Edina, MINN. – The United States won its fifth straight Junior Ryder Cup with a 15 1/2 to 8 1/2 victory over Europe at Interlachen Country Club, as the American Team of 12 top boys and girls players from across the country came out firing on all cylinders.
Eugene Hong, of Orlando, clinched the winning point on No. 18, as he sunk a five-foot par putt, to halve the hole, and a 1-up win over Matias Honkala, of Finland.
“One team won, and one team did not,” said United States Junior Ryder Cup Captain Jim Remy during the Closing Ceremony, as he accepted the Junior Ryder Cup Trophy from PGA President Derek Sprague. “Yet, golf won today. This was a tremendous championship.”
“Even though we lost, I’m still very proud of my team,” said European Junior Ryder Cup Captain Maitena Alsuguren. “I’m sure we will see many of them on the European Tour and the Ladies’ European Tour in the years to come, and I’m also sure we will come back strong in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup.”
With nine of the 12 players on the U.S. team ranked among the Top 10 junior boys and girls in the world, the American squad built off a 7 to 5 lead amassed the day before in foursomes and mixed four-ball, and were off to the races. It was an impressive performance by the Americans, as they won the singles matches by a solid five points, 8 1/2 to 3 1/2.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the team to be this good, not just in golf, but in the way they and the Europeans conducted themselves,” said Remy, the 36th President of the PGA of America.
FULL JUNIOR RYDER CUP SCORES, COVERAGE | PHOTOS FROM INTERLACHEN
Patrick Welch, 16, of Providence, Rhode Island, steered the charge with a dominating 5 & 4 win over France’s Adrien Pendaries. Closing out in 14 holes, Welch was a scintillating 6-under par, with a round that featured a 35-foot putt for eagle on Hole No. 9, in addition to five birdies and just one bogey.
“This was probably my best round maybe ever,” said Welch, who was runner-up in the 2016 Junior PGA Championship this past summer. “I was just really solid. I think I just missed one or two greens and made a lot of putts. I’m definitely happy with the way I played.”
Welch and Wake Forest commit Emilia Migliaccio, of Cary, North Carolina, both were undefeated at 3-0 on the week.
Another solid point was put on the board by Lucy Li, 13, of Redwood Shores, California, who won in dominating fashion, 6 & 4. The 2016 Junior PGA Champion, Li was also the youngest player in U.S. Women’s Open history, when she played in the event two years ago.
United States Captain Jim Remy saw a lot of U.S. red on the board from the outset, as the Americans raced to an early lead and never looked back.
The 2018 Junior Ryder Cup will be held at Disneyland Golf near Paris, in conjunction with the 42nd Ryder Cup.
WATCH: Highlights from the final day of the Junior Ryder Cup