October 30, 2017
Challenge Cup Returns to Poppy Hills Jan.3-4
Who’s going to take the lead in the Cup series?
We’ll find out on Jan. 3-4, when the third annual Challenge Cup returns to Poppy Hills GC in Pebble Beach.
Featuring 12 members (eight boys, four girls) of the CIG-sponsored Junior Tour of Northern California taking on 12 players from the Southern California Junior Tour in a Ryder Cup-like format, last year the North evened the series at 1-1 with a 15-9 victory.
There’s much more to the Cup than just the rivalry, however. At last year’s Cup, the players raved about the event for a number of reasons including the camaraderie and format, which gives them a rare opportunity to compete not only as a team but also in match play.
The Cup has also become a scouting hot spot for coaches from collegiate programs such as UCLA, University of Oregon, Cal, Stanford and New Mexico State.
“We hope that through continued growth, the Cup becomes one of the premier junior team events on the West Coast,” said JTNC director Aaron Hartesveldt.
So far, it certainly appears headed that way.
Play on Wednesday, Jan.3 will consist of nine holes of Foursomes and nine holes of Four-Ball. Thursday’s (Jan. 4) action will feature the Singles matches.
The four girls who’ll tee it up for the JTNC are:
Sabrina Iqbal—A record four-time Girls’ Player of the Year, Iqbal already has four wins this season and six Top 5’s. The San Jose resident is the all-time leader in JTNC wins with 25.
Mika Jin—Jin, who hails from Fremont, has one win plus four Top 5’s and 7 Top 10’s this season.
Kiran Sangha—The San Mateo resident has one win plus four Top 5’s and six Top 10’s this season.
Yealimi Noh—Noh, of Concord has two wins in her two starts this season, the victories coming at the Fall Series IV and VIII Championships. She is also the defending NCGA/CIF NorCal champion.
The eight JTNC boys will be:
Ethan Chung—Chung, of Cupertino, has two wins and five Top 5’s this season, including a runner-up at the Fall Series I Championship.
Sebastian Iqbal—The San Jose resident has five Top 5’s and six Top 10’s this season, including a pair of runner-ups.
Carlos Arieta-Winsett—From Los Altos, Arieta-Winsett has a win to go with four Top 5’s and six Top 10’s.
Caleb Shetler—Shetler, of Saratoga, has a win to go with four Top 5’s and six Top 10’s this season.
Justin Gums—The Lodi resident has a win and a runner-up at the Fall Series VII Championship.
Sam Somerhauser—The Rocklin resident has a win to go with two Top 10’s.
Brian Stark—Stark, of Kingsburg, has one win this season. He also finished T-14 at the Junior PGA Championship.
George McNeely—The Carmel resident was runner-up at the Fall Series VII and reached the Round of 32 at the 2017 NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship.