USA Retain Junior Ryder Cup

The United States retained the Junior Ryder Cup after beating Europe 13½-10½ at Gleneagles, Scotland despite the hosts winning the third and final session 7½-4½.

Leading 9-3 from the first day, when the USA won the morning foursomes 5-1 and the afternoon mixed fourballs 4-2, the visitors clinched the contest with successes in the singles for Jordan Spieth over Albert Eckhardt (3&1), Doris Chen over Klara Spilkova at the 18th and Justin Thomas over Moritz Lampert (4&2).

Chris Lloyd, out first for the Europeans, won 2&1 against Anthony Paolucci and in the second match Wales’ Amy Boulden earned a half against Emma Talley to give the hosts some hope of a revival, but ultimately the disappointing first day left them with too much ground to make up.

Kelly Tidy notched another point for Europe with victory over Kristen Park, and Juhana Kukkonen triumphed 2&1 over Oliver Schniederjans as the Europeans avoided a repeat of the landslide 22-2 defeat two years ago at Olde Stone in Kentucky.

Europe racked up more points through Manon Mollé’s 5&4 demolition of Alison Lee, Manon Gidali’s victory over Ginger Howard (2&1) and Thomas Detry’s win against Denny McCarthy, while Kristoffer Ventura of Norway added a half after finishing all square with Jim Liu and Sweden’s Isabella Deilert came back from four down at one stage to halve with Cassy Isagawa at the last.

The result means the USA have levelled the series in the competition, which officially started in 1997. America won that match before Europe edged the following three, and the 2006 contest was halved at The Celtic Manor Resort.

European captain Gary Stangl said: “After the disappointment of yesterday the players did brilliantly today to get themselves back in it. They were fantastic and it was a much better today. It was very close in the end.”

Stangl’s honorary vice-captain, Tommy Horton, a former Ryder Cup player and record winner on the European Senior Tour, said: “It has been a pleasure to spend the week with these young people and I think all of them can have successful careers. It has been a revelation to me, this competition and to see these young people play. The future of golf is in good hands.”

USA captain M G Orender said: “It’s been a great competition and congratulations to Europe for making it a lot tighter than I would’ve liked. My team have been fabulous and they are not only champions on the golf course, they are champions in life.”

Lloyd, who last week qualified for European Tour Second Qualifying Stage, said: “It was nice to get the win today and I knew, being out first, I had to do that to have any chance of us getting back in it.”

On Wednesday both teams will travel to The Celtic Manor Resort to meet The 2010 Ryder Cup Teams and to play in the Friendship Bowl on Thursday. The Friendship Bowl will be played over nine holes of The Twenty Ten Course and the players from each continent will be mixed up into six fourballs.

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