AJGA/American Junior Golf Association:The Carolina Cup

Van Paris to host the Carolina Cup

The Pinehurst, North Carolina, native is set to host the 8th edition of the Carolina Cup October 12 – 13, 2018.

BRASELTON, Ga. – American Junior Golf Association member Jackson Van Paris and Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, have partnered to continue the Carolina Cup, benefiting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

The Carolina Cup, part of the AJGA’s State Cup Series, was the founding event of the series. In 2010, 12 juniors teamed up and raised $12,000 for charity. Patrick Cover and Thomas Walsh, both North Carolina natives, founded the initial event. Though its leadership, title (originally the Dormie Cup) and venue have changed, this event provides a blueprint for future Leadership Links and ACE Grant fundraising opportunities.

The Ryder Cup-style tournament held at Pinehurst Resort on Pinehurt #2, #9 and the Cradle Course, will feature 28 participants from around the state of North Carolina. Participants will be divided into two teams in a head-to-head competition with each junior responsible for raising at least $1,000. The State Cup Series, a series of junior-led fundraising tournaments, is a branch of the AJGA’s Leadership Links program, which helps develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the ACE Grant.

The event has raised money for the Wounded Warrior Project, Curesearch for Children’s Cancer, The First Tee of Sandhills and Tri Counties and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The event also raises money for the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, which provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. Since 2010, the event has raised $348,718.

“Pinehurst is excited to host the Carolina Cup, and we look forward to watching some of the best junior golfers in the Carolinas compete at such a high level,” says Pinehurst Resort’s President, Tom Pashley. “Pinehurst has been a home for the best in amateur golf for over a century. We’re proud to work with an event that benefits so many worthy causes and emphasizes character growth for the participants.”

Van Paris, a Rolex Junior All-American, has participated in Leadership Links since 2015. In his past four years of participating in the program he has raised more than $14,500. Van Paris is No. 33 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and won the 2017 AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee.

“I am very excited to host the Carolina Cup again this year at Pinehurst, said Van Paris. “I can’t wait to play in this event alongside 27 of the best junior golfers in North Carolina. This is an event that shows a different side to a sport we all love, and allows us to gain a better perspective through helping others.”

The event will take place October 13-14, 2018. To support Van Paris’s efforts, visit ajga.org/ll. For more information, please contact Liz Powell (lpowell@ajga.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 425-1792, or visit ajga.org.

About the American Junior Golf Association

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, the American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, and the Internship Program, which provides career development for future golf professionals, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support and is the Official Ball of the AJGA. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2017, adidas joined the AJGA as a Premier Partner, serving as the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.

AJGA Preview at Carolina Trace
Carolina Trace Country Club – Lake Course
Sanford, N.C. • April 20 – 22, 2018

*****Quick Facts*****
Carolina Trace has two 18-hole courses, the Lake Course and the Creek Course.
The Lake Course was the site of the U.S. Women’s Open Sectional Qualifier for six consecutive years (2009-2014).
The field will be 78 players, with 36 holes of stroke-play.
29 players will be representing the state of North Carolina.
This is third year that Carolina Trace has hosted an AJGA event.

*****Tournament Storylines*****
Past champion finding success
Sarut Vongchaisit of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, who won the 2017 AJGA Preview at Carolina Trace, would go on to finish T3 at the Davis Love III Junior Open later that year. The 18-year-old transfer student from Thailand helped Frederica Academy capture its 10th-straight golf state championship during the 2017 season, his junior year. Vongchaisit carded a 2-under-par 70 to finish as the tournament’s low medalist. The senior is currently T136 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Class of 2020 well represented
The field is composed of 34 players who are members of the class of 2020, including Lauren Martin of Mooresville, North Carolina, who was named the 2017 Record and Landmarks ALL-County Girls Golfer of the Year.

*****Signature holes*****
The Lake Course at Carolina Trace has two “signature holes” — the par-3 eighth hole and the par-5 18th hole — that were renovated by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 2015, and also were featured in both the Sanford Herald and Golf Course Architect Magazine. The eighth hole features an elevation drop of up to 70 feet, measures up to 210 yards from the back tee, and is guarded by water at the front and left of the green. The 18th hole measures as much as 550 yards from the back tee, provides an elevation drop, carries over water and has strategically placed bunkers throughout.

