Jordan Spieth maintained his perfect record with a victory in singles, and the United States retained the Junior Ryder Cup on Tuesday after defeating Europe, 13 1/2-10 1/2, at Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland.
The U.S., which surged to a 9-3 lead after Day 1, won only three singles matches outright, but it was enough to bring back the cup.
“It’s been a great competition and congratulations to Europe for making it a lot tougher than I would have liked,” U.S. captain M.G. Orender said. “My team has been fabulous, and they are not only champions on the golf course, but are champions in life.”
The U.S. clinched the cup with victories Tuesday from Spieth, U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Doris Chen and Justin Thomas. Emma Talley and Jim Liu each added half-points for the Americans.
In the end, it was the United States’ first Junior Ryder Cup victory on foreign soil since the event became official in 2002. More importantly, the Yanks evened the overall series at 2-2-1, following a 22-2 rout in 2008.
The U.S. finally seems to have settled on a formula for success, having tinkered with the selection process and competition format before the matches in 2006 and ’08, respectively.
This loss, however, may spur the European team to make even more changes.
After the embarrassing defeat two years ago at The Club at Olde Stone, in which the Europeans competed with a team comprised of players 16 and younger, the Euros revamped their selection criteria to more closely resemble the U.S. team’s. Now, they may choose to focus solely on the yearlong points race and then fill out the rest of the roster with captain’s picks.
Despite a lopsided result in the opening sessions, the Euros did well to make the match competitive during singles.
The U.S. team won 3 1/2 points in the first five matches to retain the cup, but the Euros claimed six matches outright – including a victory over Anthony Paolucci, Golfweek’s No. 1-ranked junior.
“After the disappointment of yesterday, the players did brilliantly today to get themselves back in it,” European captain Gary Stangl said. “They were fantastic and it was much better today. It was very close in the end.”
Both teams will travel to Celtic Manor to meet the Ryder Cup teams and play in a “friendship” match Thursday at the Twenty Ten Course.
Information from the European Tour was used in this report.
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Chris Lloyd (E) def. Anthony Paolucci (US), 2 and 1
Amy Boulden (E) vs. Emma Talley (US), halved
Jordan Spieth (US) def. Albert Eckhardt (E), 3 and 1
Doris Chen (US) def. Klara Spilkova (E), 1 up
Justin Thomas (US) def. Moritz Lampert (E), 4 and 2
Kelly Tidy (E) def. Kristen Park (US), 1 up
Kristoffer Ventura (E) def. Jim Liu (US), halved
Manon Gidali (E), def. Ginger Howard (US), 2 and 1
Juhana Kukkonen (E) def. Oliver Schniederjans (US), 2 and 1
Manon Molle (E) def. Alison Lee (US), 5 and 4
Thomas Detry (E) def. Denny McCarthy (US), 2 and 1
Isabella Deilert (E) def. Cassy Isagawa (US), halved