Story by Rich Tortorelli, Oklahoma City Athletics
NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma City University men’s golf coach Kyle Blaser will lead the U.S. boys team in the 2017 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup on June 13-16 at Chukyo Golf Club in Nagoya, Japan.
Blaser guided Team USA in 2007 in the event that features the top 18-and-under youth golfers from around the world. The United States has won the event six times including in 2016.
In 2015-16, Blaser led the Stars to their 10th NAIA championship, prevailing by eight strokes and erasing a seven-shot deficit May 27 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. Blaser has won more NAIA men’s golf championships than any coach (10).
“I am extremely honored to be named coach of the 2017 Junior World Cup and look forward to again working with J.R. Steinbauer,” said Blaser. “It is a privilege to represent the USA, and I look forward to giving it our best to keep the trophy on our soil. Last year’s team played incredible and set the bar high with their win, and we look forward to making it back-to-back. I am excited about the group of guys that we have chosen to carry the USA bag.”
Blase has been the NAIA national coach of the year nine times, also the most ever by anyone. OCU has also won 106 tournament titles and 18 Sooner Athletic Conference championships under Blaser in his 21st season as head coach.
In his time at OCU, Blaser has coached five NAIA individual champions and national players of the year, two NAIA individual runners-up, 75 all-Americans, five four-time all-Americans, two Phil Mickelson award winners as NAIA freshman of the year, 25 NAIA scholar-athlete award winners, eight CoSIDA academic all-Americans, six all-Nicklaus selections, six NAIA Region VI champions and players of the year, 12 conference individual champions and 12 SAC players of the year. Blaser has been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame.
Several former Stars have turned professional and compete in tours around the world. OCU alum Tyrone Van Aswegen has been on the PGA TOUR since 2013, and Jacques Blaauw received his Web.com card this year.
The 2017 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup boys team will consist of Frankie Capan, Brandon Mancheno, Reese Ramsey and Travis Vick. Mancheno has signed to play for Auburn in the fall, while Ramsey has signed with Texas A&M.