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Young golfers like Renzi Lee, Daniel Summerhays and Kenny Coakley will be following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples when they compete in the 29th annual Junior Boys America’s Cup tournament this week at Yellowstone Country Club in Billings.

That’s saying a lot, but Montana team captain Woody Hahn of Billings also would like to get a word in.

“I think what the people need to realize is that even those these kids are (ages) 17-and-under, they’re tremendous players,” said Hahn. “The last time we hosted this in 1987, the winning team (Northern California) averaged par for three players over three days. That’s as good of play as we get when we have a State Amateur. They really are the cream of the crop.”

 
  Renzi Lee will be making his third appearance in the Junior Boys America's Cup this week.

Seventeen four-member squads, representing the western United States, Hawaii, Mexico and Canada, will be taking part in three days of team competition beginning Tuesday. A practice round is planned for today on the challenging, 6,690-yard YCC layout.

Opening ceremonies are set for 5 p.m.

A pair of third appearancesLee, of Billings, and Summerhays, who is from Farmington, Utah, will be making their third straight appearances at the Junior America’s Cup, which is for players ages 14-17. Summerhays, 17, is the two-time reigning Utah State Amateur champion and his uncle is PGA Senior Tour player Bruce Summerhays.

The 17-year-old Coakley, from Lakewood, Colo., is a Billings native returning home to a YCC course he knows well. Coakley, who topped the points chart in the Colorado Junior Golf Association this season, went through elementary school in Billings before moving to Colorado in 1996.

“I’d say that’s a real feather in his cap,” Hahn said of Coakley’s berth in the Junior America’s Cup. “To have gone through a Colorado program and be one of the top four players in the state and return to Yellowstone where he has got a lot of background, I feel that’s very unique. They’re a great golfing family, the Coakleys.”

Galleries are welcome for the three days of play. No admission will be charged, but carts aren’t allowed. Tee times on Tuesday begin at 7:30 a.m.

Montana’s team, determined in June by the results at the state juniors tournament in Great Falls, includes Adam Hober of Missoula, Lee, Randy Southern of Glasgow and Casey Keyser of Kalispell. They finished as the top four players at state.

While Montana has fielded a team since 1976, Wyoming will be represented for the first time. The team from the Cowboy State will include Chris Manning of Cody, Andy Kaman of Lusk, Nicholas Larson of Riverton and Adam Mrak of Pinedale.

Jim Scott, general manager of The Powder Horn Ranch & Golf Club in Sheridan, is Wyoming’s team captain.

The format for the 54-hole event is stroke play. Each round, the low three scores are counted, and a team total is determined. California teams have topped the competition 20 times since 1973.

“I think it would be tough to pick a favorite (this year), but we know from past history the three California teams will be excellent,” said Hahn. “Utah, with the Summerhays boy as good as he is, will have a fine chance. Washington has good players and so does Oregon. It’s wide open.”

Montana’s best-ever finish is eighth at Ogden, Utah, in 1988.

The 63-year-old Hahn, who will be stepping down as captain this year after directing his 18th Junior America’s Cup team, likes his current Montana squad. “I do,” he said. “I think all four of them are fine players. All of them are capable of shooting a low number.”

Hober, the state juniors champion, is among the players just back from the U.S. Junior Amateur in San Antonio, Texas. Summerhays also competed at the national event, along with Utah teammate Barry Schenk, Wyoming’s Manning, Hawaii’s Jarett Hamamoto and Northern California’s David Kim.

Junior America’s Cup play is rotated annually between golf clubs in the western U.S., along with Hawaii, Mexico and Canada. The international event began with matches between Mexico, Southern California and British Columbia in 1971 and has expanded its territory over the years.

Players qualify through state tournaments or point systems.

“I’m always just so impressed with how good the young kids are playing and how much it has improved,” said Hahn, who has been involved with America’s Cup play since 1984. “From top to bottom, the field has narrowed. There’s more good players on more of the teams.”

29th annual Junior America’s Cup team rosters

Montana – Adam Hober, Missoula; Renzi Lee, Billings; Randy Southern, Glasgow; Casey Keyser, Kalispell.

