Along with USGA representatives, a team of eight junior players from around the country arrived in China on July 30 to participate in the USA-China Youth Golf Match. Each day, a member of the USA Team will be sharing their experiences on USGA.org.
August 2 - First Day of Matches
Player: A.J. Beechler
Hometown: Pinehurst, N.C.
Today was an exciting day in China. We played our first matches against the Chinese team. Both matches were fun; the first we lost, 5 and 4, in a Foursome match, and the second we won, 3 and 1, in Fourball. The highlight was getting my first win in China.
My favorite difference in the golf courses here in China versus at home are the fish in the ponds. They have koi fish here, and I have only seen them in fake ponds. We haven’t watched much television, and we were disappointed that they don’t have the Golf Channel.
I am having a wonderful time in China. It’s one of the best sites for a tournament in the world and I hope to be able to play here again.
August 1 - Pro-Am & Sightseeing
Player: Wilson Furr
Hometown: Jackson, Miss.
Today was a great day in China. This morning we played Nanshan Golf Club. It was a great course with some great views of the town and mountains.
After we played, we went and visited the town. It was very interesting to see how they live and go about their day. There was a huge Buddha statue. We went and toured it and it was a very neat experience.
To finish our day we went to a Rolex dinner. We all dressed up, ate a lot of good meat and duck, and exchanged gifts. We gave them each a USGA hat and a water bottle, and we each received a computer mouse and a hat. I am looking forward to the competition starting tomorrow.
Player: Dree Fausnaugh
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Today we played the Pro-Am/practice round at the Nanshan International Training facility. After a lovely breakfast at the indoor training facility at the Dangling Clubhouse, we went down to the practice range. The training facility was like nothing I have ever seen. The grass was perfect, and the greens were immaculate. Lining the streets going into the Nanshan Resort are pictures with our names on them. It was awesome to feel so welcomed by the Chinese golf association, and to see how much work they put into having us here for the USA- China Youth Golf Match. There was an area with five different bunkers all filled with different types of sand in each one. Ciara Petronzio and I played with two Chinese team members, named Lucy and Shannon. They were both very good and very sweet. The golf course was beautiful with spectacular views and was very hilly. We had caddies and rode in carts. Although the caddies did not speak much English, they were very nice and helpful. After the round we went back to the clubhouse to eat some lunch. We headed back to the hotel real quick, and got on the bus to begin our tour of the Nanshan Scenic Spot. Our first quick stop was inside the Nanshan Tour guide center. Inside the center was a model of the entire Nanshan Resort. You could see all of the golf courses, every building and every mountain located in Nanshan. It showed just how much work goes into this. Nanshan is a corporation that makes everything from the clothing for the Olympics, wine, golf courses, hotels, aviation and more. Our next stop was the Buddha statue.
Once we got there, all we saw was a huge set of stairs up half a mountain. On top was a huge Buddha statue, which cost $38 million to build. We began our trek up the stairs, which I must say was extremely tiring, but the view afterwards was definitely worth it. We could see panoramic views of mountains, golf courses, buildings, everything. In the mountains you could see small traditional Chinese temples. In the rocks and stones in the mountains there were carved Chinese words, which I thought was very cool. At the Buddha statue, the tour guide told us to touch each petal of the lotus that the huge statue sat upon, because it was good luck. The walls surrounding the Buddha statue had Chinese words, and names carved into them. The detail that is put into the things at the scenic spots here are just incredible. We went inside of a room under the Buddha statue that had thousands of mini Buddhas. We then went into another temple building that had a white Buddha statue, which you were supposed to pray to for eternal health. All of these sites at the Nanshan Scenic Spot were absolutely beautiful. I have never seen something so pretty. It was truly a great experience. After our tour we went to the Rolex Dinner, took lots of pictures, and ate great and interesting food. The CGA and USGA exchanged gifts with each other, and the Chinese team sang and danced. Some of the cuisine included lobster, steak, curry chicken and duck. It was all very good! Tomorrow is the first day of match play and we are all very excited and ready to play well! Coming to China has been amazing so far, the CGA is so welcoming and this experience has truly been so fun, amazing and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Go USA!
July 31 – Practice Rounds & Dinner
Player: Patrick Martin
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
First off, I would like to thank the USGA and AJGA's Leadership Links program for giving us the great opportunity to further our relationship not only with the game of golf but with China as a whole.
Everyone at the China Golf Association has really done their best to make us feel as welcome as possible. I really enjoyed today’s practice round and I cannot wait for what is in store for us tomorrow.
Today’s practice round was like none other I have played. It was cool to experience the way the golf course was designed and learn about the day of a typical Chinese golfer. I could definitely tell that they worked hard on their short games.
Both teams had dinner together tonight and it was a lot of fun. I was impressed by the room setup and the food and company were great. We are all looking forward to the matches and the other activities with the CGA this weekend.
Player: Jean Marie Tyrrell
Hometown: Leawood, Kan.
When I stepped on the first tee today I felt a sense of pride like I have never felt before. Knowing you are representing your country is such a wonderful feeling that no words can describe. The golfers from China are playing at the highest level of talent that you can expect in junior golf.
Not only is the China team full of great golfers, but they are even better hosts. They have rolled out the red carpet for us. I am looking forward to learning more about the Chinese culture and how they approach the game.
Today we played a practice round on the Ian Woosnam Course at Nanshan International Golf Club. I played with my teammate, Ciara Petronzio, and two other players from China. The layout of the course was amazing and it is in immaculate shape. We had a view of the Bohai Sea from every hole. We are trying to get a feel for the course and greens for our matches.
It has been great getting to know my other USA teammates. We are quickly bonding and hopefully that will help with our matches throughout the week. I know the bonds that we have formed as a team will last a lifetime.
The team environment is something I really miss during summer golf. Getting the chance to represent your country as a team is such an honor. You want to win, but more importantly, it’s about being an ambassador of the game. I am so excited and looking forward to the rest of the week.
I am forever grateful to the USGA and the China Golf Associations for making this event possible. It is truly an experience of a lifetime!
July 30: Travel to China
Player: Divya Manthena
Hometown: Camarillo, Calif.
I am playing for my country, and for the past two years I have felt so honored and fortunate to be able to participate [Divya also played in the 2012 USA-China Youth Match]. Last year's experience was unforgettable. I truly enjoyed meeting and interacting with the Chinese players and I learned a lot.
I am excited to be traveling to China this year to represent my country once again. I hope to learn about Chinese culture, and I am excited to see the golf courses there. The experience so far this year has been fun, from meeting my teammates to traveling on the plane with them. I am eager to meet the Chinese team and will enjoy every moment of the trip.
I am so thankful for this opportunity and can't thank the USGA or AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) enough. The [AJGA] Leadership Links program has encouraged me and my teammates to make our communities better places to live. Receiving the USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award this year has meant a lot. I am excited for the week ahead, not only to interact with the Chinese team and to learn more about their culture, but to represent the USA.