Two junior golfers to play in Nationals
Two Indian-American junior golfers, Parth Kumar (12 years old) from Suwanee, and Sahish Reddy (11) from Duluth are part of a team that will play golf in the PGA Jr. League Championship in Arizona in October.
To get to Nationals, the young golfers first played the Spring/Summer Season, April through July, at TPC Sugarloaf golf club in Duluth. Teams are generally co-ed, with expert coaching from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Kids wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with friends, competing in a two-person scramble format that builds confidence and encourages sportsmanship. While the focus of PGA Jr. League is primarily on the recreational nature of its spring, summer, and fall seasons, the PGA Jr. League Postseason presented by National Car Rental presents competitive golfers a fun and aspirational finish to regular season play, and rewards players who have given their best effort and improved during the regular season. National Car Rental is the Official Partner of PGA Jr. League, and is committed to growing future business leaders by growing junior golf.
TPC Sugarloaf hosted its own league, and their 10-person team, the TPC Sugarloaf All-Stars, ages 13 and under, captured the Georgia PGA Jr. League Section Championship at Legacy at Lanier Golf Course in Buford, Georgia, on August 11, 2019. They then competed against three All-Star teams from Huntsville, Alabama, Orlando, Florida, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in the Regional presented September 7-8, 2019 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, one of the 12 Regionals in the US. Then, as winners there, they have advanced to the 2019 PGA Jr. League Championship, to be held October 11-14, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona—where the championship has been held since 2016 and will stay through 2022—and will represent their state as Team Georgia.
(Left) Sahish Reddy.
The TPC Sugarloaf All-Stars team has competed in the Regional competition the last two years, advancing to compete in both the 2017 and 2018 Nationals, and winning the championship title in 2017. This will be the team’s third trip to Nationals. Sahish participated in 2018 PGA Jr. League National Championship; this is Parth’s first go at Nationals.
Update 10/12/19: some advice from a player:
Georgia’s Sahish Reddy, 12, was clear on how his team keeps his eye on the prize. “Focus on each hole at a time. Play with confidence, and have a good time.”
Update 10/15/19: Team Georgia won the Nationals!
2019 Championship Final Standings:
National Champion: Team Georgia (Duluth/Atlanta)
Wanamaker Division Standings – Final Session
Team Georgia (Duluth/Atlanta): 5-1-0, 43 Points###
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 14, 2019) – Team Georgia’s journey through the 8th PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental can be summed up in four words—rally in the valley.
The now two-time National Champions Team Georgia (Duluth/Atlanta, 2017, '19) came back from a stunning Divisional loss to then winless Team New York to defeat undefeated Team California to first capture the Wanamaker Division title; and then the National Championship over Team Texas (Houston/Montgomery) 7-5.
Georgia’s Brody McQueen, 11, clinched the Championship with an unthinkable 25-foot eagle putt on par-4, 325-yard Hole No. 8. Paired with teammate Sahish Reddy, 12, McQueen drove the green, setting up a putt he will remember forever.
“After the drive, I was so pumped,” said McQueen. “Sahish’s putt didn’t go in. I needed a little bit of extra line, and it was the perfect speed. That was one of the best putts I made in my life. The atmosphere was so crazy.”
It was Team Georgia Captain Patrick McCrary, PGA, who came over the radio to tell his Coach Greg Powers that all they needed was a half-point to claim the title.
“Little did I know, that Brody McQueen would slam dunk his drive and knock his 25-foot eagle putt right in the middle of the hole,” said Powers.
It was glory, glory to ole Georgia.
Georgia and Texas were neck-and-neck at the start of the day, finishing up their first flag (Hole Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the 9-hole game) with Texas holding the cards in a one point lead. This was thanks in part to a monster 40-foot putt by Marek Fleming, 12, that took a hard bounce on the back of the cup and miraculously dropped in.
However, Georgia began breaking away in the second flag, taking the team up 5-3, as McQueen outdrove his Texas counterparts Austin Hofferkamp and Fleming by 100-yards, followed by a seven-foot birdie to set Georgia’s wheels in motion.
“They put it out there,” said Team Texas Captain Ben Willman, PGA. “They didn’t leave anything behind. We made a couple of mistakes, but I am proud of how hard the kids played. They just came up short. We have finished the last three years in 4th, 3rd and 2nd place… Maybe next year is our year.”
Billy Abdow, the only returning player from the 2017 National Champion Team Georgia, is the Player Captain of his team. And he has some simple advice for his teammates as he ages out of contention for the next postseason.
“I’m going to tell them to go out and do it again,” declared Abdow.
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