North America Cup 2018 Concludes as Team Canada Takes the Cup at Dolphin Head
An epic-comeback from Team USA on Final Day falls just short, falling 13 ½ to 10 ½
Hilton Head, SC: The International Junior Golf Tour and the Canadian Junior Golf Association came together once again for the playing of the annual North America Cup over the week of July 4th. The 16th edition of the prestigious event, the event is played in a Ryder Cup format with three days of competition. The matches are competed in Fourball, Alternate Shot and Match play as 12 of the best players and representatives come together for the week-long event.
After three grueling days of competition in the South Carolina heat, Team Canada representing the CJGA was able to take the Cup and hold bragging rights for 2018. This is the first victory by Team Canada since the 2015 North America Cup at Weston Golf Club in Toronto, ON.
Team Canada was led by strong play all week by Trent Zorgdrager and Romi Dilawri. Dilawri, a veteran of the event as this was his second-time representing Team Canada, was able to obtain a point for his team each round of competition. Zorgdrager, the Team Playing Captain for Canada, also had a phenomenal week at Dolphin Head being a part of 2-points secured for Team Canada.
Heading into the Match Play for the final round of competition, Team Canada held a commanding lead of 8 ½ to 3 ½ over Team USA. The 12 great juniors representing Team USA and the IJGT knew it would take a massive effort for the final round of competition, and that is certainly what happened as USA charged back into the conversation.
A.J. Cavotta (Saratoga Springs, NY) obtained the first point of the day during Match Play, closing out his match 6&5 to get USA on the board early. After that, momentum was slowly starting to shift towards Team USA as they would win 2 more matches. Kaleb Palm (Orlando, FL) and Chase Phillips (Hilton Head, SC) were able to secure a point each for USA, each winning 2 Up.
Team Canada secured their first points in Match Play from Romi Dilawari, as he took a thrilling match against Team USA Playing Captain Mikee Ordona (Upland, CA). Shortly after, Jaden Weisman (Malvern, PA) put another point on the board for Team USA winning 2&1 in his match.
As the gap tightened on the scoreboard, the rumblings could be heard throughout the golf course and momentum had all shifted to the USA side. The energy felt from both teams during the final day was exciting to watch for golf fans of all ages, as players were rising to the occasion of this prestigious international event.
In what possibly was the Match of the day on Friday, Jeep Patrick (Hilton Head, SC) of Team USA put on a performance like no other against Team Canada’s Ben Maclean. Patrick held an early lead on the front-nine, but Maclean was steady and charged back in the final stretch. But, just like his USA teammates, Jeep Patrick was not going out without a battle.
Patrick dropped a 20-foot plus Birdie putt on Hole 17 to force the Match to go to Hole 18 before Maclean closed out the match 1 Up. After the match, both teams and spectators were able to congratulate the two juniors one a phenomenal round of golf at Dolphin Head.
Another player with an outstanding performance during the final day and all week of North America Cup was Blake Kopke (Bluffton, SC). Kopke continued to improve each and every day at Dolphin Head, including during his final Match against Team Canada’s Justin Matthews. Matthews was able to win the match 3&2, but both players showed a great amount of respect and sportsmanship for each other at the conlusion.
Representing the Team USA Girls Division were two phenomenal young juniors in Jessica Meyers and Sonia Mistry. Meyers (Wexford, PA) had a great week at Dolphin Head, as she was a part of two points secured in the Ryder Cup style event, including winning her match 9&7. Mistry (Winter Garden, FL) , a two-time NA Cup participant, was also heavily counted on during the week continuously putting the pressure on Team Canada with her accurate play.
Team USA also had big help throughout the week from Leo Hernandez (Bluffton, SC) and Chandler Brewer (Tybee Island, SC). The pair played together for the opening round of competition in Fourball matches, securing a point for Team USA winning 2Up. During the final round of play, both players secured big points for Team USA as Hernandez won 1Up, and Brewer closed his match against Team Canada winning 4&2.
Alex Burnett (Owing Mills, MD) also contributed in a big way to the success of Team USA over the week. Burnett improved constantly over the week, dropping big putt one after another and taking some of Team Canada’s best to the brink in each round of play.
With the win from Team Canada in the 16th year of North America Cup, this brings the overall series with USA still currently leading 11-5. The playing of the 2019 North America Cup will take place on Canadian soil, as CJGA will host the event at the prestigious Weston Golf Club in Toronto.
Players looking to learn more about the North American Cup, can visit the Marquee events tab at IJGT.com.
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