Spaniards impress on home soil in Junior Ryder Cup bids
Spain’s Carla Bernat defeated fellow rising star Julia López 2&1 in the final of the Copa S.M. La Reina as the pair started their bids to appear on Paul Lawrie’s Junior Ryder Cup team in September.
Bernat earned her place in the final after a hard-fought 2&1 victory over fellow JRC hopeful Lucie Malchirand, while Lopez defeated Italian Virginia Carta 6&4 in her semi-final.
Malchirand was low scorer in the match play qualification, carding rounds of 72 and 67 to top the leaderboard on five under par. López was second on four under par.
The victory follows the recent announcement of the revised European Junior Ryder Cup qualification process, with a selection committee headed by Captain Lawrie set to select all 12 players – six boys and six girls – after the Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championships in August.
The Copa S.M. La Reina and Copa S.M. El Rey are the first of the nine and eight respective girls’ and boys’ events which will have close attention paid to them during the qualification process.
In the final, Bernat was 2Up over López after nine holes in the final at Real Club Sevilla Golf, but López fought back to all-square after winning the 11th and 12th holes. Bernat restored her advantage over the next two holes and a par on the 17th handed her a 2&1 victory.
Four-time Solheim Cup player Carlota Ciganda, who represented Europe at the Junior Ryder Cup in 2004 and 2006, is a two-time winner of the Copa S.M. La Reina, triumphing in 2005 and 2006.
In the Copa S.M. El Rey, the boys’ event, the top Junior Ryder Cup hopefuls were Jose Luis Ballester and Jaime Montojo of Spain, Martin Couvra of France and Benjamin Reuter of the Netherlands. Each competitor made it to the Round of Eight at Real Club de Golf El Prat.