USA Joins Other Nations At Copa de Las Americas
June 19, 2007
The tradition of the Copa de Las Americas may be short, but the four players selected to represent the
this week hope to make memories that will last a lifetime.
The Copa de Las Americas, which was first played in 2003, is a biannual international amateur event that brings together teams from all over the Western hemisphere. Each country is represented by two male and two female amateur golfers. While Canada reigns victorious, winning both the inaugural event and in 2005, the USA team looks to change that trend this year at Beacon Hill Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. The first of four rounds of play begins Wednesday and ends on Saturday.
Jonathan Moore, 21, who will be a junior at Oklahoma State University in the fall, and Webb Simpson, 21, who is entering his senior year at Wake Forest, make up the USA's men's team. The women will be represented by Jennie Lee, a 20-year-old junior-to-be at Duke University, and 22-year-old Stacy Lewis, who will be a senior at the University of Arkansas. All four players boast already impressive resumes to which they can add this additional honor.
Loren Singletary of Houston, Texas, a member of the USGA Executive Committee, will again lead the American players - he also served as the team captain in 2005.
The Copa is unique in that the winning team is determined based upon the collective scores of each player's rounds added together. While the players are used to competing as part of college squads, Singletary explained that during their first practice, the players were "figuring out how to manage the round as a team event." The team component is "something everyone is very aware of," he said.
The co-ed nature of the Copa, in addition to it being an international event, makes it special. Lewis said that "it is fun to play with the boys because usually we don't get to do that."
Moore said, "We are all just hitting some different shots, nothing too serious, and just having a good time."
The team is highly motivated. Singletary said they are well aware the USA has not won the Copa before.
"This group really has the focus and the desire to win yet also have a good time," Singletary said. "The Copa is a friendly environment and atmosphere."
All of the players said they felt honored to represent their country.
"We're not going to put any pressure on ourselves," said Simpson. "We're just going to play well like we know we can."
As for the course, the players seem satisfied.
"The course is beautiful; it is just in great shape,"
While the quartet had only reached the 12th hole during their practice round, each agreed that the course is interesting.
"The front nine is totally different from the back," Simpson said. Lewis and Lee agreed, saying that the front nine is tight while the back is much more open.
"It is almost like playing two different courses," said Lewis.
Singletary mentioned the "good risk/reward" aspect of
and that during practice the players are trying to discover exactly where these spots are.
"The course has five par 5s, which gives - particularly the men - the opportunity to challenge them for birdies," Singletary said. But soon after he made this observation, Lee and Lewis both birdied the 12th hole. Apparently, the entire team, not just the men, may benefit.
team has another practice round Tuesday before the first round begins Wednesday. On Saturday, the winner of the 2007 Copa de las
will be crowned.
is an intern with the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at email@example.com.