Kaur, No. 49 will join the West.
Wyndham Cup is one of three AJGA events involving match play. Teams are decided based on where players live in relation to the Mississippi River and their standing on the Polo Golf Ranking. Top-10 players are invited to play in the tournament, filled with friendly competition, loud cheering and playing as a team rather than as an individual.
Match play is unique because players compete hole-to-hole for one point, with a tie resulting in half a point. As a result, all 18 holes may not be necessary to complete. It takes 25 ½ points to win the Wyndham Cup. In the case of a tie, the current champion will keep the Cup. Currently, it is the West. Matches include foursomes, mixed four-ball, four ball, mixed foursomes and singles.
Long-time coach and AJGA Chief Operating Officer, Mark Oskarson, talks about how this tournament has a way of bringing kids together.
“I like seeing the kids, they play all year as individuals and to see them come together during the week is great,” said Oskarson. “You compete hard all week and everybody gets into it and by the end of the week you have basically 19, 20 new best friends.”
He is confident in his team and likes the opportunity that lies ahead. He also mentioned how Jason and Blair always have a great team as well.
Jason Miller is the Chief Financial Officer at the AJGA as well as the coach for the West team. He really enjoys this event and the player.
“I like to bring together the top players from the west and achieve great things in golf, but as a team,” said Miller. “Typically golf is an individual sport and this is one of the few weeks where they get to be part of a team.”
Miller thinks the week will be very competitive and he is very confident while recognizing there are great players on both sides.
“That’s one of the unique parts about the event, it can come down to one putt or it can really come down to anything,” said Miller.
The 2016 Wyndham Cup will take place in Greenwich, Connecticut, at The Stanwich Club on July 25-28.
About Reynolds Lake Oconee
Reynolds Lake Oconee, formerly known as Reynolds Plantation, is located between Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, and is situated along more than 350 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline and features six championship golf courses, dining, swimming pools, pedestrian trails, marinas, a tennis center and a wellness campus. Reynolds is also home to The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, a 251-room lakefront resort and spa, which was named a 2015 AAA Five Diamond Lodging and 2014 Forbes Four-Star resort. The community is located about an hour and a half drive from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. For more information, visit www.reynoldslakeoconee.com.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs.
About the AJGA
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-18) of nearly 6,500 members from 49 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.