The inaugural Mason Cup was so successful that it seemingly took priority over every other golf-related goal Canon Claycomb set for the next year. Put into perspective his summer of top-10 finishes in the premier junior events in the United States and abroad, and it shows Claycomb’s focus remains in Bowling Green.

Claycomb and his younger brother, Cooper, will host the second Mason Cup event this weekend at The Club at Old Stone to benefit the Mason Goodnight Foundation. The tournament will bring in 30 of the top junior amateur golfers in the country and two from Australia and Canada for 54 holes Saturday and Sunday.

Claycomb’s initial goal was blown out of the water when he held a check at the end of the event last year indicating the event raised $66,000. With an expanded tournament field and additional sponsorships, the foundation is anticipating another sizable increase.

“That was one of my biggest goals for this year,” Claycomb said. “Not even golf-wise, but even a life goal for the year was to try and raise more money than last year. With the amazing support here in Bowling Green and some of the junior stuff here above what we’ve asked them to do, we’re going to be able to raise more money this year, which is pretty cool.”

The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Leadership Links program requires each junior participant to raise $1,000 for the foundation the event chooses to benefit. The idea sparked when Claycomb raised money for an event benefiting a children’s hospital in Charlotte, N.C. He ran with the idea of the Mason Cup in honor of Mason Goodnight, who passed away at the age of 10 in 2017.

The first Mason Cup raised double the dollar amount the Mason Goodnight Foundation had already donated to youth sports and other children’s organizations in Warren and Simpson County.

The event will host 30 of the country’s top junior golfers that includes Jack Heath, who won the Boys’ Junior PGA Championship by three strokes over Claycomb earlier this month. South Warren’s Faith Martin will also participate. Claycomb himself is enjoying a summer that includes a runner-up finish in the Boys’ Junior PGA Championship and a ninth-place tie in the U.S. Junior Amateur in July. The senior, committed to play at the University of Alabama, grew up in Bowling Green and played for Greenwood until moving to Orlando, Fla., after his freshman season.

“It’s been cool raising that money for Mason’s foundation and for it going back to the community,” Claycomb said. “I think it’s the coolest thing in the world. It’s been awesome and a dream come true. I keep being shocked every time I see the numbers.”

By this time last year, the foundation raised around $30,000 for Warren County youth football and basketball leagues and Little League baseball organizations in Bowling Green East, Warren County North and Warren County South.

The foundation started funding trips to Washington for every sixth grader in Warren and Simpson counties and has expanded to impact five more schools and help support the Boys to Men program.

The Mason Goodnight Foundation was also the title sponsor for the Goat Gary junior golf event and, in two years of existence, has given out almost $125,000 to youth in southcentral Kentucky.

The foundation reached the national stage recently with the Bowling Green East Little League All-Stars playing in the Little League World Series. Jef Goodnight, Mason’s father, was an assistant on the team that would’ve likely included Mason. His No. 11 jersey hung on the dugout fence for every game through the district, state, regional and World Series games.

The exposure by ESPN brought light to the foundation and Goodnight said he’s received donation inquiries from all over the country as a result of the Little League World Series appearance.

“To stand on Lamade Field and see all those MG11 Great Lakes shirts and all the texts and phone calls and Facebook and Twitter stuff I got just blew me away,” Goodnight said. “Then after the game, (Rhode Island) coaches are hugging me and saying we saw Mason’s story and we’re going to get our community behind you and give to you. His website and Facebook stuff has just blown up since.”

Goodnight is projecting the second Mason Cup could generate close to $80,000 toward the foundation.

“I can never say how much we appreciate Canon and Cooper Claycomb,” Goodnight said. “They’re such talented golfers and the field they’re bringing in, last year I was amazed at the field and I know the talent is even more incredible this year.”{&end}

– Follow WKU athletics beat writer Elliott Pratt on Twitter @EPrattBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Covering the Western Kentucky University athletics beat for the Bowling Green Daily News.

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