July 19, 2012

Road to Wyndham Cup: History of the Cup

Tournament website

Listen to former captains and players and you get a sense of the true spirit of Wyndham Cup.


“We talk a little trash and have some fun, but at the end of the day, we’re all still friends,” said a former player.


A team captain was once overheard telling his team, “Win, lose or draw, show class all the way. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you play. It’s how you act and that you have fun.”


For 51 weeks of the year, the 40 Wyndham Cup players call each other friends. For this one week, however, they are staunch rivals. During the week, they are vocal about cheering on teammates, encouraging each other when they are down, and celebrating each point scored.


It is an unparalleled team event in junior golf — exactly what the founders had in mind.


“We had discussed the possibility of such a tournament for a couple of years,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “We knew what we wanted — a unique format allowing juniors to compete in a Ryder Cup-style event, girls and boys equally represented.”


Another piece to the puzzle was location. For a special event such as this, a special location was vital. In its inaugural year, the event took place at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. Since then, the Wyndham Cup has criss-crossed the Mississippi River to places such as Caves Valley Golf Club, Prairie Dunes Country Club, The Honors Course, Forest Highlands Golf Club and, of course, will head to Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge.


When the first Wyndham Cup was announced, the best players in the country caught the vision. Tiger Woods and Emilee Klein were the top players from the West and Stewart Cink and Vicki Goetze-Ackerman were the best of the East. A rivalry was born.


Where else are you going to see Kyle Stanley and Taylore Karle (West) vs. Peter Uihlein and Vicky Hurst (East) in mixed four-ball? Or how about Paula Creamer and Amanda Blumentherst going up against Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel? The list of past participants goes on and on, and the Wyndham Cup has proven to be an important foundation for many amateur, college and professional careers.


Now in its 23rd year, the rivalry has grown and a berth in Wyndham Cup remains one of junior golf’s most coveted invitations.

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