The U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team is preparing for a stiff test against a European Team looking to avenge a loss in 2008. But the strong U.S. side, featuring the current Junior PGA Champions, the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Champion, and two U.S. Girls' Champions, is confident they can stage a repeat performance.
The team cruised to victory in 2008, 22 to 2, at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky.
"If you look at our team's resumes, these are not only great kids, but the skill level is top-notch," said U.S. Captain M.G. Orender, past president of The PGA of America. "This really has turned into a world-class experience and delivers on its original promise to create a truly international competition."
Denny McCarthy of Burtonsville, Md., and Cassy Isagawa of Wailuku, Hawaii, lead the 2010 squad, both coming off victories in August at the 2010 Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour, contested at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., who finished runner-up to Isagawa in the girls' division, is excited to play with many of the players she regularly competes against on the junior circuit.
"There is so much talent on our team and it is going to be great to play with those players instead of against them," said Howard. "I know most of the girls on our team very well and it will be fun to play alongside them."
Howard also recognizes that the Junior Ryder Cup will also feature a strong European Team.
"The Junior Ryder Cup is the most prestigious event out there and has the best players from Europe ready to win," said Howard. "We have to play well to win and I am excited to compete."
The team also includes Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., and Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., champions of the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur and 2010 U.S. Girls Championship, respectively.
Liu, 14, is the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion in the event's history.
Jordan Spieth of Dallas, Texas and Anthony Paolucci Del Mar, Calif., will both be competing in their second Junior Ryder Cup, as both competed on the 2008 U.S. Team.
"I am really excited to be competing on my second Junior Ryder Cup," said Paolucci. "Our team played really well in 2008 and now we are the away team and have to figure out how to win."
The European Team also features a strong contingent, which includes three returning players from 2008, Kelly Tidy from England on the girls’ side; and Chris Lloyd of England and Moritz Lampert of Germany on the boys’ side.
Participants in the 2010 Junior Ryder Cup will play a "friendship" match Sept. 30, (Thursday), the day prior to the start of the Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales.
The matches will feature a mixed four-ball, with the U.S. competing against Europe for the six matches.