United States Youth Team Defeats China
August 7, 2008
Far Hills, N.J. - A team of eight U.S. junior golfers (ages 12-18) defeated a squad of eight Chinese juniors by a score of 14-2 in the China vs. USA Youth Team Golf Championship, held July 23-25 in Langfang City, China.
The match - a precursor to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing - was conducted by several golf organizations, including the United States Golf Association and the China Golf Association. The organizing committee included the Golf Association of Hebei Province in China and was approved by the Small Ball Sports Management Centre of China's State Sports General Administration.
"It was a wonderful opportunity for the young golfers from both countries to participate in a cultural exchange that surrounded competitive golf," said U.S. team captain and USGA Executive Committee Secretary Emily (Missy) Crisp.
The format was similar to other international amateur competitions, such as the Curtis Cup Match, and featured teams of four boys and four girls. The first day of play included 18-hole foursome matches, followed by 18-hole mixed four-ball matches on the second day and 18-hole singles matches the final day. Each team member from both sides participated in all three days of the competition.
The event saw the Americans sweep both the foursomes and four-ball matches during the first two days of play, to take a commanding 8-0 lead into the final day's singles matches. The youngsters from China were able to card a pair of singles victories over their guests from the West, but the overall victory in the friendly competition went to the U.S. team.
The eight youths on the U.S. team were selected by the Northern and Southern California Golf Associations. They were: Rico Hoey III of Rancho Cucamonga; Steven Kearney of La Costa Canyon; Mathew Miller of Pleasanton; Grant Rappleye of Elk Grove; Sydney Burlison of Salinas; Bonnie Hu of Fremont; Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta; and Rachel Morris of Carlsbad.
During the stay, the American team members visited sites throughout Beijing, including Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, as well as the Bird's Nest, which will serve as the stadium for the upcoming Olympics, which begin on Friday. In addition, the competition was preceded by exhibition play with local Chinese sponsors.
Day 1: Foursomes
Jennifer Johnson/Sydney Burlison def. Lv Zheng/Wang Tianyi - 3 and 2
Rachel Morris/Bonnie Hu def. Xiao Yi/Yang Jiaxin - 3 and 2
Grant Rappleye/Rico Hoey III def. Wu Haochuan/Ouyang Zheng - 1 up
Steven Kearney/Mathew Miller def. Zhao Xiongyi/Liu Yifan - 6 and 5
Score At End Of Day 1: USA 4, 0
Day 2: Mixed Four-Ball
Jennifer Johnson/Grant Rappleye def. Yang Jiaxin/Zhao Xiongyi - 3 and 2
Bonnie Hu/Steven Kearney def. Xiao Yi/Ouyang Zheng - 4 and 3
Sydney Burlison/Rico Hoey III def. Lv Zheng/Wu Haochuan - 5 and 4
Rachel Morris/Mathew Miller def. Wang Tianyi/Liu Yifan - 2 and 1
Score At End Of Day 2: USA 8, China 0
Day 3: Singles
The U.S. team won six of the eight matches, resulting in a 14-2 final score.
About the USGA:
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world's golfers and golf courses.
The Association's most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $62 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game's values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities.