Crew USA leads 9-Three at Junior Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE – In 2011, Karl Vilips lived 10 minutes from Royal Melbourne and remembers attending the Presidents Cup on a wet day to trek after Tiger Woods. Seven years later, Vilips, 18 and ranked No. 1 within the Golfweek/Sagarin Boys Junior Rankings, who was born in Jakarta to an Indonesian mom and Australian father and raised by his dad, Paul, in Perth, is again representing his nation within the Junior Presidents Cup.

“That is actually an unbelievable expertise to come back residence and play right here with the grandstands simply days earlier than the competitors,” stated Vilips, who has spent the previous seven years growing his recreation in the united statesand is a Stanford College commit.

The one factor that might have made it higher was successful two factors on Day One of many Junior Presidents Cup, however that was to not be. The Australian tandem of Vilips and Joshua Greer misplaced each of their Sunday matches 2 and 1, together with within the afternoon session when American Benjamin James (pictured above) buried a 60-foot birdie putt on 17 to seal the deal.

“Not a lot you are able to do about that,” Vilips stated.

The U.S. facet gained 4 of six morning 4-Ball matches and claimed 5 of the six afternoon Foursomes matches to surge to a 9-Three lead. Seven of the 12 matches concluded on the 17th gap, with the U.S. crew successful 5 of them. 4 American gamers gained each their matches Sunday: James, Vishnu Sadagopan, Maxwell Moldovan and Preston Summerhays.

Crew USA celebrates after Maxwell Moldovan and Brett Roberts secured a full level at 18 for a 9-Three lead. (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)

The U.S. rallied to flip a number of matches, together with halving two of the ultimate three matches of the morning session after being 2 down with 4 holes to play. Canon Claycomb and Jackson Van Paris mixed to birdie three of the final 4 holes to halve their match.

“That’s actually the distinction,” stated Justin Leonard, the five-time Presidents Cup U.S. crew member and 12-time PGA Tour winner who’s serving as U.S. captain.

Within the afternoon, Moldovan and Brett Roberts teamed to win 1-up over South Africa’s Jayden Schaper and Martin Vorster after trailing 2 down with four to go.

That is turning into previous hat for Moldovan, the AJGA’s Rolex Participant of the Yr, who has been tabbed the Matchplay Ninja, and for good motive. He gained the Polo Golf Junior Traditional and went undefeated on the Wyndham Cup, that are each contested at math play, superior to the Spherical of 16 within the U.S. Junior and knocked off Stewart Hagestad on the U.S. Novice earlier than falling to eventual champion Andy Ogletree in 19 holes. What makes him so robust in a match-play format?

“He’s all the time in play, by no means will get out place and makes loads of putts and he will get in guys’ heads,” stated Roberts.

When Moldovan made a 10-foot birdie putt on 15 to chop the deficit to 1 down, it breathed new life into the American duo.

“One down with Three to go on this course rather a lot can occur,” Roberts stated.

Moldovan knocked his strategy to 5 toes at No. 17 to tie that match and the U.S. secured the total level when Vorster drove into hassle at 18 and the Worldwide crew needed to take an unplayable lie.

It took a search committee to search out Martin Vorster’s drive at 18, however it was all for naught as they misplaced the opening and the match to the Individuals. (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)

There are 12 Singles matches on Monday; it takes 12.5 factors to win the Junior Presidents Cup. Leonard is aware of there’s work nonetheless to be achieved for his crew to retain the trophy, however he was extra caught up within the expertise these younger rivals will all the time treasure.

“How do these children go from this, taking part in the most effective golf programs on the earth, to that subsequent highschool or junior event? It will be a bit of little bit of a letdown,” he stated. “The one distinction between this and the precise Presidents Cup is that the grandstands aren’t full. Christmas for these 24 children began on Dec. 6 in Melbourne and it’s been occurring for 4 days now.”

Moldovan echoed that sentiment. “It’s been the most effective expertise of my life, for certain,” he stated.

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