The inaugural Junior Presidents Cup, hosted by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and the PGA TOUR, was named the AJGA’s 2017 Invitational of the Year and earned the AJGA’s annual Social Media Award.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best ACDS Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, it is an honor to have the 2017 Junior Presidents Cup named the AJGA’s Invitational of the Year and Social Media Award winner,” said Andy Levinson, SVP, Tournament Administration, PGA TOUR. “The skill and enthusiasm demonstrated by the 24 players, the dedication of the Captains and Honorary Captains, and the support from the members and staff at Plainfield Country Club culminated in an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
“We’re very proud of our partnership with the AJGA and look forward to building toward another successful Junior Presidents Cup at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in 2019.”
The Junior Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European juniors a unique playing opportunity to compete in an international team match play competition and showcase the global reach of junior golf. The historic event was held at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, a past host of THE NORTHERN TRUST, a FedExCup Playoffs event.
The U.S. Team and the International Team were led by PGA TOUR professionals and past Presidents Cup participants David Toms and Trevor Immelman, respectively. Honorary Captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player attended the singles matches and Closing Ceremonies where they awarded their teams with medals.
“When you get chosen to represent your country and play against the world’s top juniors, you really identify the weaknesses as well as the strengths in your game,” said Australia’s Fred Lee, who qualified for the International Team. “For me it was a real eye opener and encouraging knowing that I had some game against the top juniors in the world.”
The U.S. Team defeated the International Team 14-10 in four-ball, foursomes and singles matches.
The AJGA and PGA TOUR aimed to provide an unforgettable experience for the juniors which included team uniforms, a gift set, caddies, captains, assistant captains and national media coverage from Golf Channel with assistance from PGA TOUR Entertainment.
After the conclusion of the tournament, Junior Presidents Cups players were treated to a VIP Presidents Cup experience. Both teams spent time at the Presidents Cup Fan Experience at The Oculus, made appearances on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive and took a VIP ferry to Liberty National Golf Club. At Liberty National, players took team photos with the Presidents Cup teams, had inside-the-ropes access during the practice round, spent time in the player cabins and had a private lunch with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Players and their families also attended the Presidents Cup Celebration at Ellis Island on the eve of the Presidents Cup.
During the first round of the Presidents Cup, teams had reserved seating on the first tee and were recognized before play began.
“It is a chance for these young kids to rub shoulders with their idols whom they regularly watch on TV competing at majors and the big events,” Immelman said. “Last year, they had a chance to mingle with guys like Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and see how they practice and prepare. It was probably the most excited I saw them all week.”
With the help of PGA TOUR, Presidents Cup and AJGA social media accounts, the Junior Presidents Cup reached 21 million people on Twitter, made more than 725,000 impressions on Instagram and reached more than 250,000 people on Facebook. Dedicated Snapchat filters received more than 61,000 views.
The 2019 Junior Presidents Cup will take place on Sunday, December 8 and Monday, December 9, 2019 at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. The Junior Presidents Cup will precede the 2019 Presidents Cup, which will be contested at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club for the third time later that week.