Alsuguren confident she has found the right blend
Chemistry and course set-up were crucial factors in Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup pairings for the opening morning foursomes.
Captain Maitena Alsuguren hopes she has found the perfect blend as she bids to halt a run of four successive defeats in the competition, which pits Europe’s most talented crop of youngsters against their American counterparts.
By pairing Kristoffer Reitan and the 2015 Boys’ Amateur Champion Marcus Svensson in the opening match against the American pair of Wilson Furr and Davis Shore, Alsuguren is hoping to gain some early momentum at Interlachen Country Club.
Personal friendships also played a part in Alsuguren’s thinking, with Julia Engström and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard making a natural partnership given the close bond they have forged this year.
Of further significance is the fact that all the par threes at Interlachen Country Club are on odd numbered holes, so the stronger iron player in each pairing will tee off first in the foursomes.
Alsuguren said: “They’re all great players, so I could’ve paired any of them together. But you have to think about chemistry, and also how the course is set up. Hopefully we can get off to a good start, although the weather conditions could make it difficult for both teams.
“With the forecast for high winds, it’s important that they keep it simple and do the basics well. But most of all, I just want them to enjoy it and play a smile on their faces. It should be a great day, and I’m sure they will do themselves proud.”
The opening foursomes will be followed by a session of mixed afternoon fourballs, with a total of 12 points up for grabs on the opening day in Edina, Minnesota.
America need 12 points to retain the trophy, whilst Europe will require 12½ to win the Junior Ryder Cup for the first time since 2006.