Amateur Tours

Europe puts the US on the ropes at the PING Junior Solheim Cup

A sublime Europe, able to completely disrupt the American resistance during the two days of competition, has vindicated its importance in the PING Junior Solheim Cup, the vibrant prelude to the Solheim Cup that has been held with great success at the Old Course in La Zagaleta.

Europe wins the PING Junior Solheim Cup 2023

The slogans “Vamos Girls!” and “Go Europe!”, shouted by the young European players after beating their opponents by a resounding 15 to 9, are a preview of what may happen from Friday at Finca Cortesin, when the show proper of the Solheim Cup begins.

“Hopefully this result will encourage the seniors to beat the United States as well,” said the four Spaniards who contributed to Europe’s second consecutive victory in this competition in unison, with pride and satisfaction visible on their faces.

The team captained by France’s Gwladys Nocera had done their homework very well on the first day, when a significant 8.5 to 3.5 was on the scoreboard. That left them needing just four points from the twelve at stake in the individual matches, a goal that all the members of the European team had been working towards like a disciplined Roman legion since early in the morning of the decisive day.

Andrea Revuelta from Madrid, European leader in the first of the duels, with the experience of having won this tournament in 2021, was the example of the attitude of her whole team. At first she could not contain Jasmine Koo’s barrage of hits during the first part of the round, with three birdies and an eagle that put her four holes down on the 10th, but from that moment on, the courage and grit of the Spaniard reduced the disadvantage to the minimum.

The result did not matter – the Spaniard conceded on the last hole – but rather the predisposition, that warrior’s disposition so palpable that characterized the entire European team when facing all the matches. Some led to success, others to a draw and some more to defeat, the latter an anecdote in the context of a memorable performance that leads Europe to regain ground in the list of winners of this competition.

Second consecutive victory, fourth victory in history, captain Gwladys Nocera had distributed her pupils in an order of play that was crucial, potential points at the top of the court and more potential points at the bottom, a lethal combination that fructified in reality and turned the hopes of a U.S. comeback into nothing.

Among the Spaniards, special mention for the Valencian Cloe Amión, who won all three points in which she was involved. “I’m very proud, it’s great to have been here and to have contributed to Europe’s victory. It’s been an unforgettable experience, the truth is that it’s a dream,” she said emotionally.

She herself, along with the rest of her teammates, waited patiently for Rocío Tejedo from Castellón to finish her match on the 18th hole, the best place to celebrate in style the new European victory, the perfect incentive for the start of the Solheim Cup 2023 this Friday.

One of the highest results in history

The final score of 15-9 in favor of Europe, while still large, is by no means the most emphatic on record at the PING Junior Solheim Cup. That honor goes to the inaugural edition in 2002, when the United States outscored Europe 17-7, a ten-point lead that has not even come close since. By contrast, the narrowest margin was in 2003, when Europe beat the United States by 12.5 to 11.5. Going even further, the 2011 duel between Europeans and Americans ended in a draw.

Europe’s unquestionable victory in this edition of the Junior Solheim Cup means that the balance of victories in the winners’ list of both teams is narrowing. The United States still has a wide advantage, with 7 victories to its credit, but Europe has accumulated, with this one, its fourth victory, the second in a row, something that had not happened so far in the list of victories in this competition.

U.S. women golfers with their bags over their shoulders

A curious fact, which has drawn attention during these two days of vibrant competition, has been that the American golfers have carried their bag on their shoulders, without the help of any kind of trolley. In the United States this is the usual rule imposed by the USGA, but this circumstance may have weighed on them -never better said- given that the terrain of the Old Course, with numerous slopes, meant that some players arrived at some holes visibly tired.

Amateur Tours

Europe’s Junior Ryder Cup team with two german talents finalised

The six automatic qualifiers comprise three boys – Englishman Kris Kim, Ireland’s Sean Keeling and Germany’s Peer Wernicke – and three girls – Spain’s Rocio Tejedo, Swede Meja Örtengren and Germany’s Helen Briem. The automatic qualifiers earned their place on the European Junior Ryder Cup team through a season-long ranking system, which was organised by the European Golf Association.