Wyoming – Andy Kaman, Lusk; Nicholas Larson, Riverton; Chris Manning, Cody; Adam Mrak, Pinedale.

Idaho – Jason Bideganeta, Homedale; Brett Kleinkopf, Twin Falls; Matt Williams, Idaho Falls; Cody Wolfenbarger, Boise.

Colorado – Luke Antonelli, Silt; Kenny Coakley, Lakewood; Bennie Espinozo, Thornton; Jordan Williams, Aurora.

Utah – Stephen Newren, Salt Lake City; Barry Schenk, Layton; Daniel Summerhays, Farmington; Jordan Fowles, Delta.

Washington – Lucas Johnson, Federal Way; Charles Koh, Bellevue; Sean Packer, Sumner; Alex Prugh, Spokane.

Oregon – Ted Whitney, Eugene; Matt Fladwood, Redmond; Vincent Johnson, Portland; Kevin Beavers, Battleground, Wash.

Arizona – Jeff Berkshire, Litchfield Park; Sean Crebbs, Tucson; Michael Ferris, Glendale; Jake Grodzinsky, Cornville.

Hawaii – Brett Furutani, Hilo; Jarett Hamamoto, Hilo; Casey Watabu, Kapaa; Gabriel Wilson, Hilo.

Mexico – Yoshio Yamamoto, Hector Diaz Ceballos, Juan Ramon Barrul, William Filsinger.

Northern Nevada/Southern Nevada – Matt Edwards, Henderson; Ryan Godman, Graeagle, Calif.; Dustin Hall, Sparks; Drew Scott, Henderson.

Northern California – Ben Choe, Mountain View; Dusty Diedrich, Fresno; David Kim, Daly City; Reid Scarff, Orville.

San Diego – James Fahsett, San Diego; Chris Freeman, San Diego; Estanislao Guerrero, San Diego; Andy Park, San Diego.

Southern California – Mike Rim, Lakewood; Nicholas Wilkins, Loma Linda; Brandon Christianson, Valencia; Kyle Shelly, San Diego.

Sun Country (El Paso, Texas and New Mexico) – Kyle Bornowski, Albuquerque; Danny Bowen, Albuquerque; Nicholas Quintela, El Paso; Moises Valdez, El Paso.

British Columbia – Mitch Gillis, Williams Lake; James Lepp, Abbotsford; Greg Machtaler, Summerland; Dustin Pewarchuk, Victoria.

Alberta – Ryan Lecuyer, Edmonton; Ryan Swelin, Calgary; Dale Vallely, Lethbridge; Ryan Yip, Calgary.

Tuesday’s tee times at Yellowstone Country Club

(Off No. 1 tee)

7:30 a.m. – Jordan Fowles, Utah; Adam Hober, Montana; Charles Koh, Washington; Mitch Gillis, British Columbia.

7:40 – Casey Keyser, Montana; Lucas Johnson, Washington; James Lepp, British Columbia; Stephen Newren, Utah.

7:50 – Sean Packer, Washington; Greg Machtaler, British Columbia; Barry Schenk, Utah; Renzi Lee, Montana.

8 a.m. – Dustin Pewarchuk, British Columbia; Daniel Summerhays, Utah; Randy Southern, Montana; Alex Prugh, Washington.

8:10 – Luke Antonelli, Colorado; Matt Edwards, Nevada; Brandon Christianson, Southern California; Ted Whitney, Oregon.

8:20 – Ryan Godman, Nevada; Mike Rim, Southern California; Matt Fladwood, Oregon; Kenny Coakley, Colorado.

8:30 – Kyle Shelly, Southern California; Vincent Johnson, Oregon; Bennie Espinoza, Colorado; Dustin Hall, Nevada.

8:40 – Kevin Beavers, Oregon; Jordan Williams, Colorado; Drew Scott, Nevada; Nicholas Wilkins, Southern California.

8:50 – Jeff Berkshire, Arizona; Juan Ramon Barrul, Mexico; Jason Bideganeta, Idaho; Ryan Lecuyer, Alberta.

