Las Vegas, Nevada (January 9, 2012)–The Las Vegas Golf Region is the home to some of golf's biggest events. And Las Vegas resort course Rio Secco Golf Club, is, many times, the host course. And over the weekend eight of the best American Junior Golf Association junior golfers were at the course divided up into 4-player teams headed up by superstars–and Las Vegas Golf Region residents–Butch Harmon and Natalie Gulbis. The event was the WINN Grips Junior Cup Challenge. –By Brian Hurlburt, Quotes Kristi Bradley.
In a tight match, Gulbis' West Team took out an East team captained by Harmon. The victory for the West team was clinched when 14-year old Brad Dalke (the youngest AJGA champion in history) made a birdie late in his round against the East's Cody Proveaux to take a 2 and 1 win over the reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year. “I look forward to meeting the next generation of great players and seeing what is next to come in junior golf," said Gulbis about the tournament. "My favorite part of this event is being around the kids. They ask such great questions and are so interested in what it takes to get to the next level.”
Want to play Rio Secco Golf Club like the best in the world do? Click now to visit the official website of Rio Secco. Rio Secco is the home to the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge, the annual Tiger Jam (a Tiger Woods Foundation major fundraiser), and is the home course for the Butch Harmon School of Golf. Harmon works with some of golf's biggest names including Gulbis, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney, and Phil Mickelson. The Harmon School is open to all golfers, and the pros of the school host two JUNIOR CAMPS in the summer. All info is available at their official website (click to it at the previous link). Juniors can learn the SAME SECRETS as the best players in the world.
Harmon still loved the event despite his team coming up short. “The Winn Junior Cup Challenge has been so much fun for me," said Harmon. "It’s a joy to see the quality of players that the AJGA has put out and the Winn Junior Cup Challenge brings the cream of the crop out here every year. It’s been wonderful to watch how good they are and watch them go off to college and chase their dreams.”
The West team was also anchored by Las Vegas Golf Region resident A.J. McInerney (4-time AJGA Champion) who has committed to play college golf for UNLV. The West girl players were Alison Lee (4-time Rolex Junior All-American) and Gabriella Then (2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions winner), both from California. “The Winn Junior Cup Challenge is so much fun and I got a chance to get closer to some of the best players in the country," said Lee following the victory. "It was awesome to meet Natalie and interact with her because she’s on the LPGA Tour and I would eventually like to be where she is.”
The East team players were boys Proveaux and Shun Yat Hak (4-time AJGA champion), and girls Karen Aubert (13 AJGA Top 10 finishes) and Karen Chung (4-time Rolex Junior All-American). The final outcome was 16-13 in the event that used several different formats including a skills challenge, two-person teams, and individual matches. The West also won in 2010 while being captained by Harmon. Photos courtesy Kristi Bradley, AJGA.