Junior Ryder Cup: Captains Picks

Six players were then selected by Gallacher: Scotland’s Connor Graham, Ukraine’s Lev Grinberg and Italian Giovanni Binaghi for the boys, while Sweden’s Nora Sundberg, Spain’s Andrea Revuelta Goicoechea and Italian Francesca Fiorellini were selected for the girls.

Gallacher said: “I would like to congratulate the players selected to represent Europe in the 2023 Junior Ryder Cup. They have all performed brilliantly over the past year and their selection is fully justified.

“I’ve been to several of the qualification events this year and I’ve been blown away by the standard of golf on show. We’ve got a very strong team and it is going to be a fiercely contested tournament against the United States.

“It is a tremendous honour to be their Captain and I am looking forward to working with and showcasing the most exciting future talent in Europe.

“We are relishing the prospect of taking on the United States in Rome and playing the final day single matches at Marco Simone will be a memorable experience for both sets of players.”

The Participants

Kim, winner of the recent 96th Boys’ Amateur Championship at Ganton, topped the male Junior Ryder Cup Order of Merit to secure his place in Rome, and he will be joined by Keeling who finished second on the rankings.

Keeling finished third at the Portuguese International Amateur Championship, before reaching the third round of matches in the Spanish Amateur Championship.

The third and final automatic qualification spot was taken by Wernicke after an impressive campaign which included a third place finish at the Spanish International Amateur and a runner-up finish at the German Boys Open.

For the girls, Tejedo topped the Order of Merit thanks to a sensational season, which included two victories at the Portuguese International Ladies’ Amateur Championship and German Girls Open. Tejedo also won the European Girls’ Team Championship with Spain, in addition to third place finishes at the Spanish International Amateur Championship and French International Girls Championship.

Tejedo, currently sitting third in the European Golf Rankings and 37th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, will be joined in Rome by her fellow automatic qualifiers, Örtengren and Briem.

Örtengren has tasted success twice in 2023, firstly winning the French International Girls Championship before adding the European Ladies’ Team Championship in Finland, whilst Briem became the first German to win The R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship in its 104-year history to secure the final automatic qualification spot.

New Record

Gallacher then selected the talented trio of Graham, who will become one of the youngest players in Walker Cup history after being selected in Great Britain and Ireland’s team for the matches against the United States in September, Grinberg and Binaghi.

Grinberg, at the 2022 Soudal Open in Belgium, became the second-youngest player to make a cut in the DP World Tour’s history at the age of 14.

He also picked Sundberg who won the Spanish International Amateur Championship and the stroke play qualifying at the European Girls’ Team Championship earlier this year, Goicoechea who finished second in the French International Girls Championship, and Fiorellini, meaning there will be two Italians taking part in the Junior Ryder Cup on the eve of the country hosting the Ryder Cup itself for the first time.

The first two days of the Junior Ryder Cup will be played at Golf Nazionale before the decisive singles matches are held at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, the Ryder Cup venue, on the eve of the 44th edition of the biennial contest between Europe and the United States.

Amateur Tours

Brendan Lawlor secures narrow lead at G4D Open at Woburn

The two leading players in the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD) are separated by just a single stroke going into the final 18 holes over the renowned Duchess Course.

Ireland’s Lawlor, the world number two, missed chances with his putter in a two-over-par second round of 74 yet still signed for an impressive level-par total of 144.

World number one Popert, 24, dropped three shots in his first four holes but, like his opening round, the Englishman recovered on the back nine to post a three-over 75 and trail by a shot on 145 for 36 holes.

Follow the latest scores from the sport classes here.

The weather is getting better

Popert, who was born with a form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia, has won five times on the G4D Tour in 2022/23 and will chase another notable victory tomorrow. Lawlor, 26, who has played in a number of DP World Tour events, has a rare condition called Ellis–van Creveld syndrome, characterised by a shorter stature and shorter limbs, and continues to impress at the Bedfordshire venue.

On an improved weather day after thunderstorms during day one, Italian Tommaso Perrino and Juan Postigo Arce from Spain, the world number four, are the closest challengers to the leading pair on six-over-par. Perrino has signed for two rounds of 75, with Postigo dropping back after his 79 which featured two double bogeys.

Rasmus Lia from Sweden and Ireland’s Conor Stone are next on the international leaderboard at eight-over. Players from ten countries or territories are represented in the top ten after the second round.

While Lawlor and Popert are both professionals, this week has seen a field of 80 male and female amateur and professional golfers competing across sport classes which cover various categories in Standing, Intellectual, Visual and Sitting.

Free entry for the fans

The championship, held in partnership between The R&A and the DP World Tour and supported by EDGA (formerly the European Disabled Golf Association), is one of the most inclusive ever staged, featuring nine sport classes across multiple impairment groups, with players represented from 17 countries.

An overall winner will be determined at the end of the three rounds on Friday, along with an opposite sex winner and a gross prize in each category.

Spectators are welcome to attend The G4D Open free of charge.

Key Quotes from the players

Brendan Lawlor, Ireland

“I hit it so good again today. I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. I had a few silly three-putts and a lot of putts from inside five feet I missed. So probably looking back on my round I could be five shots better. That’s just golf. All you can do is play yourself in contention for tomorrow and hopefully they will drop then.

“I didn’t really look at the leaderboard but Kipp’s one behind so you never know it could turn into a match play situation pretty easily tomorrow.”

Kipp Popert, England

“I felt I scored well. It was a grind. I got up-and-down. I played in the trees a lot, chipped out a lot. So yeah, to come off there with three-over, I’m still in it. All I needed to do was to be around the lead. I’ve won from behind before and I’ve won from ahead before. I like competing and that’s why I’m here.”

Tommaso Perino, Italy

“The Duchess I like so much because it is a course that is good for me, especially my driver. I’ve missed one driver in four days and it is a course that if you place the driver it is not too difficult.

“I broke my leg in an accident in 2001. But in 2019 I came to the EDGA family and started again to play. It was an unbelievable opportunity to do what I wanted to do before the accident and I enjoy enough my life now.”

Juan Postigo Arce, Spain

“I really didn’t feel great. I started pretty well playing the first few holes but then I didn’t know how to manage my swing all day and was not able to score very well. I know I can score low. I know they can also score high so I hope to have a chance tomorrow.”

(Text: R&A – Communications)

Amateur Tours

Rose Zhang sets new record as the world’s leading amateur golfer

Rose Zhang of the United States of America today broke the record for the total number of weeks as the number one golfer in the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Zhang has now spent 136 weeks as the world’s leading women’s amateur golfer, surpassing the record total of 135 weeks set by Leona Maguire of Ireland in 2018.

The 19-year-old ascended to the number one position in WAGR for the first time in September 2020 and has gone on to beat Lydia Ko’s record of 130 consecutive weeks by remaining at the top of the ranking ever since.

Rose Zhang: “It’s an unbelievable honour”

“It’s an unbelievable honour and a testament to a lot of hard work not just by me but by my team as well. Passing names like Lydia and Leona on any list is incredible; they’ve both gone on to have such impressive professional careers and are great role models in golf. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received and look forward to continuing to pursue my dreams in this game.”

“I want to congratulate Rose on this amazing achievement,” said Leona Maguire. “It takes so much hard work and determination to become the world’s number one amateur golfer and to consistently hold that position for a record-breaking number of weeks shows just how good a golfer Rose really is. She is a future star of the game.”

Zhang was awarded the Mark H McCormack Medal in 2020, 2021 and 2022 as the world’s leading women’s amateur golfer, joining Maguire and Ko as the only three-time recipients of the accolade.

Notable wins in this time include the recently held Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the 2022 NCAA Championship and US Women’s Amateur two years ago. Last year, she also won the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur at the AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, finished T-11 at the Chevron Championship in 2020 and qualified for the 2019 US Women’s Open as a 16-year-old.

Professor Steve Otto, Chief Technology Officer at The R&A, said, “We would like to congratulate Rose on this record-breaking achievement at the highest level of women’s amateur golf, as well as her recent success at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She has consistently delivered outstanding results for some time now and continues to show why she is so highly regarded in the sport. We look forward to seeing her compete in the AIG Women’s Open once more at Walton Heath this year.”

“Rose continues to build upon an exceptional amateur career, and all of us at the USGA would like to congratulate her on this incredible record-breaking achievement,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA chief championships officer. “She has become a role model to so many young girls around the world and has consistently performed at the highest levels. We know this is only the start of what will be a long and impactful career in the game.”
(Press Release by R&A)

Amateur Tours

England Sweep the R&A Boys’ and Girls’ Home Internationals

England not only made history by winning the first ever combined team format for boys and girls in the R&A Home Internationals, they swept all three competitions, winning the combined event and the boys’ and girls’ competitions too.

England topped the combined final leaderboard with a perfect three points from three wins, Ireland was second with two points, Wales and Scotland took half a point each, with the Welsh side finishing third thanks to more matches won.

Already in pole position heading into the final day and just needing to defeat Scotland to top the points table, England made sure of victory right from the start with a 6-1 win in the foursomes. England then dominated the singles too with an 11-3 advantage to beat the home team 17-4.

“We got out fast today,” England captain Stephen Burnett said. “We changed things around for the foursomes and they smashed it this morning. They did this afternoon too. The team bats deeps, and in a way the format favours us because the more players there are the better it is for us, but they still had to go out there and do it. I couldn’t be prouder of them to win all three trophies. The team was fantastic, they prepared well, played well and it’s a great result.”

Ireland assured themselves of second place with a 12½-8½ win over Wales. The Welsh provided strong resistance early on by splitting the foursomes session 3½-3½. However, the Emerald Isle players proved too strong in head to head play, taking the singles 9-5.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my players over the last three days, especially the last two,” Irish captain Peter English said.

“It was a fantastic performance. We’ve got quite a few debutants, players that are available next year and the year after. It shows we’re on the way up and we have a lot to build on for next year. We haven’t had the exposure for the last couple of years, and it’s critical they do get this exposure. It gives them important international experience for their development.”

Welsh skipper Llew Matthews also left Downfield feeling immensely proud of his team.
“We played well in the foursomes this week and this morning to split the session, but the Irish came out fighting this afternoon and played a lot of good golf,” the 2007 Walker Cup player said.

“We played good golf throughout the tournament which perhaps doesn’t show up in the scores, and I’m proud of them. There’s been great camaraderie, great togetherness. It’s been a great learning experience for them, and they have something to build on for the future.”

While it’s perhaps unfair to pick out one player from the 64 on show, one deserves special mention. Scotland’s Niall Shiels Donegan was the only player to emerge with a 100% record from his six matches.

“Niall was brilliant this week,” Scottish captain Susan Jackson said. “He’s been a real leader, he’s led the team, he’s confident and he’s had great team work with his team mates. To win six matches out of six is very impressive.”

The best juniors in Great Britain and Ireland will convene at Lindrick Golf Club, the 1957 Ryder Cup venue, for the 2023 R&A Boys’ and Girls’ Home Internationals.
Press Release by The R&A

Amateur Tours

Junior Ryder Cup Cancelled


The PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe today jointly announced the cancellation of this year’s Junior Ryder Cup due to ongoing travel issues for the European Junior Ryder Cup party. The match was scheduled to take place at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, from September 20-21.
We are deeply disappointed for the talented young athletes on both sides of the Atlantic who were working hard to earn a place in this wonderful match. First played in 1997, the contest between six boys and six girls from the United States and Europe, all aged 18 years and under, will return in Italy in 2023. 
The PGA of America will welcome U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team members to Whistling Straits for an exhibition match on Wednesday, September 22. The team will also be introduced at the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony and invited to watch Friday’s Ryder Cup competition.
The 43rd Ryder Cup will take place from September 21-26 at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Plans remain on course to hold the contest with full spectator attendance and under the guidance of public health authorities.

Interview transcript by the European Tour Communications