Team Europe steamrolled their guests at Golf Nazionale in Rome — and are now in prime position to end a run of six straight defeats to Team USA in the Junior Ryder Cup as they hold an intimidating 12-6 advantage going into the final day.
The two teams — comprising 12 of the best male and female junior players from Europe and the US — entered the second day tied at 6-6, before the home side took control, winning all six fourball matches.
Spaniard Rocio Tejedo and Scotland’s Connor Graham overcame American twins Anna and Billy Davis 3&2 in the first match, before Sweden’s Meja Örtengren and Englishman Kris Kim defeated Yana Wilson and Miles Russell by the same score.
Europe extended their lead with German duo Helen Briem and Peer Wernicke securing a 2&1 triumph over Leigh Chien and Nicholas Gross, followed by Italians Francesca Fiorellini and Giovanni Binaghi’s impressive 4&3 victory against Kylie Chong and Jay Leng Jr.
Spain’s Andrea Revuelta and Ukrainian Lev Grinberg overcame Ryleigh Knaub and Jackson Byrd 1-up before Sweden’s Nora Sundberg and Ireland’s Sean Keeling defeated Gianna Clemente and Will Hartman 3&1 to make it a perfect 6-0 for Stephen Gallacher’s team.
“It was awesome,” said Gallacher. “We came out firing and took control of the session from the word go. We took a hit yesterday afternoon and I knew they wanted to bounce back today. The team spirit yesterday evening was terrific and I’m so proud of all of them.
“Every player took control of their own game and they’ve done everything I could have asked of them. They were playing their own ball today which helped them play their own game.
“There are still 12 points left to play for and anything can happen. It’s important not to get complacent and we need to just focus on winning the session.
“I’m having an amazing time as captain. The standard of golf is phenomenal, and I think seven-under par was our lowest score today which is amazing to see. I’m seeing so many good shots that it is inspiring.”
US captain Paul Levy is hoping his team can bounce back tomorrow, with the Americans needing to recover the six-point deficit to retain the trophy.
“I’ve seen a lot of Ryder Cup competitions in my time and today we got beat emphatically,” he said. “They played exceptionally, and we didn’t put the ball in the hole quick enough.
“Tomorrow, we need to win nine of the 12 points to retain the Junior Ryder Cup and we’re going to have to dig deep and see if we can keep that cup.
“My boys and girls have heart. They’re going to go out there and be competitive. I’m hoping something very special can happen at Marco Simone.”
The decisive single matches will begin at 7.30am local time 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.
Main image: Junior Ryder Cup