Friendly Rivals Set to Captain Jackie Burke Cup Squads
Two of college golf’s brightest young stars were selected to captain the North and South Texas teams next month at the Legends Junior Tour’s season-ending Jackie Burke Cup Matches.
Earlier this year, Cooper Dossey and Blaine Hale, Jr., two former LJT champions and longtime friends, squared off in the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship quarterfinals match. Dossey, then a freshman for Baylor, survived a spirited rally from Oklahoma sophomore Hale to win the match, 1 up. Oklahoma advanced as a team, however, and the Sooners ultimately defeated Oregon to win the national title.
Dossey and Hale will meet again as opposing captains in the 13th annual Jackie Burke Cup. Set for Nov. 11-12 at The Cascades in Tyler, the Jackie Burke Cup pits the top 12 juniors from North and South Texas against each other in a team match play competition.
A native of Austin, Dossey will captain the South Texas team. With six top-10 finishes for Baylor last season, including a victory at The All-American, Cooper was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Hale, of Dallas, posted two top-five finishes and was T11 in the individual stroke play portion of the NCAA Championships for OU last season. He’ll captain the North Texas team.
“I’m so excited to be the captain this year,” said Dossey, who went 3-1-2 as a player in two JBC appearances. “The LJT did so much to help me get to where I am today. I can never thank them enough. To be able to give back a little to them means the world to me.”
Hale compiled a 4-7-1 record in four JBC matches. During a busy summer schedule that saw him win the Cotton Sales Invitational, he said he couldn’t wait to get to The Cascades for the JBC.
“The Jackie Burke Cup was one of my favorite tournaments,” said Hale. “I’m excited to get to captain the North Team and I expect to get a win.”
The members of each 12-player team are chosen off the final LJT Player of the Year Points List, which wraps up in early November. After a banquet on Friday night, play begins on Saturday with Four-Ball and Foursomes matches. The event concludes on Sunday with 12 Singles matches.
The North Texas team retained the Jackie Burke Cup in 2016 after both sides tied, 24-24. It was the first JBC tie since 2007. South Texas leads the all-time series, 7-5.
Dossey and Hale said their most vivid memories as JBC players didn’t involve hitting a shot or holing putts. It was the friendships that were forged that mattered most, they said. Dossey remembers a Singles match against Ryan Grider in 2012. They didn’t know each other well back then but became friends that week at the JBC. Now they’re Baylor teammates.
“It’s been really cool watching everyone I played with and against become even stronger players,” he said.
Everyone who has played in the JBC has a story about building strong ties with someone they met at the event.
“In my last year I played Foursomes and Four-Ball with my current OU teammate Garett Reband,” said Hale. “I can remember the camaraderie more than the golf. I think that’s why this tournament is so special.”
For the two captains, the November weekend at The Cascades will be a chance to reconnect.
“I’ve known Blaine since I was 10 or 11,” Dossey said. “He’s a good dude. At the NCAAs, it was hard. It’s always hard to play a good friend. That match was so much fun, though. There was nothing but laughter between us. I won 1-up on 18, but he made a ton of putts coming down the stretch. I wasn’t too worried about the score; it was more just about having that memory.”
Hale echoed his friend’s sentiments and had a suggestion for the LJT staff in the event of another stalemate.
“Cooper and I always have a good time,” he said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to avenge my loss to him and keep the streak going for the North Texas team. I also am proposing if it comes down to the end and there is a tie, then Cooper and I need to play it off on the 18th hole.”
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