Team IL Earns 4th Place in PGA Jr. League Championship

Some ‘wins’ are better than others, and if you were to ask Team Texas coach Joey Anders, some ‘wins’ are a whole lot better than others, especially on home turf. The 2023 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship for ages 13 and under was held in Frisco, Texas with twelve victorious all-star state regional teams competing. After two rounds, with a two-person scramble format taking place Friday and Saturday (Oct. 6-7), and team aggregate stroke play scores counting, four teams advanced to championship Sunday on Oct. 8.

Team Illinois, coached by Kevin Weeks, PGA professional from Cog Hill GC in Lemont, was one of the four teams, along with teams from Texas, Utah, and Florida that moved on to the semi-final matches. The morning Semifinals that set up the afternoon showdown featured some close calls. No. 2 seed Team Texas defeated No. 3 seed Team Illinois (Lemont) 7.5 – 4.5, while No. 4 seed Team Utah edged No. 1 seed Team Florida (Orlando) after a 6 – 6 end to their match. The number of holes won was calculated as the tiebreaker, and Team Utah won 9 – 8 to move forward in their battle with Team Texas.

Tony Finau

FRISCO, TX – OCTOBER 08: ESPN Golf Reporter, Michael Collins interviews Jraice Finau of Team Utah and his father Tony Finau during the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship at Fields Ranch West at PGA Frisco on Sunday, October 8, 2023 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ryan Lochhead/PGA of America)

With the sun setting and ESPN cameras rolling, and PGA Tour star Tony Finau cheering on his son Jraice’s Utah team, No. 2 seed Team Texas (Farmers Branch) defeated No. 4 seed Team Utah (Lehi) 6.5 – 5.5 in the match play Championship final at PGA Frisco’s Fields Ranch West.

Some ‘plateaus’ are more satisfying than others, while some plateaus need to be overcome. In the afternoon consolation match, Team Florida defeated Team Illinois 7.5 – 4.5 to take home third place. It was the second consecutive year in which Team Illinois made it to the final four, but remained at the number four plateau. Still, a most commendable achievement to be number four out of roughly 3,000 PGA Jr. League teams.

Team Illinois members were: Ben Patel, Grayson Baucom, Kennedy Gutierrez, Lester Low, Michael Jorski, Nemo Tsai, Nicholas Ratini, and William Cui; Clayton Pendergraft was the assistant coach.

(Photo credits: PGA of America; National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship)


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

Chicago Golf Report
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart