Like The Ryder Cup, the Junior Ryder Cup is a biennial contest between Europe and America, but with each team consisting of six boys and six girls under the age of 18.
The tournament showcases the next generation of golfing stars, and is a celebration of development work undertaken at grassroots level on both sides of the Atlantic.
The concept of the Junior Ryder Cup was established in 1995, when Ryder Cup Europe and the European Golf Association came together and sent a team of European juniors – including a then-15 year Spaniard by the name of Sergio Garcia – to play an informal exhibition match against Central New York PGA section and area juniors.
Two years later, the Junior Ryder Cup was formally introduced as a competition in its own right. Held at Alcaidesa Links and San Roque in Cadiz, Spain, the inaugural event was won by America.
In 1999, the contest was held at Country Club of New Seabury in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Europe won that edition and maintained their dominance over the next five years, prevailing at The K Club, in Ireland, in 2002, and again at Westfield Group Country Club, in Ohio, in 2004.
The 2006 match, played at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, was tied, but two years later, at The Club at Olde Stone in Kentucky, the Americans won convincingly. That success began a run of four consecutive American victories: in 2010, at The Gleneagles Hotel; in 2012, at Olympia Fields Country Club; and in 2014, at Blairgowrie Golf Club.
Down the years, the Junior Ryder Cup has acted as the springboard for a number of high-profile players: Garcia played in the 1995 exhibition match, and four years later was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team in Brookline; Norwegian Suzann Pettersen played in the Junior Ryder Cup in 1997 and 1999, before becoming a Major winner and taking part in eight Solheim Cups; and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was part of the victorious 2004 Junior Ryder Cup team, and has since gone on to win four Major Championships, in addition to three Ryder Cups.
Other notable participants include Nicolas Colsaerts, Matteo Manassero, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Carlota Ciganda, Carly Booth and Lexi Thompson.
This year’s event will take place on September 26 and 27 at Interlachen Country Club, in Edina, Minnesota.
1997 - Europe 7 USA 9
1999 - USA 1½ Europe 11½
2002 - Europe 9½ USA 2½
2004 - USA 3½ Europe 8½
2006 - Europe 6 USA 6
2008 - USA 22 Europe 2
2010 - Europe 10½ USA 13½
2012 - USA 14½ Europe 9½
2014 - Europe 8 USA 16
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (All times CT)
Sunday, September 25 5 p.m. Opening Ceremonies
Monday, September 26 7:30 a.m. Session One – Foursomes
Monday, September 26 12:30 p.m. Session Two – Mixed Four-Ball
Tuesday, September 27 9 a.m. Session Three - Singles
Tuesday, September 27 3:30 p.m. Trophy Presentation
INTERLACHEN COUNTRY CLUB
Interlachen has a rich and storied history as a host of golf championships. Since its beginning in 1909, Interlachen Country Club has been committed to excellence - from the quality and condition of the timeless Donald Ross classic and the prestige of the championships it has hosted. The golf course is considered among Ross’ finest designs and consistently ranks among the best in the country (currently No. 56 in Golf Digest’s “Top 100 American Courses”).
The Club has been an advocate of championship golf at the highest level and has been proud to host the most prestigious events in professional and amateur golf, including the 1993 Walker Cup, 2002 Solheim Cup and the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open. However, it was the 1930 U.S Open that was the Club’s defining moment, where Bobby Jones embarked on an incredible journey, in which Interlachen played a starring role.
After having just won the first two legs of the Grand Slam in England, Jones’ U.S. Open victory at Interlachen on July 12, 1930, gave him the third leg of the Gram Slam. Jones would achieve the Grand Slam two months later, by winning the U.S. Amateur at Merion, to complete one of the greatest achievements in sports history. In accomplishing his Grand Slam, Jones provided Interlachen Country Club national and international prominence and its well-deserved place in golf lore.