*****Junior Golf Hub Preview Series*****
This series is designed specifically for juniors who have not yet played/been accepted to an AJGA tournament. This tournament is one of 15 Junior Golf Hub Preview Series events held during the spring that offer these new and returning members the opportunity to start building Performance Based Entry status before application deadlines arrive for summer Open and ACDS Junior All-Star Series events. Some notable Preview Series alumni include the PGA TOUR’s Xander Schauffele and the LPGA’s Alison Lee.

*****AJGA 40th Anniversary*****
The AJGA opened its 40th year running junior golf tournaments in 2018. From Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods to Lexi Thompson and Paula Creamer, the AJGA has continued to provide opportunities to talented junior golfers into its fourth decade. Over the years, the AJGA has grown from a fledgling operation into a respected entity in the golf industry. Key achievements have included establishing the ACE Grant, which provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. Other important programs which continue to this day: an industry-leading pace of play system, an unmatched tournament experience, sponsorship to keep costs low and value high for members, Junior-Am fundraising to give back to grassroots junior golf and fund tournament opportunities, a strict Code of Conduct policy, and a thank-you note writing program.

*****College bound: One player has committed to play golf at the college level.*****
Girls Division Grad Signed Commitment Verbal Commitment
Grace Huffman 2018 Longwood University

*****Local flavor: 29 players from North Carolina will compete.*****
Boys Division (Citizenship) Hometown Grad
Daniel Adkins Holly Springs 2021
Ayush Bodhale Huntersville 2021
Adam Budd Winston-Salem 2021
Alex Bullis Graham 2019
Chase Clayton Locust 2019
Alexander Conway Raleigh 2019
Sam Davidson Asheboro 2020
Luke Edwards Chapel Hill 2020
Davis Fisher Greenville 2019
Clayson Good Durham 2020
Chase Hicks Wake Forest 2020
Jack Hilton Charlotte 2021
Minor Hinson III Charlotte 2021
*****Nicholas Janetta Greensboro 2020*****
Kameron Jones Mebane 2019
Alan Ma Charlotte 2021
Matthew Messenger Raleigh 2021
Ben Morehead Charlotte 2020
Todd Moyer Cornelius 2021
Sam Nester Mount Airy 2019
Jake Newman Charlotte 2020
Josh Newman Charlotte 2020
Garrett Risner Holly Springs 2020
Karsten Shields Monroe 2020
Parker Shimp Charlotte 2021
Matthew Song Waxhaw 2019
Nicholas Song Waxhaw 2020
Dalton Staley Liberty 2019

Girls Division (Citizenship) Hometown Grad
Lauren Martin Mooresville 2020

*****Schedule of Events*****
Friday, April 20
1:30 p.m. shotgun Practice Round

Saturday, April 21
7:30 – 9:30 a.m. First Round off Nos. 1 and 10 tees

Sunday, April 22
7:30 – 9:30 a.m. Final Round off Nos. 1 and 10 tees
2 p.m. Awards Ceremony

*****Top Players to Watch*****
Matthew Song, Waxhaw, N.C. (2019)
Song competed on the National Junior Golf Tour, placing first in four events in 2017. Song also had two top-3 finishes that contributed to his success on the tour.

Taylor Hubbard, Aylett, Va. (2020)
As a sophomore, Hubbard won the 2A Regional Golf Championship in the state of Virginia with a score of 1-under-par 70. Hubbard went on to qualify for the 2017 state tournament.

Justin McCoy, Savoy, Ill. (2020)
McCoy led his high school team to a Class 2A sectional title and finished as a medalist with a score of 67. He was named The News-Gazette’s Boys’ Golfer of the Year in 2017.

Eli Maxwell, Memphis, Tenn. (2020)
Maxwell finished runner-up in the Tennessee DI-AA State Tournament shooting a two-day total of 2-under-par 69-73. Maxwell’s most recent success was placing first in the SJGT Dancing Rabbitt Junior Classic with a two-day total of 79-82–161.

Lauren Martin, Mooresville, N.C. (2020)
Martin was the 2017 Record and Landmarks ALL-County Girls Golfer of the Year and the IMeck Conference player of the year. Martin won her conference tournament with a 73, and the Iredell County Championship with a 71. Currently, Martin is ranked 42 in the state of North Carolina.

Grace Huffman, Lexington, Va. (2018)
The Longwood University verbal commit won the 2017 3A Region C Championship with a 4-over-par 75, leading her high school team to a runner-up finish.