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2011 Foon's Forum

This year the influence of the US Challenge Cup is more far reaching than ever.

From the highest level tours such as the PGA (Jim Renner, Keegan Bradley and James Driscoll), Nationwide (Brad Adamonis, Jeff Curl, Justin Peters, Brett Quigley and Patrick Sheehan) and LPGA (Anna Grzebien and Alison Walshe), to tournaments for the very youngest competitors..... including US Kids and Pepsi Little Peoples, Optimist and Callaway Junior World - Challenge Cuppers are everywhere.

At the 2010 Northeast Amateur it was like a Challenge Cup reunion. And of course lets not forget Peter Uihlein winning the Men's US Amateur! It would take forever to list former Challenge Cuppers on the rosters at the college level (there are 226 Challenge Cup alumni playing college golf).

Challenge Cup now conducts events in six states including Maine, New York and Connecticut. Several events are recognized by the AJGA with PBE status.

This will be a huge year of transition in CC tournaments. Although many of these outstanding seniors will be seen at summer events, the emergence of younger players will be profound.

Lets recognize these 2011 players for their many accomplishments: Andy Mai (Player of the Year), Jamison Randall (World Series champion), Andrew Gai (Ryder Cup Champion), John Jakopsic (both Match Play crowns), Matt Montt(FCWT Qualifier), Jonathan Greb (Brown University bound), Jack Whelan (Ouimet champ), Jake Nutter (North South Junior champion), Dan Slavin (USGA Junior qualifier), Noah Walker (MGA Am semi-finalist), Monte Mullen, Brian Tohir, Joe Cooper , Anthony Vecchiarelli, Seamus Fennelly and Juliet Vongphoumy (4-time AJGA champion) - these players have left an indelible impression on New England junior golf.

The class of 2012 has already proved their worth and expect many of these boys to be in the spotlight early and often: Chris Houston, Evan Russell, Nick McLaughlin, Peter French, Patrick O'Leary, Nick Fairweather, Joe Leavitt, Geoff Vartelas(Long Island Champ), and Jason Steele. And out to prove they can win will be standouts such as Conor Murphy, Sal Visali, Josh Moore(CC Invitational Champ), Zack Zaback, Cutis Collopy, Griffin Brown, Tyler Silver, Andrew Wester, Matt Morin, Adam Goldstein and Chris Gentle (PGA Junior Series champion).

The class of 2013 was on the threshold of winning events last summer so look out for Cheslso Barrett (multiple USGA qualifier),  Patrick Oleksak (World Series 14-15 champ), Ben Balter, Danny Guise, David Kraunelis, and Graham Small.

And since they played up in most events we have to include Brian Carlson (Long Island Champ) and Connor Greenleaf (Match Play Champ, Computer Merchant Champ) and John Beadle (Gately Cup & Spinal Tech Match Play Champ) who are 2014's. Athan Goulos, Nick Drago, Jeffrey Lang(Ouimet Champ, CC Invitational), and Matt Marra are poised to grab their own share of the spoils.

In the girls division age seems to make little difference - witness Meghan KangI(twice Doral Publix champion, Match Play and Challenge Cup Champ), Mia Landregen, Cindy Ha (Long Island and Northeast Junior Champ), Nicole Scola(Ouimet Champ), Jenn Whaley, and Kuriko Tsukiyama(World Series Champion). Vinh-Hoa Ngo and Isabel Southard(Computer Merchant Champ), are the veterans in the girls kingdom and will strive to earn their own crowns. Special mention to Maddy Vergura, 2018, (yes 2018) who will be a future force to be reckoned with.

Is the future now? Just ask these boys because their names and accomplishments will fill the pages of Challenge Cup record books for a long time. Jake Shuman(Spinal Tech Match Play Runnerup), Jimmy Walmsley, John Gesualdi, Ben Warner(Spinal Tech Champ), Matt Michaud among the 2014's/Paul Lei(Ouimet Champ, CC Invitational champ), Rasmey Kong, Matt Naumec, and Noah Kowal lead the 2015's and Steven DilIsio(World Series and Match Play Champ), Chandler Morris, Alejandro Soto (Maplegate Champ), Tyler Powers and Jeffrey Arnold in the 2016's have all been in the spotlight before and expect to be there again. And then there are a few of our very youngest future stars including Will Dickson (Challenge Cup Champ), Nick Cummings, Patrick Welch and Ethan Ng - I just hope I am still around when these prodigies headline the Challenge Cup website.

And finally lets mention some players who will serve notice this summer that they are ready to win. In no particular order or age watch out for: Thomas Henderson, Reese McFarlane, Amy Ding, Mark Reilly, Robert DiForio, Jacqueline Eleey, CJ Hunter, Eric Marchetti, McKinley Slade. Keep working hard everyone and you will add your name to the 2012 Foons Forum.