An All-Star Weekend
by Hayden Lewis, PGA / Sunday, August 8, 2021
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (August 8, 2021) – The 2021 Alabama–NW Florida PGA Junior League Section Championship Presented by National Car Rental took place this weekend at Valley Hill Country Club in Huntsville. Due to COVID-19, the Championship Season had to be put on hold in 2020 canceling all Section Championships throughout the country. The ten eight-player All-Star teams onsite at Valley Hill this weekend were eager to find that competitive edge once again.
The weekend got started with a team qualifier where each team had four two-player scrambles to help identify the top four seeded teams and enter the Section Championship Match Play. With only the top three scores counted toward the team aggregate total, tensions ran high as the morning carried on. The All-Stars from the Steven DeBoer Golf Academy posted a five-over-par 113 early on followed by the All-Stars from Birmingham 4 who posted a four-under-par 104. The All-Stars from Dothan were able to match the Birmingham 1 All-Stars with another four-under-par team score. Finally, the last two All-Star teams from Willow Point Golf & Country Club and the HMS Hurricanes both tied with a five-under-par 103. In this case, the fourth team score was used to break the tie. It came down to the last two groups of the morning. The HMS Hurricanes came in with a two-over-par 38 while the Willow Point Golf & Country Club team shot a seven-over-par 43. The HMS Hurricanes would snag the last qualifying spot to make it to the final four and the Section Championship. Huntsville would take the one-seed with a team score of 91, Birmingham 1 with the two-seed, Birmingham 2 with the three-seed and the HMS Hurricanes with the four-seed.
Saturday afternoon sessions began with the semi-final featuring matches between both teams from Birmingham and the HMS Hurricanes taking on the All-Stars from Huntsville. Birmingham 1 got off to a hot start taking all three flags in the first match. Then Fletcher Finch and Ford Birchall of Birmingham 2 were able to narrow the gap with a 2 ½ to ½ victory over Cooper Johnson and Chase Simpson. Birmingham 2 was able to take the lead with the help of Mac Johnsey and Colten Sutton with a 2 to 1 win in the third match. The lead would be short-lived as John David White and Tyler Prickett were able to solidify the victory for Birmingham 1 winning two flags against Caleb Taylor and Michael Collins. Meanwhile, in the duel against the All-Stars from HMS Hurricanes and Huntsville, the team from Huntsville started strong and would not look back. They captured an incredible 11 ½ points against the HMS Hurricanes and cruised their way to the Finals.
Sunday morning brought an abundance of sunshine and another exciting day to crown the Section Champion. The All-Stars from Huntsville were looking for their third straight trip to the Regional PGA Jr. League Qualifier while the team from Birmingham carried a ton of momentum from the Saturday matches. The Huntsville team again got off to a dream start capturing all three flags in the first match. Throughout the morning, the team from Huntsville took advantage of more scoring opportunities and were able to carve out another incredible victory winning eleven of the twelve flags against Birmingham. “It’s a sweet celebration,” says Captain Jay McLelland, PGA. “The past year has been tough, and we weren’t sure if we were going to participate in the Championship Season in 2021. These kids played their hearts out and I could not be prouder.” The team from Huntsville played for more than points and flags this time around as local PGA Professional at Canebrake Club, Mickey Wolfe’s wife Stacy Wolfe was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2019. Their son, Nolen participated on the All-Star team from Huntsville in 2019 and 2018. “This win was for Stacy. The parents know it and our kids know it – it’s truly special,” adds Jay. Valley Hill Country Club, Canebrake Club and the surrounding Huntsville and Athens community have used the tag #StacyStrong to show support for the Wolfe family. The Huntsville All-Stars will make the trip down to Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort on September 10-12 to compete against the All-Stars from the Georgia, North Florida and South Florida PGA Sections in the PGA Jr. League Regional Qualifier. The Regional Qualifier will continue to the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League National Championship on October 7-10, 2021, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Finally, The 17U team from RTJ Highland Oaks led by PGA Professional, TJ King will also join the Huntsville All-Stars in Sandestin.
The Alabama–NW Florida PGA would like to thank Jay McLelland, Noah Miller, and the rest of the Valley Hill Country Club staff for hosting its All-Star teams. Additional praise to National Car Rental for their support of the 2021 PGA Jr. League Championship Season.
Media Contact: Hayden Lewis, PGA / firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT PGA JR. LEAGUE
PGA Jr. League is a game-changing opportunity for boys and girls to learn and play golf. The program brings family and friends together around fun, team golf experiences with expert coaching from PGA and LPGA Professionals.
ABOUT NATIONAL CAR RENTAL
National Car Rental is a premium brand serving the daily rental needs of the frequent airport traveler throughout North America. With National, time-sensitive customers in the United States are able to quickly choose their own vehicles, based upon their advance reservation and requested car class, and then simply drive away from the airport.
ABOUT THE ALABAMA–NW FLORIDA PGA
The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. Our Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.