9 a.m. – Hector Diaz Ceballos, Mexico; Brett Kleinkopf, Idaho; Ryan Swelin, Alberta; Sean Crebbs, Arizona.

9:10 – Matt Williams, Idaho; Dale Vallely, Alberta; Michael Ferris, Arizona; William Filsinger, Mexico.

9:20 – Ryan Yip, Alberta; Jake Grodzinsky, Arizona; Yoshio Yamamoto, Mexico; Cody Wolfenbarger, Idaho.

9:30 a.m. – Brett Furutani, Hawaii; James Fahselt, San Diego; Andy Kaman, Wyoming; Ben Choe, Northern California.

9:40 – Chris Freeman, San Diego; Nicholas Larson, Wyoming; Dusty Diedrich, Northern California; Kyle Bornowski, Sun Country.

9:50 – Chris Manning, Wyoming; David Kim, Northern California; Danny Bowen, Sun Country; Jarett Hamamato, Hawaii.

10 a.m. – Reid Scarff, Northern California; Nicholas Quintela, Sun Country; Casey Watabu, Hawaii; Estanislao Guerrero, San Diego.

10:10 – Moises Valdez, Sun Country; Gabriel Wilson, Hawaii; Andy Park, San Diego; Adam Mrak, Wyoming.

Wednesday’s tee times

(Off No. 1 tee)

7:30 a.m. – Adam Hober, Montana; Matt Edwards, Nevada; Juan Ramon Barrul, Mexico; James Fahselt, San Diego.

7:40 – Ryan Godman, Nevada; Hector Diaz Cellabos, Mexico; Chris Freeman, San Diego; Casey Keyser, Montana.

7:50 – William Filsinger, Mexico; Estanislao Guerrero, San Diego; Renzi Lee, Montana; Dustin Hall, Nevada.

8 a.m. – Andy Park, San Diego; Randy Southern, Montana; Drew Scott, Nevada; Yoshio Yamamoto, Mexico.

8:10 – Lucas Johnson, Washington; Brandon Christianson, Southern Cal; Jason Bideganeta, Idaho; Andy Kaman, Wyoming.

8:20 – Mike Rim, Southern California; Brett Kleinkopf, Idaho; Nicholas Larson, Wyoming; Charles Koh, Washington.

8:30 a.m. – Matt Williams, Idaho; Chris Manning, Wyoming; Sean Packer, Washington; Kyle Shelly, Southern California.

8:40 – Adam Mrak, Wyoming; Alex Prugh, Washington; Nicholas Wilkins, Southern California; Cody Wolfenbarger, Idaho.

8:50 – Mitch Gillis, British Columbia; Ted Whitney, Oregon; Ryan Lecuyer, Alberta; Ben Choe, Northern California.

9 a.m. – Matt Fladwood, Oregon; Ryan Swelin, Alberta; Dusty Diedrich, Northern California; James Lepp, British Columbia.

9:10 – Dale Vallely, Alberta; David Kim, Northern California; Greg Machtaler, British Columbia; Vincent Johnson, Oregon.

9:20 – Reid Scarff, Northern California; Dustin Pewarchuk, British Columbia; Kevin Beavers, Oregon; Ryan Yip, Alberta.

9:30 a.m. – Jordan Fowles, Utah; Luke Antonelli, Colorado; Jeff Berkshire, Arizona; Brett Furutani, Hawaii.

9:40 – Kenny Coakley, Colorado; Sean Crebbs, Arizona; Jarett Hamamoto, Hawaii; Danny Bowen, Sun Country.

9:50 – Michael Ferris, Arizona; Casey Watabu, Hawaii; Moises Valdez, Sun Country; Stephen Newren, Utah.

10 a.m. – Gabriel Wilson, Hawaii; Nicholas Quintela, Sun Country; Barry Schenk, Utah; Bennie Espinoza, Colorado.

10:10 – Kyle Bornowski, Sun Country; Daniel Summerhays, Utah; Jordan Williams, Colorado; Jake Grodzinsky, Arizona.

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