Date: September 26, 2017
Author: Golf Australia

Tough start for young Internationals

The young International team has a huge hole from which to climb after the first day of the inaugural Junior Presidents Cup.

The American team came out blazing in the morning fourball matches at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey, then further extended their lead to 9-3 when the afternoon foursomes were complete.

It leaves a monumental task ahead for the International team in tomorrow’s singles matches, with the visitors needing to win nine of 12 matches to halve the tournament.

The fourball matches resulted in four wins and two halves for the hosts, with Melbourne’s Karl Vilips pairing and Sean Maruyama, son of Japanese legend Shigeki, one team that fell short.

Three times on Viliips’ back-nine birdies the International combination pulled within one hole, including on the 17th, but each time the American combination of Trent Phillips and Jacob Bridgeman steadied to win 2-up.

The all-Aussie team of Perth’s Fred Lee and Canberra’s Josh Armstrong were briefly 1-up when the latter birdied the short fifth hole, but fell away quickly on the back nine as Eugene Hong made five birdies in seven holes from the ninth to secure a 4&3 win alongside Akshay Bhatia for the US.

The same Aussie pair, though, finally put a full point on the board in the afternoon foursomes, taking down Turner Hosch and Canon Claycomb 3&1.

The Americans led by a hole through 11 in a see-sawing clash, but the young Aussies lit up late and with a conceded birdie on the 12th followed by three more in succession from the 15th to wrap up a point.

Vilips, the youngest player on either team at just 16, was paired with South African Jayden Schaper in the afternoon and they found themselves 1-up after 11 holes.

But a couple of errors on the 12th and 16th holes were split by two American birdies as Cole Hammer and Garrett Barber saluted 3&1.

The tournament ends tomorrow before the youngsters all move to nearby Liberty National Golf Club to witness the Presidents Cup first hand for the remainder of the week.