Golf has taken Jacob Bridgeman all over the country from his home in Inman. Now it will take him halfway around the world.
Bridgeman was one of the four players chosen to compete in this year’s Toyota Junior World Cup. The event will be held at Chukyo Golf Club’s Ishino Course in Toshitomo-cho Fukada, Toyota-shi, Japan June 10-15.
Four senior high school golfers from the United States will compete against teams of golfers from 14 other countries in the 54 hole stroke and team play event.
“I’ve got my passport so I will be ready to go,” said Bridgeman. “It really is an honor to represent the United States again,” he said.
Bridgeman along with fellow Inman golfer Trent Phillips both represented the US on the winning Junior President’s Cup team last fall.
“I’m sure playing in the President’s Cup and my AJGA ranking helped me get a spot on the team. The furthest I have been away from home is California so this is going to be pretty exciting,” he said.
Bridgeman brings solid credentials to any All-Star team. He is a two time South Carolina AAA state champion. He has a top-30 ranking among AJGA golfers as well as a handful of top-five finishes in other national competitions.
He has won major South Carolina Junior Golf Association championships like The Blade, The Grand Bennet Junior, The Jimmy Self Junior and the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea. He also has earned a CGA Junior title
The future Clemson golfer will be joined on the team by future LSU golfer Michael Saunders from Davidson, North Carolina.
Also on the team will be Ryan Burnett from California who will play college golf at North Carolina and Reid Davenport from Austin, Texas who will play his college golf at Vanderbilt.
All four golfers have been recognized as AJGA All-Americans. The Golf Coaches Association of America helped pick the players for the International competition.
“I’ve known Michael (Saunders) from playing in Carolinas Golf Association events and I have met the other two players at AJGA tournaments. I think we will have a very good team,” said Bridgeman.
Central Alabama head coach Dave Jennings will coach the team. The Americans are looking to win their eighth overall and third straight Toyota Cup.
Former Clemson golfer Kyle Stanley and PGA Tour veteran Patton Kizzire are two players who have represented the United States in the past.
International stars John Rahm, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose have represented their countries as has Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel when they were junior golfers.
The golf is the reason for the trip, but Bridgeman hopes he can soak up a little of the country and culture on the 10 day adventure.
“I have gotten a couple of tips already about what to do when I am in Japan. My cousin was there and she told me to make sure I got an English menu when we go to restaurants. If you are not careful you could end up getting something really strange,” Bridgeman said.
The other piece of advice the Chapman High School senior received is to make sure he scopes out where the 7/11s are in town.
“I want to make sure I get one of those translation apps for my phone so I will have some idea of what people are talking about,” he said.
The trip will come right after high school graduation and after Bridgeman hopes he can bring a third state title back to his high school.
“I’ve played in a lot of bigger tournaments, but I would like to win one more for our school. I have had great support from everybody at Chapman and it would kind of be a last hurrah before I graduate,” concluded Bridgeman.