By Marc DeWall :: Photography courtesy of the American Junior Golf Association
Cordillera Ranch was proud to once again host the AJGA Jimmy Walker Challenge for the second time in November. It was a great three days that showcased what makes the Cordillera Ranch community and Club so special. Thanks to member Claudine Coleman and all of the Cordillera Ranch members who supported the event in so many ways. The event kicked-off with a Junior Am Fundraiser that was followed by three days of great competition from some of the very best junior golfers from all over the country. The juniors loved the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and the camaraderie formed during the tournament is what makes this event so special. Here are few fun facts about the event and also a recap of the competition.
• The event featured 32 players on two teams
• The event was a match play tournament
• The teams for the event were Team Baltusrol and Team Cordillera
• Three days of competition featured Four-Ball and Foursomes formats
• The field featured players from nine states
• There were 17 AJGA champions in the field
The significance of Team Baltusrol and Team Cordillera cannot be lost on an avid golf fan. Baltusrol Golf Club is where Walker claimed his first major victory at the PGA Championship, while The Clubs at Cordillera Ranch hosted the Jimmy Walker Challenge for the second straight year.
Jimmy Walker Gives Back
Jimmy Walker continued to prepare male junior golfers in the United States for match play tournaments through the second year of his event, the Jimmy Walker Challenge. During his AJGA days, Walker was named a 1996 Rolex Junior All-American and played in 14 events, including three appearances at the AJGA Boys Junior Championship, now the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods.
The event featured a top field with the highest-ranked player (Reid Davenport) No. 11 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Three of the top-25 boys in the Rolex AJGA Rankings played and 14 of the top-50. Seventeen players who participated have also won an AJGA event and 12 have been named Rolex Junior All-Americans.
Team Cordillera retains trophy with tie
Teams matched in points after all three days of competition
On the final day of competition, which featured periods of rain, Team Cordillera won the last match of the day to even the score at 12 apiece and retain the Jimmy Walker Challenge title. In 2016, Cordillera defeated Baltusrol 16-8. The decisive match of the day was the final one between Team Cordillera’s Andrew Lewis of Carmel, Indiana and Matthew Denton of Austin, Texas, and Team Baltusrol’s Brian Stark of Kingsburg, California and Dylan Menante of Carlsbad, California. The match came down to the final hole with Team Cordillera holding a 1 up lead. Lewis stuck his approach shot to seven feet and made the putt to win the hole and close out the final day of competition with a retention win for Team Cordillera.
Reid Davenport, Austin, Texas & Clay Merchent, Noblesville, Indiana (Baltusrol), def. Ricky Castillo, Yorba Linda, California & Charles Osborne, Reno, Nevada (Cordillera), 1 up
Matthew Riedel, Houston, Texas & Austin Coggin, Vestavia Hills, Alabama (Cordillera), def. Kyle Cox, Carrollton, Texas & Joseph Pagdin, Orlando, Florida (Baltusrol), 2 up
James Song, Rancho Santa Fe, California & Alexander Yang, Carlsbad, California (Baltusrol), def. Jun Min Lee, Mission, Texas & Ryan Smith, Carlsbad, California (Cordillera), 2&1
Mason Nome, Houston, Texas & Connor Creasy, Abingdon, Virginia (Cordillera), def. Darren Lin, Chino Hills, California & Edward Wu, Temple City, California (Baltusrol), 4&2
Jackson Rivera, Rancho Santa Fe, California & Jackson Van Paris, Pinehurst, North Carolina (Cordillera), def. Turner Hosch, Dallas, Texas & William Moll, Houston, Texas (Baltusrol), 1 up
Cameron Sisk, El Cajon, California & Alex Zhu, San Ramon, California (Baltusrol), def. Sampson-Yunhe Zheng, Orlando, Florida & Scott Roden, Dallas, Texas (Cordillera), 1 up
Nicholas Arcement, Thibodaux, Louisiana & Dawson Ovard, Frisco, Texas (Baltusrol), def. Aaron Du, Lake Mary, Florida & Aaron Chen, Fremont, California (Cordillera), 2&1
Andrew Lewis, Carmel, Indiana & Matthew Denton, Austin, Texas (Cordillera), def. Brian Stark, Kingsburg, California & Dylan Menante, Carlsbad, California (Bartusrol), 2 up
Marc DeWall is the Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at email@example.com or 830.336.4653.