Local All-Star golf team preparing for PGA Junior League Championship

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego County All-Stars golf team has the chance to become national champions for the second time at the PGA Junior League Championship in November.

The team captured their second regional championship in September, beating three other golf teams to advance to the PGA Junior League Championship.

"It was pretty exciting," said Karen Tsuru. "I've been on this team for a few years now but we've never really reached nationals, only my brother did so I'm excited for this year."

The only other team to reach nationals and win came in 2015 under the direction of former PGA professional John Mason.

"We've come a long ways, we've really improved," said Mason. "We were shooting two under per each group and that's not going to get it at this level. All the sudden they started shooting four under, then it was five and six and then we had two eight unders a couple times so now I know it's there. They're starting to gel and the timing is good."

Designed to recreate the atmosphere of little league baseball, the Junior League plays in a team format. For the Encinitas All-Stars, all age 13 and under, they play a two person scramble over nine holes.

"Golf is an individual sport and I always play tournaments by myself but team play is really fun because you get to play with your team," said Tsuru.

"It's been very fun," said Phillip Kench. "This team has brought me so far throughout personality and golf game ... it's really been great being here."

The team's toughest challenge comes in November, when they head to Arizona to play for the championship title. They'll compete against 11 other teams over the course of three days in the desert.

"I always focus on the basics and the basics for me are short game, 100 yards in," said Mason. "So we work on short irons, wedges and putting."

"I actually think we're ready," said Kench. "I think we're ready, I mean honestly the way we're playing, if we just put our game into what we've been doing and our teamwork as a whole, I think we'll do great."

The San Diego County All-Stars tee off November 16 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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