The players in the Friendship Bowl enjoyed the unique opportunity to play nine holes on the Twenty Ten Course one day before the Ryder Cup begins. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

Celtic Manor Resort eases to victory in first Friendship Bowl at Ryder Cup site

The players from this week's Junior Ryder Cup teed it up again Thursday, this time in a unique contest that mixed the players from both sides into six international teams on the Twenty Ten Course.

NEWPORT, Wales – The Celtic Manor Resort, represented by the talented foursome of Europe’s Johana Kukkonen and Manon Molle and America’s Ginger Howard and Justin Thomas, finished 4 under par over nine holes Thursday to win the “Friendship Bowl,” a special prelude to the 38th Ryder Cup.

The newly-created nine-hole competition, contested on the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor Resort, featured six groups of foursomes that included one girl and one boy from Europe and the United States. The foursomes played a composite course, blending five front-nine and four back-nine holes.

The boys’ team members played from the official yardages that will be used Friday by the world’s premier professionals in the opening session of the Ryder Cup.

“This was a truly unreal experience,” said Thomas, 17, of Goshen, Ky. “It’s a different feeling playing for your country, especially at the site of the Ryder Cup. And, there is nothing else like it.”

Howard, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., also counted the rare experience as one that will aid her golf career.

“I enjoyed the whole week that surrounded the Junior Ryder Cup,” said Howard. “It was the best experience of my life.”

Howard and Thomas were joined in a foursome featuring Finland’s Kukkonen, 16, and France’s Molle, 15, who both won their respective singles matches on Tuesday in Scotland to keep the competition tight on the final day of the Junior Ryder Cup.

The contestants were made up of competitors in the recent Junior Ryder Cup, which the U.S. won Tuesday, 13½ to 10½ , at Gleneagles, Scotland. The matches were designed to continue building international friendships.

The Friendship Bowl format counted the two low gross scores on each hole. Each team represented a Welsh golf club, with juniors from each club attending the matches. The winning team donated the crystal Friendship Bowl to its adopted Welsh club.

The Friendship Bowl Participants:

Team Celtic Manor Resort
Justin Thomas, Goshen, Ky.
Johana Kukkonen, Europe
Ginger Howard, Bradenton, Fla.
Manon Molle, Europe

Team Royal Porthcawl
Oliver Schniederjans, Powder Springs, Ga.
Kristoffer Ventura, Europe
Emma Talley, Princeton, Ky.
Manon Gidali, Europe

Team Conwy
Anthony Paolucci, Del Mar, Calif.
Albert Eckhardt, Europe
Alison Lee, Valencia, Calif.
Klara Spilkova, Europe

Team Royal St. David’s
Jordan Spieth, Dallas, Texas
Chris Lloyd, Europe
Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla.
Isabella Deilert, Europe

Team Ashburnham
Denny McCarthy, Burtonsville, Md.
Moritz Lampert, Europe
Kristen Park, Buena Park, Calif.
Kelly Tidy, Europe

Team Maesdu
Jim Liu, Smithtown, N.Y.
Thomas Detry, Europe
Cassy Isagawa, Wailuku, Hawaii
Amy Boulden, Europe

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