September 15, 2015
UC Davis Coach Tapping Junior Tour of Northern California For Talent
Longtime UC Davis men’s golf coach Cy Williams first became aware of the Junior Tour of Northern California a few years back thanks to the players he was recruiting.
“They’d send me their schedule and it’d have Junior Tour of Northern California events on it,” said Williams, who’s in his 19th year at the UC Davis helm. “More and more guys had JTNC events.”
These days, when Williams find himself on the recruitment trail for future Aggies, one of his first stops is the JTNC website.
“I’ve now got it bookmarked,” Williams said. “Now, when I recruit, if a kid sends in a JTNC result I check the whole field. I think it’s picked up in notoriety and strength the last few years.”
It certainly has. The 2011 JTNC Player of the Year was 2015 U.S. Amateur champion Bryson DeChambeau. Last season’s NCAA Player of the Year Maverick McNealy, meanwhile, also was once a regular on the JTNC circuit.
The caliber of players on the JTNC has become so good that today it even brings Williams out of his office. If he has time on his schedule, he now attends tournaments.
As for how much Williams has invested in the JTNC, one only needs to look at the 2015-2016 Aggies’ roster. Eleven of the 12 Aggies on the current roster have a JTNC background– Quinn Carlsen (El Dorado Hills), Louie Chen (Fremont), Ben Corfee (Davis), Ryan Han (Hollister), Matt Klein (Lafayette), Evan Knight (Novato), Ryan Knop (Pleasanton), Nicholas Noya (South San Francisco), Jeremy Sanchez (Sacramento), Patrick Soli (San Carlos) and Luke Vivolo (Carmel).
Corfee won the 2014 NCGA Four-Ball Championship playing with friend Scott Raber. Ryan Knop shot an 9-under 63 at Poppy Hills to win the 2014 JTNC Championship.
The only member of the 12-man squad that isn’t a JTNC product is Jesse Bratz—and that’s only because Bratz hails from Texas.
As far as Williams is concerned, college coaches—especially those in Northern California–don’t have to look too far outside of the region for talent.
“There are just so many great young players in Northern California. As a coach, I don’t think you need to go national,” said Williams, a native of Oakland. “The JTNC and JGANC (Junior Golf Association of Northern California) have done a great job. They are the ones you look at.”
When searching for recruits, Williams said for him it boils down to two categories: Scores and Potential.
“Scores show that players can do it, or what they’re capable of doing,” Williams said. “The next thing is trying to figure out how good they’ll be in three years. One thing I look at is, do they do one thing well? For example, are they a good putter? A good ball striker? The key being that if they can establish the rest of their game, they’ll be a good player.”
Should Williams not exactly be sure what kind of potential player he might have, he’ll then examine some of the other intangibles.
“If someone is on the fence in my mind, and they have for example bad body language or a bad temper, that will sway me the other way,” Williams said. “As a coach, you don’t want to have to spend energy trying to modify negative behaviors.”
As for the latest crop of future Aggies, Williams said he’s already got his eyes on a number of current JTNC members.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some commitments in the fall,” he said.