The 2014 AAA season was the most successful in recent memory in the Southern California Section, and the outstanding year was capped off by the annual AAA North/South Cup matches against the Northern California PGA Section. The team from Southern California was returning seven players from 2013, along with Captain and Apprentice Chairman Tony Letendre, PGA of Newport Beach Country Club. The captain and team had one goal in mind, and that was to retain the cup on home soil, as The Country Club at Soboba Springs played host to this unique event on December 2-3, 2014. The Northern California team was looking to steal the cup back after three straight losses, but the team from Southern California proved to be too strong from top to bottom as they earned their fourth straight win in the event with a 16-8 victory.
The forecast for the event called for some outstanding golf and rain, as the two teams began the event on the first day with the four ball matches. The Northern California team won the first two matches to take the early lead, but Southern California battled back to win the final four matches to take a 4-2 lead heading into the foursome matches that afternoon. The rain began to fall as the foursome matches began that afternoon, but nothing was getting in the way of the Southern California team this year. The afternoon provided the same results, as the NCPGA team again won the first two matches before losing four straight to the SCPGA team. The team of Andrew Larkin (Occidental College Golf Head Coach) and Dean Tonneslan, PGA (La Jolla CC) played some of the best golf of the day winning both of their matches in convincing fashion. The San Diego duo of Thomas Chu (Stadium Golf Center) and Brian Smock (Coronado Golf Course) also dominated the team matches by winning both the morning and afternoon matches. Unlike 2013, where the teams were all square at six points apiece following day one, 2014 saw the SCPGA team take a commanding 8-4 lead and only four points shy of retaining the cup.
The singles matches on day two began with the two time defending SCPGA AAA Player of the Year Kenny Pigman (Goose Creek GC) lead the team out with an impressive 2up victory that saw him earn a crucial point after going winless the previous day. Needing only three points after Pigman’s victory, some back and forth action in the rest of the singles matches made for exciting golf all day. On the heels of their stellar play the first day, Thomas Chu, Blair Harkins, PGA, Andrew Larkin and Dean Tonneslan, PGA all stayed hot and won their singles matches in convincing fashion to secure the cup and each go 3-0-0 for the entire tournament. Joshua Kelley (Twin Lakes Golf Course) along with Brian Smock each earned a half point in their singles matches to go 2-0-1 and cap off an outstanding week for the victorious SCPGA team. The rest of the team, including veteran Bobby Nickell (Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club) played in major role in making sure the cup stayed in Southern California for at least one more year. The SCPGA would like to thank The Country Club at Soboba Springs Head Golf Professional Mike Meka, PGA and his entire staff for being such gracious hosts, along with The Greg Norman Collection and 2UNDR for providing the winning team with uniforms for the week.
Thanks again to everyone who made this event a great success, and the SCPGA is looking forward to winning a fifth straight cup title in Northern California in 2015.
Here is your 2014 Championship Team:
Kenny Pigman (Goose Creek Golf Club)
Bobby Nickell (Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club)
Dean Tonneslan, PGA (La Jolla Country Club)
Josh Kelley (Twin Lakes Golf Course)
Larry Correa (La Purisima Golf Course)
Blair Harkins, PGA (Rolling Hills Country Club)
Trevor Young (The Grand Golf Club)
Thomas Chu (Stadium Golf Center)
Andrew Alderdice (Newport Beach Country Club)
Andrew Larkin (Occidental College Mens/Womens Head Coach)
Kyle Mendoza (South Hills Country Club)
Brian Smock (Coronado Golf Course)
The 2015 AAA schedule will be released in the coming months. Make sure to sign up early for all your AAA events, as we expect great turnouts this year as everyone will be battling for great purses at each event, and one of the coveted 12 spots on the AAA North/South Cup team. The 2015 AAA season will offer some of the same great events as 2014, as well as some new events for the calendar year. We are excited to make 2015 even better than 2014, and look forward to sending another great team to Northern California to defend our title in the AAA North/South Cup.