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July 22, 2011

PING Junior Solheim Cup update

The 2009 PING Junior Solheim Cup squad celebrates victory on home soil.

July 28 Update:

With the conclusion of today's AJGA tournaments, the qualification period for the PING Junior Solheim Cup is complete. Watch ajga.org Friday for the newest edition of the AJGA's Polo Golf Rankings. The top five eligible players will earn the first spots on the U.S. Team. Then, when the latest edition of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings are released, the next five places will be determined.

Because last week's U.S. Girls' Junior Championship will be factored into this week's Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, expect some movement to occur by the players who went deep into match play.

After the 10 automatic spots are filled, the final two spots are reserved for captain's picks.


July 22 Update:

The quarterfinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior saw Karen Chung, Summar Roachell and Gabriella Then’s title quests come to an end. While Chung and Then’s top-five positions on the Priority List will most likely go unchanged, Roachell’s successful run will put her in the mix for a spot on this year’s PING Junior Solheim Cup squad.

Roachell came into the USGA event 12 spots out from the automatic qualifying slots available for the trip to Ireland. By defeating the likes of Brooke Henderson (Canada), Manuela Carbajo Re (Argentina), and Aurora Kan (Boothwyn, Pa.), Roachell has proven she can compete on an international stage. But will she climb high enough in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings before team selection on Aug. 2?

The only eligible American candidate left is youngster Amy Lee of Brea, Calif. Lee finds herself up against one of the most dominant females on the junior golf circuit in the semifinal match – Ariya Jutanugarn. Whether or not she defeats the Jutanugarn, who is No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, having defeated girls such as Talia Campbell, Mikayla Harmon, Isabella Southard and Alison Lee (ranked No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings), will put her in good standing after next week’s Priority List update.


July 21 Update:

With another week of competition in the books, the PING Junior Solheim Cup Rankings remain unchanged as far as those who currently hold an automatic qualifying spot. With the match play portion of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in full swing, many girls are locking down their spot on the Priority List while others are trying to take advantage of open doors.

Successfully advancing to the Round of 16, Gabriella Then, Alison Lee, Karen Chung, Ashlan Ramsey and Mariah Stackhouse appear to be solidifying their positions on the PING Junior Solheim Cup Priority List. Stackhouse, who has had a successful year with two AJGA victories hovers along the cut line for automatic entry via the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings but has shown she has what it takes to do well in match play competition.  

Lindsey Weaver, who also hovers as a final pick via the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, bowed out in the first round of match play, falling to Huntsville, Ala., native Janie Jackson 1-up. A popular pick based on match play experience, Emma Talley also found herself departing earlier than expected, falling 5 & 3 to Dottie Ardina of the Philippines after the second round of matches.

Opportunities are opening up for underdogs Talia Campbell of Dallas, and Summar Roachell of Conway, Ark., who are successfully maneuvering their way through the brackets. Campbell defeated Stackhouse 4 & 3, while Roachell ousted Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa., 5 &3, as each player advanced to the quarterfinals.

Opportunities are plenty and competition is intense to climb up the Priority List before Monday’s update. For an up-to-date bracket from the 2011 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship visit http://www.usga.org/ChampEventScore.aspx?id=17179869328&year=2011&type=reversetree.


July 14 Update:

As the summer schedule rolls on, the American Junior Golf Association’s Priority List that will form the American Team for the 2011 PING Junior Solheim Cup is taking shape.
As it currently stands, Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., is fourth on the PING Junior Solheim Cup Priority List and would be the sole returner to the squad. Lee was part of the winning U.S. team at the 2009 event staged at Aurora Country Club in Aurora, Ill.
Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., currently holds the top spot in the Priority List on the strength of a victory at the 2011 Thunderbird International Junior. Chung is a three-time Wyndham Cup participant and advanced to the championship match of the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., round out the top five in the Priority List. Then is the latest victor at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, while Green is the reigning Polo Golf Junior Classic champion.
The first five team members are chosen from the Polo Golf Rankings with an additional five automatically pulled from the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings if not otherwise selected.
Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., sits as the first pick from the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings with a wealth of match play experience stemming from appearances at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, Wyndham Cup and Polo Golf Junior Classic.
Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., is also in the mix for a 2011 slot. No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings, Talley has already recorded three AJGA victories in 2011, tying the AJGA record for most consecutive wins.
AJGA Player Representative Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., are all currently inside the top-10 picks for this year’s event.
The remaining two spots are reserved for Captain’s selection. This year’s U.S. captain is Meg Mallon, who served as Assistant Captain at the 2009 Solheim Cup. As a player, she has amassed a total of 19 Tour titles and has played in eight Solheim Cups. A two-time U.S. Women’s Open Champion, Mallon can look forward to a squad that has experience with pressure-packed matches on some of the biggest stages in junior golf.
The sixth edition of the biennial PING Junior Solheim Cup is slated for Sept. 20-21 at the Knightsbook Hotel & Spa Golf Resort in Trim, Ireland. Modeled after the LPGA’s Solheim Cup, this two-day match play event puts the top 12 female juniors from the U.S. against their 12 European counterparts in a battle for bragging rights and team pride.
Official teams will be announced Tuesday, Aug. 2. Neither squad has won on rival turf. Can the U.S. Girls repeat a 2009 victory, claiming the Cup on European territory for the first time in tournament history?