An “All-Atar” team comprised of junior golfers ages 13 or under from local courses captured the Michigan Regional Championship by beating finalist teams from Kalamazoo, Detroit and Traverse City at Washtenaw Polo Fields on Saturday.
PGA Golf Professionals Brian Stange (Ann Arbor Golf & Outing-AAGO) and Tim Strickland (Stonebridge Golf Club) co-coached a 13 & under (13U) team that finished undefeated (7-0) in their regular season matches. The pros then selected and led an All-Star team comprised of 10 top players from their team as well as top junior players from local courses within the district.
The All-Star team then continued an undefeated streak with a 3-0 run in post-season championships to capture the regional title and represent Washtenaw County in the state tournament.
The PGA Junior Golfers include Drew Ausman (Travis Pointe CC); Jake Jackson (Lakelands CC); Gavin Lauer (AAGO); Lance Maugh (Barton Hills GC); Luke Richards (Polo Fields); Hank Roebuck (Barton Hills CC); Eric Shen (AAGO); Ethan Stange (AAGO); Mitchell Strickland (Stonebridge); and Adam Thanaporn (Radrick Farms).
Thanaporn even hit a hole-in-one during the final match to spur the team to victory.
“In a short amount of time this summer, and with dedication and practice, these players went from competitors to teammates,” Strickland said.
The local team will represent Michigan in the Mideast Regional Tournament in Carmel, Ind., from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The winning team then advances to the PGA Jr League Championship in Arizona in the fall.
The summer PGA Jr. League season nationwide began with 2,900 plus teams and 41,000 participants. Michigan had 1,200 players and over 100 teams. The winning AAGO/Stonebridge Team is one of 32 teams left in competition for the national title.