Mexico I shoots 10-under par to take Round 1 lead at Ruby Hill
The first round of the 50th Annual Junior America’s Cup, hosted by the Junior Golf Association of Northern California, is in the books with Mexico I represented by Eduardo Derbez, Manual Babachano, Francisco Soloraza and Rafael Estrada, shooting 10-under par, 206. Mexico 1 has a two-stroke lead over Southern California at The Club at Ruby Hill, in Pleasanton, California.
Leading Mexico 1 was Eduardo Derbez and Rafael Estrada, both who are tied for 3rd place after firing 5-under par 67’s. Rylan Johnson from Arizona and Josh Koo from Southern California are tied for first place 1st place individually after shooting 6-under par 66’s. Johnson’s round included 7 birdies and an eagle, while Koo’s round included 9 birdies.
Southern California is in solo 2nd place in the team competition, at 8-under par 208. In addition to Koo (66), Patrick Hong and Dylan Oyama both fired 1-under par 71’s to assist in the scoring.
Like a collegiate event, the Junior America’s Cup features 18 teams of four boys representing their state, province or country. The competition takes place over 3 days with 18-holes played each day for a total of 54-holes played to determine the winning team. Each team counts its best three scores each round with the low scoring team after 54-holes being crowned the 2021 champions and presented with the champions medals & trophy.
The 2022 competition marks the 50th anniversary of the Junior America’s Cup championship and the fourth time it will be held in Northern California. The previous time the event was hosted in Northern California was 2004 which was at San Joaquin Country Club, in Fresno, California. The team from Mexico won the championship that year. JAC Alumni from the 2004 Championship include Tony Finau (team Utah) who just won PGA Tour events the past two weeks, as well as Andrew Putman and Kyle Stanley.
Situated in the heart of the Livermore Wine Valley, The Club at Ruby Hill was etched into the landscape on fertile land originally occupied by the Ruby Hill Winery.
The original grape-growing property was founded by John Crellin in 1887, with money made in the oyster trade. It was named for the bright red soil its vineyards boasted. The winery was eventually abandoned, and in 1989 it burned, leaving only a few walls standing.
The land then transferred to the Catholic Church and subsequently to Wente Vineyards. In 1985, a friend and business partner of Jack Nicklaus’ approached luxury home developer Jim Ghielmetti with the idea of building the area’s first-ever Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Golf Course in Northern California. Mr. Ghielmetti approached the Wente Family and shared his vision for the land. In 1987, the process was started to secure all of the government approvals and move forward with the project.
Construction on the golf course began on Labor Day 1993, with Jack Nicklaus supervising every detail. The Club at Ruby Hill opened its doors in 1996.
Past Junior America’s Cup participants who have gone on to successful professional careers include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Rickie Fowler, Ryan Moore, Kyle Stanley and Tony Finau.