PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – An elite group of junior golfers representing seven states will host their European counterparts in the 8th Junior Ryder Cup, Sept. 24-25, at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club.
The 2012 U.S. team includes reigning Junior PGA Champion Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., who captured boys’ title in the 37th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Heritage Food Service Group, Aug. 3, at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Cameron Champ of Sacramento, Calif., and Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., the respective runners-up in the boys' and girls' divisions of the 2012 Junior PGA Championship, also earned automatic spots.
The United States team, comprised of six boys and six girls who are U.S. citizens and graduating high school in 2013, or younger, will face a European squad of junior golfers in the biennial competition.
PGA Past President Roger Warren of Kiawah Island, S.C., fresh from serving as general chairman of the 94th PGA Championship, will captain the U.S. team.
Warren, the president of Kiawah Island (S.C.) Golf Resort, will guide an American squad that is attempting to capture the Junior Ryder Cup for a third consecutive time.
“I am really excited about the team this year. Their experience and quality of play is tremendous,” said Warren, who served as PGA president from 2004-05. “They are all great young players I know they will perform well.”
Warren said that he wants to ensure that each junior has both an unforgettable experience and develops relationships with players on both the U.S. and European teams.
“I know that both teams will play hard, and the quality of play from both teams will be at an extremely high level,” said Warren. “But we also want to make sure this is a way for them to get to know each other, become friends, and have a great life experience.”
Shelton, who claimed the 2012 Junior PGA Championship title by three strokes, said that he was keeping a berth on the Junior Ryder Cup Team in the back of his mind.
“I have never been on a team like this before and just to have a spot on the team is great," said Shelton, 17. “It will be a huge honor and something I will never forget.”
Wagner, 15, also is looking forward to competing for her country in September.
“I played well all week at the Junior PGA Championship and put myself in a position to make the team,” said Wagner, a 2015 high school graduate, who was making her second appearance in the Junior PGA Championship. “And now I get to play in the Junior Ryder Cup. I am so excited about that opportunity.”
Joining the automatic qualifiers from the Junior PGA Championship are Beau Hossler of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., who were first on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup points list in the boys’ and girls’ rankings.
Hossler has competed in the last two U.S. Opens, finishing in a tie for 29th in 2012 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. The 17-year-old finished in a tie for seventh in the 2011 Junior PGA Championship, and tied for 9th in 2012.
Lee, who was a member of the 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team, finished third in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and was runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Warren also announced his seven captains’ picks, four in the girls' division and three in the boys' division.
Warren’s selections in the girls division were: Casie Cathrea of Livermore, Calif., a quarterfinalist in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Championship who finished in a tie for sixth in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship; Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., the runner-up in the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship; Casey Danielson of Osceola, Wis., a quarterfinalist in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur who finished third in the 2011 Junior PGA Championship; and Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., who tied for 8th in the 2012 Junior PGA Championship and was a member of the 2011 Junior Solheim Cup Team.
The boys’ captain selections were: Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., the 2011 Junior Players Champion and three-time Junior Boys Amateur Champion, Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., a member of the 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team who in 2010 became the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in the events history; and Scottie Scheffler of Dallas, Texas, the 2012 Texas State Boys 4A Champion who finished in a tie for 15th at the 2012 Junior PGA Championship.
Participants in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup will also play a Friendship Match on Sept. 26, at Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, site of the 39th Ryder Cup.
The match will feature a combined mixed four-ball, with six groupings of four players that includes one girl and one boy from both Europe and the United States. The teams will play a composite course, blending both front-nine and back-nine holes.
2012 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team:
Cameron Champ – Sacramento, Calif.
Gavin Hall – Pittsford, N.Y.
Beau Hossler – Mission Viejo, Calif.
Jim Liu - Smithtown, N.Y.
Scottie Scheffler – Dallas, Texas
Robby Shelton – Wilmer, Ala.
Casie Cathrea – Livermore, Calif.
Karen Chung – Livingston, N.J.
Casey Danielson – Osceola, Wis.
Alison Lee – Valencia, Calif.
Esther Lee – Los Alamitos, Calif.
Samantha Wagner – Windermere, Fla.