The Junior Ryder Cup at The Blairgowrie Golf Club has been heralded as one of the most successful ever after more than 6,200 spectators watched the United States of America clinch an impressive 16 - 8 victory over the European team.
The galleries were the largest in the history of the competition, which sees the best junior golfers from both sides of the Atlantic go head to head.
Amongst the spectators were 3,000 kids who took part in the ClubGolf initiative as part of Scotland’s commitment to delivering The 2014 Ryder Cup.
Along with watching the action on-course, youngsters were given the chance to further hone their skills at a series of ClubGolf coaching sessions over four days.
Groups of school-children from the local area were in attendance on the final day, while federations from across Europe and America came together to celebrate the grassroots work of parents, coaches and players in the amateur game.
The large crowds created a fantastic atmosphere on course, with players and spectators alike engaging with one another in the spirit of sportsmanship and friendship, a hallmark of the event which was established in 1995 and has seen the likes of Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Suzann Peterssen and Lexi Thompson pass through its ranks en route to stardom.
Commenting on the success of the Junior Ryder Cup, Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “The Junior Ryder Cup has always been an important part of Scotland’s delivery commitments for the 2014 Ryder Cup and the excitement and support on-course at Blairgowrie this week has been truly phenomenal. Seeing thousands of spectators lining the course on a lovely September afternoon in Perthshire shows we have achieved what we set out to do this week – to host the best Junior Ryder Cup ever.
“The way in which the people of Scotland have embraced the Junior Ryder Cup here is truly something special, and we have most certainly extended the warmest of welcomes to our American cousins and our team-mates from Europe. That welcome is all important and it is apt that our attentions now turn to Gleneagles for the friendship match and the beginning of The 2014 Ryder Cup.”
Fredrik Lindgren, Director of the Junior Ryder Cup, said: “We have seen the Junior Ryder Cup grow steadily since its inception in 1995 and it is no exaggeration to say that the tournament reached new heights in Scotland this year.
“While the standard of golf and the level of sportsmanship among the players has always been to the highest level, the event has witnessed unprecedented crowds this week and the attendance of thousands of kids from the ClubGolf initiative has brought a whole new dimension of engagement with the local communities and their schools.
“This event has always been about rewarding the incredible work done at the grassroots level of the game by young players, coaches, clubs and governing bodies. There is no doubt that the standard of golf, the level of commitment from all concerned, and the friendships and alliances formed this week have provided the perfect celebration for all involved in the game.”
Cabinet Secretary for Sport Shona Robison said: “This has been the best supported Junior Ryder Cup in history and spectators have given fantastic support to both teams. Well done to Team USA for their brilliant golf and commiserations to Team Europe for putting up a hard fight. Above all, the friendship and sportsmanship from both teams on show throughout has been amazing.”
The Junior Ryder Cup, first played in 1997, sees two teams of six boys and six girls from Europe and the USA compete over two days. The event has previously been played in Scotland at the Gleneagles Hotel in 2010, which will of course welcome players to The 2014 Ryder Cup later this week.