Jefferson City’s Tanner Elder Selected to Play on Team USA at Euro Cup in St. Andrews Scotland
Jefferson City, Mo. – Imagine the excitement when Tanner Elder received the call from Zach Pennington with the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) that he had been nominated by an individual in the golf industry to represent the United States on Team USA against Team Europe and Team Canada in the 2014 IJGT Euro Cup. The IJGT Panel reviewed Tanner’s golf history: he is a two-time All-State golfer, including a 2nd and 8th place finish at State, with a current 0.0 USGA handicap. They also contacted his school, Blair Oaks High School, where he is a 4.0 student, as well as contacting character references. Other golfers on the team are from Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, Delaware, New York, Maryland, California and Virginia.
“We want a very select type of individual to represent the United States on Team USA, and Tanner fit every aspect we were looking for in a golfer and ambassador for our program and for the United States,” said Zach Pennington, Regional Director of IJGT, which is based in South Carolina. Elder recently made it to the final 32 at the Missouri Amateur Championship held in St. Louis when he edged out amateur Hall of Famer, Don Bliss, a former All-American at Oklahoma State University.
Elder said he was shocked when he first learned of the invitation, but now is very excited to get to travel to St. Andrews in Scotland, to play on the oldest golf courses in the world, and the place where golf began. “I know this is a huge opportunity, and I just want to play my best, and represent my family, school, state and my country in the best way possible,” said Elder. He said he hopes this will help him fulfill his dream of playing college golf, and possibly working his way to being a tour player after college.
Elder, who just turned 16, will be a junior at Blair Oaks. Elder is also a part-time junior golf instructor at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City, where he teaches youth the basics and etiquette of the game of golf. “Golf is a game you can take with you throughout your lifetime,” said Elder. “If kids can start when they’re young, who knows where the sport can take them. Or they can just enjoy it with their families when they get older like our family does. It’s a great chance to spend family time doing something that everyone at every age and level can still play.” Elder has an older brother, Levi, who plays college golf for Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. His parents, Lester and Heather Elder, work for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Elder is the grandson of Jim Newman, Albany; Harold and Mary Helen Elder, Frankford, Nannie Elder, Frankford, and Lonnie and Debby Jackson of Carrollton.
Elder is a member of Oak Hills Golf Center, Railwood Golf Club, and the Jefferson City Country Club in Jefferson City. He is also a member of the Osage County Country Club in Linn, where he was the youngest reigning Club Champion in the history of the club at age 13. Elder has played amateur tournaments sponsored by the Missouri Golf Association (MGA), Lake Ozark Junior Golf Association (LOJGA), St. Louis Gateway, and AJGA. He said his love for the game has him spending all of his time at different courses, because every course has a mind of its own. “That’s the challenge – chasing par at a different course all the time,” said Elder.
How interested citizens can help this Missouri youngster achieve this dream:
Elder is asking for donations from anyone willing to help defray the cost of the expensive trip. Because of compliance rules to maintain his amateur status, high school eligibility status, and college eligibility status, he must pay for the costs up front. He is then able to accept donations specifically for the trip costs. All donations must be made through the Missouri Golf Association in care of Scott Hovis, Director. Checks can be made out to Tanner Elder, and designated that they are to defray the costs of the Junior Euro Cup.
Checks should be mailed to: MGA, Tanner Elder Euro Cup Fund, P.O. Box 104164, Jefferson City, MO 65110
Any donations given directly to Tanner or his family will be given to the MGA for accountability. Excess money will be returned or donated to MGA. The phone number for MGA is 573-636-8994. Please ask for Scott Hovis. Donations can be any increment.