The PGA of America has announced the six boys and six girls who will represent the United States at the Junior Ryder Cup, to be played Sept. 24-25 at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club’s South Course.
The boys’ side is headlined by two-time U.S. Open participant Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Calif., who handily won the Junior Ryder Cup points race (based heavily on premier junior events like USGA championships, AJGA invitationals and the Junior PGA Championship). Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., and Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., also made the team courtesy of their first- and second-place finishes, respectfully, at the Junior PGA Championship earlier this month.
From there, U.S. captain Roger Warren used captain’s picks to select Gavin Hall, a UCLA-commit who recently won the New York Junior Amateur for the third time; Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, No. 12 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings.
On the girls’ side, Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., recent runner-up at the U.S. Girls’ Junior, qualified through the points system, while Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., qualified based on her runner-up finish at the Junior PGA Championship. Winner Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand was not eligible because she does not hold U.S. citizenship.
Warren’s four female captain’s picks included Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., No. 6 in Golfweek’s Junior Rankings; Casie Cathrea, the long-hitting Oklahoma State commit from Livermore, Calif.; Karen Chung, the 2011 Thunderbird International winner from Livingston, N.J.; and Casey Danielson, an Osceola, Wis., golf prodigy who finished third at last year’s Junior PGA Championship.
Liu is the only returner among the boys, while Alison Lee returns for the girls.
Captain Warren is the president of Kiawah Island Golf Resort and a PGA professional. He was the 34th PGA of America president, from 2004 to ’05, which makes him eligible for a Junior Ryder Cup captaincy.
The Americans won the Junior Ryder Cup in 2010 at Gleneagles Resort in Perthshire, Scotland – thus retaining the cup – but the series stands tied as each team has won three times and one match was halved (2006). The two-day competition consists of foursomes, mixed four-ball and singles competition.