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Euro Junior Golf Cup - Final Results
Team USA Results from St. Andrews, Scotland
ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND — Over the past 6 days, 14 talented junior golfers made up the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) Team USA in the 2012 Euro Junior Golf Cup. The team traveled to St. Andrews, Scotland to compete for the John Clark trophy in a three way match play event against Team Canada and Team Fife (Scotland). Team USA looked to make history of their own at the home of golf as they were scheduled to compete on three of Scotland’s most historic golf courses: Scotscraig Golf Club, Leven Links, and Drumoig Golf Club.
At Scotscraig Golf Club, the opening round of competition found each team looking to take an early lead in the three day event. Well placed pot bunkers and high grass surrounding the tight fairways of the 13th oldest golf course in the world set the stage for what any avid golfer would expect of a round in Scotland. When the dust had settled, Team Canada was able to jump out to a fast start by claiming a nine point lead over Team USA with 22 points. Team USA found themselves in second totaling an opening round point total of 12.5 points while Team Fife rounded out the three with 7.5 points.
During the first day of competition, Roland Massimino of Lumberville, PA was able to get the USA on the board by winning both of his matches. Roland was forced to drain an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to close out the Canadian in the Boys 15-19 Division. Daulet Tuleubayev of Blufton, SC and Will Thomson of Pittsford, NY both competed in the Boys U-14 Division and were also able to close out both of their competitors with impressive play. As is often the case in match play competitions, many players grinded out points for Team USA on the final hole by making some clutch shots, including Connor Jones (Newnan, GA), Oliver Ayer (Hamden, CT), and Nick Russell (Hilton Head, SC).
The second round of competition was held at Leven Links, which is situated on the Scottish coastline with great views. High winds and wet conditions are just a few of the elements that make this links course challenging. Pure shot making and the ability to keep the ball out of the high grass is key to success. Team USA was hoping to close the deficit, but with stiff competition from Team Fife and Team Canada, points were at a premium. Leading the way for Team USA in the second round was the Boys U-14 Division. Will Thomson, Daulet Tuleubayev, and Chase Roswall (Bristol, TN) all had very impressive performances. Each player was able to close out both of their opponents before the 17th hole. John Edwards of Paducah, KY was also able to dominate both of his competitors by earning two points for the Americans. Connor Jones also contributed 1 ½ points with excellent shot making on the back nine of play. Many matches came down to the final hole once again, where things seemed to slip away a bit for Team USA. It was once again Team Canada who came away with a slight lead for Day 2, which also helped to pad their overall lead. Team USA finished with 12 points, 4 points behind Canada on the day and 14 ½ points back in the overall standings. Team Fife had 13 points on the day and was 4 ½ points behind Team USA in third place.
The final round action saw some very competitive matches being played at Drumoig Golf Club. The Girls Division started things off with Kali Boyer (New Ringgold, PA) and Lizzie Hammel (Wexford, PA) each contributing one point to Team USA in their matches. Once again, the Boys U-14 Division played very well as Thomson, Roswall, Tuleubayev, and Russell combined for a total of 5 points. In the Boys 15-19 Division, Team USA was led by strong play from John Edwards as he won both of his matches for the second day in a row. Oliver Ayer was also able to play well and win for Team USA. In the end, Team Canada had built a large enough lead to hold off the competitors and won the John Clark trophy with a total of 55.5 points. Team USA was competitive all week and finished just behind Team Fife with a total of 34 points.
After the final points had been won, the 2012 IJGT Team USA had plenty of reasons to hold their heads high. Each member on the team played great golf throughout the entire week and left everything they had on the course. Above all else, everyone had the experience of a lifetime. After the final round, Non-Playing Team Captain Zach Eberly stated “This year’s team was a very talented and fun group of junior golfers. Each of them has a bright future ahead of them and they should be proud of the way they competed over the past three days.”
2012 IJGT Team USA Roster
Boys 15-19 Division
Oliver Ayer – Hamden, CT
Chris Buscanera – Baldwinville, MA
John Edwards – Paducah, KY
Kyle Hughes – Pulaski, NY
Connor Jones – Newnan, GA
Roland Massimino – Lumberville, PA
Brad Rutkin – Great Neck, NY
John Sandlas – Seneca Falls, NY
Boys U-14 Division
Chase Roswall – Bristol, TN
Nicholas Russell – Hilton Head, SC
Will Thomson – Pittsford, NY
Daulet Tuleubayev – Bluffton, SC
Kali Boyer – New Ringgold, PA
Lizzie Hammel – Wexford, PA
About the Euro Junior Golf Cup
The Euro Junior Golf Cup match play event, now in its 8th year, brings together three nations’ top 42 juniors in a competition between Team USA- International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT), Team Canada-Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) and Team Scotland-Fife Golf Association (FGA) in a triangular team match play tournament.
Each squad consists of 14 players – 12 boys and 2 girls – who were selected based on their prominent golf resumes and rewarded for placing in various qualifying events amongst the three countries.
Title Sponsors include: Bridgestone Golf, AB Golf Designs, and the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy.