California Captures PGA Jr. League Title

California captured the seventh annual PGA Jr. League Championship Presented by National Car Rental with a 7½ to 4½ victory over Minnesota in the final at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Zander Grant, 13, of Rancho Santa Margarita sank a 5½-foot putt birdie putt on the ninth and final hole to clinch the title for the California team, which is from the San Diego area.

“It felt great,” Grant said. “It was a little scary, because it was straight downhill and sliding to the right. But it felt good, just like the putt I made on hole No. 6 to win the flag.”

California finished with a 6-0 record, having won all five of its matches to take the Ryder Division, while Minnesota, which captured the Wannamaker Division, finished at 5-1.

Captain John Mason and Coach Jackie DeWald-Mason also led the California team from San Diego to the title in 2015 Championship on the Palm Course at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

“We’ve gotten better and better each month, and this is the culmination of it all,” Mason said. “We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. And, what a great team Minnesota was.”

In an early highlight, Cash Dragich of Blaine, Minn., holed a remarkable chip shot from the side of a hill from 80 feet away for an eagle, but Ryan Abuan of Temecula halved the hole by sinking a 30-foot eagle putt.

California took control with a 5-3 lead after six holes, needing only a point and a half to clinch the victory. Three holes later, Darren Ho of San Diego hit a 130-foot approach shot to 5½ feet to set up Grant’s winning putt.

“That was the dagger,” Mason said. “That was what won it right there.”

In the third place match, Team Texas (from the Montgomery area) edged Team Louisiana (Shreveport) 8½ to 3½ .

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