Region 9 Wrap-Up: National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Regional Championship at The Ridge Golf Club
Written by, Hayley Wilson, Alday PR
Seven All-Star teams of junior golfers from the Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska PGA Sections spent the holiday weekend competing for the top spot in the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship at The Ridge Golf Club in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Split between two age divisions, four 13u All-Star teams (players ages 10-13) and three 17u All-Star teams (players ages 14-17) vied for the right to advance to their respective National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship this fall.
Minnesota emerged victorious, with both the 13u and 17u divisions captured by the J-Birds of TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, led by PGA Coach David Branstad. The J-Birds are named in honor of their former PGA Coach Jay Norman, who unexpectedly passed away after leading the team to finish runner-up at the 2018 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship.
J-BIRDS MAKE ANOTHER RUN FOR MINNESOTA IN THE 13U CHAMPIONSHIP
Both the J-Birds and the Eastern NE All-Stars went 20-under in round one Saturday, which consisted of two, nine-hole rounds of stroke play qualifying in order to seed for match play on day two. Iowa-based teams Ames/Marshalltown East All-Stars seeded third at 3-under, followed by NW Iowa All-Stars in the fourth seed at 3-over.
In semifinal action Sunday, the J-Birds defeated NW Iowa 9-3, while Eastern NE won 7.5-4.5 over Ames/Marshalltown East, setting things up for a championship match between the J-Birds and the Eastern NE All-Stars.
The J-Birds bested the Eastern NE All-Stars 8-4 to earn their return to the 13u National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship. The Minnesota team will represent their state in Frisco, Texas, Oct. 4-8, when the Championship moves to PGA Frisco’s Fields Ranch West. For the third year, the event will be broadcast live on ESPN networks.
J-BIRDS ALL-STAR TEAM HEADING TO INAUGURAL 17U CHAMPIONSHIP
Similar to their league counterparts in the 13u division, the 17u J-Birds earned the top seed in Saturday’s stroke play qualifying at 13-under, followed by The Ridge All-Stars at 10-under and the Jester Park All-Stars at 8-under, both Iowa-based teams.
To determine who would face the J-Birds in the championship match, the two Iowa teams met in the semifinals Sunday morning. The Jester Park team advanced following their 5-4 defeat of The Ridge All-Stars.
With a 7.5-1.5 victory over the Jester Park All-Stars, the J-Birds punched their ticket to the inaugural PGA Jr. League 17u National Championship, set for Nov. 16-19 at Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.