Seventeen-year-old Los Alamitos golf star Esther Lee won all three of her matches at the 8th Annual Junior Ryder Cup, helping the United States team captures its third consecutive victory Tuesday.
The United States bested it’s European rivals 14 1/2 to 9 ½ Tuesday afternoon at Olympia Fields Country Club. The Junior Ryder Cup, an international team match-play competition, features 12 junior golfers from the United States hosting their European counterparts.
During the two-day competition, the United States battled to a 7-5 lead after the first day of foursomes and mixed four-balls, then sprinted out singles Tuesday by winning four of its first five matches.
The U.S. Team won seven of the 12 singles matches and halved another, according to PGA officials.
Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., downed Germany's Quirine Eijkenboom, 4 and 2 and Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., lead the way with a 6 and 5 conquest of Linnea Ström of Sweden.
Alison Lee, who finished runner-up in the 2012 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, clinched the winning point for the United States team.
"I had to come out this morning and finish my four-ball match so that helped me warm up a bit," Alison Lee said. "I felt really comfortable all day and to make that clinching point was so awesome. It feels great to know that I helped the team."
Los Alamitos High School student Esther Lee was among three players to win all three matches – the others Karen Chung and Casie Cathrea of Livermore California.
"It's exciting to know that I was able to close out my first Junior Ryder Cup with three points and winning all three matches," Cathrea said. "This whole experience has been incredible and it's not over yet. We still get to play Medinah tomorrow and that should be great, too."
According to a PGA spokesman, U.S. Captain Roger Warren was impressed with the performance of both teams.
"We are really fortunate to have won, because these teams are so evenly matched and each have such a wealth of talent," said Warren, who was the 34th president of The PGA of America. "We came because we wanted to compete and win. But in the end it was all about friendships and goodwill between the teams that made this a truly special experience."
The European Team was led in the singles matches by Ireland's Gavin Moynihan, who posted a 4 and 3 victory over Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y.
European Captain Stuart Wilson said he enjoyed his experience as Captain and is looking forward to being Captain again in 2014 when the Junior Ryder Cup visits Blairgowrie Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland, according to a PGA spokesman.
"The players really enjoyed themselves this week and we battled all the way down to the final match," Wilson said. "It will be an honor to Captain the team again in 2014 when we go to Scotland and we will hope for a better result."