Team USA Looks to Defend Their Back-to-Back Toyota Junior Golf World Cup Titles
Team USA sets out to Japan in hopes of claiming their third straight sweep at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams are looking to defend each of their back-to-back wins. Boys head coach Dave Jennings has only one ambition in mind while overseas: “With the talent that our Team USA is taking to Japan, we have only one goal in the tournament and that is to finish on top.”
Jacob Bridgeman, Reid Davenport, Ryan Burnett, and Michael Sanders are this year’s Team USA boys’ members. All four are ranked inside of the top 35 in the US according to Junior Golf Scoreboard and also played in the coveted Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club.
Bridgeman had a fantastic spring season, capping it off with his third South Carolina High School 3A Championship. This will be the future Clemson Tiger’s second international appearance (2017 Junior President’s Cup). A Vanderbilt signee, Davenport is the fourth ranked men’s junior player in the nation and has had a phenomenal spring, racking up medals in route to leading his team to the Texas High School 6A Championship title. Fifteenth ranked Burnett leads the way for the incoming North Carolina Tar Heel class of 2022. He was named an AJGA Rolex Second Team All-American in 2017. Sanders, a Louisiana State signee, has had an eventful junior career with multiple AJGA wins as well as being named an AJGA Rolex Junior Second-Team All-American and USA Today First-Team All-American in 2017. Sanders is the 24th ranked men’s junior golfer in the nation.
Gina Kim, Hailee Cooper and Sadie Englemann are the three USA representatives for the ladies. Coach Natasha Vincent believes her squad can handle the pressure of a three-peat. “I expect to see some great golf. I also know each one of these players is capable of taking home a win every time they step on the course.”
Kim is a Duke signee and will join the Blue Devils this upcoming fall. She is currently ranked fourth in the nation. Kim comes off competing in the U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek where she shot 7-over and missed the cut only by two strokes. Cooper also played in the U.S. Women’s Open. The future Texas Longhorn finished T-55 and made the cut with an opening even-par 72 and a Friday 76. She went on to finish the weekend with a 77 and 74 for a total of 11-over for the tournament. Englemann, a future Stanford Cardinal, and two-time AJGA Rolex Junior All-American sits ninth nationally. Englemann also helped win the 6A Texas State Golf Team Championship just as classmate and Team USA teammate Reid Davenport did for the Austin Westlake boys team.
The event will be held at The Chukyo Golf Club's Ishino Course in Toshitomo-cho Fukada, Toyota-shi, Japan June 10-15.
• All rankings provided by Junior Golf Scoreboard