U.S. Leads Junior Ryder Cup, 7 1/2 to 4 1/2

Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda, one of four Californians on the United State team, earned a point and a half as the U.S. took a 7½-4½ lead over Europe after day one in the 11th Junior Ryder Cup at Golf Disneyland (www.disneylandparis.com/en-us/recreation/golf-disneyland) in Magny-le-Hongre, France.

The outcome will be determined by 12 singles matches on Tuesday. The U.S. needs 12 points to retain the Junior Ryder Cup, with Europe needing 12½ to take it back.

“We knew coming in it would be intense with the greatest of junior players in the world on both sides,” said U.S. Captain Allen Wronowski, past president of the PGA of America.

“The Euros jumped off to a quick start. So, I visited with each group to settle them down and play their own game, and that was one heckuva of a rally for a comeback.”

Castillo (pictured) and Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Ky., defeated Spaniards David Puig and Eduard Rosaud Sabate, 4 and 3, in morning foursomes, and Castillo teamed with Rose Zhang of Irvine to halve their afternoon fourball match with Rosaud Sabate and Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden.

In the other morning foursome matches won by the Americans, Luci Li of Redwood Shores and Erica Shepherd of Greenwood, Ind., downed Annabell Fuller of England and Amanda Linner of Sweden, 5 and 3, and William Moll of Houston and Cole Ponich of Farmington, Utah, got past Connor Gough and Robin “Tiger” Williams, both of England, 2 up.

In the other morning matches, Yealimi Noh of Concord and Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn., halved with Italians Emilie Alba Paltrinieri and Alessia Nobilio; Michael Thorbjornsen of Wellesley, Mass., and Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, N.C., halved with identical twins Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark, while Emma Spitz of Austria and Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden earned Europe its only full point in foursome play by beating Zhang  and Alexa Pano of Fort Worth, Fla., 4 and 3.

The U.S. captured three of the afternoon fourball matches, with Moll and Heck defeating Nicolai Hojgaard and Nobilo, 2 and 1; Ponich and Pano beating Puig and Spitz, 2 and 1, and Claycomb and Shepherd trouncing Gough and Linner, 5 and 3.

The Europeans won two matches, with Rasmus Hojgaard and Alba-Paltrinieri routing Noh and Bhatia, 5 and 4, while Williams and Fuller slipped past Thorbjornsen and Li, 1 up, and Castillo and Zhang halved with Rosaud Sabate and Lindblad.

The U.S. leads the series, 6-3-1, winning the last five after Europe went 3-0-1.

For complete results, visit https://junior.rydercup.com/scoring

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