USA announces Junior Ryder Cup team
A talented group of 12 junior golfers representing eight states of the United States of America has been announced for the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup, which takes place from September 22-23, at The Blairgowrie Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland.
The United States Team is comprised of six boys and six girls who are US citizens and graduating high school in 2015, or younger.
The 2014 US Team is led by reigning Junior PGA Champions Sam Burns of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas. Burns and Gillman captured the boys’ and girls’ titles, respectively, at the 39th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks, at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas.
Gillman won the 2014 US Women’s Amateur on Sunday. As runner-up in the girls’ and boys’ divisions at the 2014 Junior PGA Championship, Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, California, and Gordon Neale of Trabuco Canyon, California, also earned automatic spots in the biennial competition.
Joining the automatic qualifiers is Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, who was first on the US Junior Ryder Cup points list in the girls’ rankings. Burns was first in the boys’ ranking, but already earned his spot on the Team by winning the 2014 Junior PGA Championship.
Lee, the top-ranked girl in all three rankings systems - the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings and Polo Golf Rankings - made the cut at the 2014 US Women’s Open and was a semi-finalist at the 2014 US Women’s Amateur.
Brian Whitcomb of Bend, Oregon, the 35th President of the PGA of America, will Captain the US Team. He will guide a squad that is attempting to capture the Junior Ryder Cup for a fourth consecutive time.
Whitcomb made seven Captain’s Picks, three in the girls' division and four in the boys' division.
The selections in the girls’ division are: Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Florida; Amy Lee of Brea, California; and Hannah O’Sullivan of Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Brooks represented the United States earlier this summer in several international competitions: the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan along with Kristen Gillman and Amy Lee; the Junior Open Championship, an international competition held at West Lancashire Golf Club in Liverpool, England. She also finished fifth in both the 2014 and 2013 Junior PGA Championships and was a semi-finalist in the AJGA’s Junior Match Play Classic last November.
Amy Lee won the 2013 Junior PGA Championship, while O’Sullivan finished third at the 2014 Junior PGA Championship and was a semi-finalist at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The boys’ selections are: Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas; Brad Dalke of Hobart, Oklahoma; Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; and Cameron Young of Scarborough, New York.
Connelly and Dalke finished in a tie for third at the 2014 Junior PGA Championship. Riley was a finalist at both the 2013 and 2014 US Junior Amateur. Young, who finished sixth and T-5 in the 2014 and 2013 Junior PGA Championships, represented the United States earlier this summer in the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and won the AJGA’s Junior Match Play Classic last November.
“We have an incredibly talented group of youngsters on the team this year,” said Whitcomb, who also served as Chairman of the 2014 Junior PGA Championship. “Their match-play experience, as well as the character of these individuals, will give us a great opportunity to retain the Cup in Scotland next month.”
Participants in the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup will also play a nine-hole, “Friendship Match” on Wednesday September 24, and will be announced live during the opening ceremonies to the globally international audience on Thursday September 25 at Gleneagles Hotel, site of the 40th Ryder Cup.
The “friendship match” at Gleneagles will feature a combined mixed four-ball, with six groupings of four players that include one girl and one boy from both Europe and the United States.
2014 US Junior Ryder Cup Team
Sierra Brooks – Sorrento, Florida
Kristen Gillman – Austin, Texas
Amy Lee – Brea, California
Andrea Lee – Hermosa Beach, California
Hannah O’Sullivan – Paradise Valley, Arizona
Bethany Wu – Diamond Bar, California
Sam Burns – Shreveport, Louisiana
Austin Connelly – Irving, Texas
Brad Dalke – Hobart, Oklahoma
Gordon Neale – Trabuco Canyon, California
Davis Riley – Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Cameron Young – Scarborough, New York