Tuesday, 24 September 2002
Europe completed a highly successful opening day of the Junior Ryder Cup Matches at a sunny K Club, finishing 4½ - 1½ ahead in the boys and girls fourball matches.

In conditions resembling high summer rather than late September, the European youngsters were on top of their games with the boy pairing of Raphael de Sousa and Peter-Max Hamm heading the home surge.

In the second match out, de Sousa from Switzerland and Germany's Hamm were locked in a tight match with Casey Wittenberg and Taylor Hall through eight holes. But a run of five birdies in the next six holes saw the Europeans
take command and run out 4 and 3 winners.

"This is the first time we have played together but we combined pretty well," said De Sousa. "After eight holes I said to Peter-Max, 'we need to do something' and when we went ahead at the next I added, 'now we must stay up'."

They did just that, Hamm holing from around 40 feet for birdie at the tenth, while de Sousa birdied the 11th and Hamm the 12th from almost 30 feet to put them three up.

Although Hall birdied the long 13th, de Sousa matched that and it was left to Hamm to wrap up proceedings with another birdie at the par four 15th, firing an eight iron to ten feet. The Europeans were an approximate five under par when they shook hands.

The United States looked favourites to take the point in the top match in which Stephanie Connelly and Jenny Suh led all the way against Claire Grignolo and Dewi Claire Schreefel after Connelly chipped in from around 60 feet at the first for an eagle three.

It was a lead they developed to three up after seven, but the Italian and Dutch combination hung in there and gradually whittled away at the deficit, getting it down to one standing on the tee at the par five 18th.

It still pointed to an American victory with Suh 20 feet away in three. But Grignolo got up and down from a fairway bunker some 50 yards from the green, holing from 25 feet for birdie, while Suh missed her putt to lose the hole
and drop half a point.

However, there was joy for the visitors when Colin Wilcox and Shaun Felchner in the bottom match gradually got the better of the French pairing of Benjamin Regent and Tony Raillard, who ran into a string of bogeys and conceded the contest 5 and 3 on the 15th green.

Europe held sway in the other matches, none of which saw the 16th hole. Emma Cabrera from Spain and Austria's Katharina Werdinig were always ahead after birdies at two of the opening three holes against Jennifer Davis and Lauren Mielbrecht.

Then the Germany/Spain combination of Denise Simon and Carmen Alonso lost an early advantage against Tiffany Chudy and Mallory Code but battled back to turn the tide with birdies either side of the turn, while an American bogey plus another Simon birdie steered the home side to victory.

In the other match, England's Farren Keenan and Matteo del Podio from Italy were ahead from the first when Adam Porzak and Travis Esway bogeyed, a lead they gradually increased to run out 4 and 3 winners.

Europe need just two wins from tomorrow's six mixed fourball matches to secure overall victory.

Day One Results (Europe names first):
Claire Grignolo & Dewi Claire Schreefel halved with Stephanie Connelly & Jenny Suh;
Raphael de Sousa & Peter-Max Hamm beat Casey Wittenberg & Taylor Hall 4 and 3;
Emma Cabrera & Katarina Werdinig beat Jennifer Davis & Lauren Mielbrecht 5 and 4;
Farren Keenan & Matteo del Podio beat Adam Porzak & Travis Esway 4 and 3;
Denise Simon & Carmen Alonso beat Tiffany Chudy & Mallory Code 4 and 3;
Benjamin Regent & Tony Raillard lost to Colin Wilcox & Shaun Felchner 5 and 3. Europe

Day One Points: Europe 4.5, USA 1.5

Day Two pairings (Europe names first):
Katarina Werdinig & Farren Keenan v Mallory Code & Casey Wittenberg
Carmen Alonso & Tony Raillard v Jenny Suh & Taylor Hall
Dewi Claire Schreefel & Matteo del Podio v Stephanie Connelly & Adam Porzak
Emma Cabrera & Benjamin Regent v Lauren Mielbrecht & Travis Esway
Claire Grignolo & Raphael de Sousa v Jennifer Davis & Shaun Felchner
Denise Simon & Peter-Max Hamm v Tiffany Chudy & Colin Wilcox

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