Marta Perez Sanmartin took an early lead in the race to make the 2016 Junior Ryder Cup team after her dramatic victory in the first qualifying event, the Spanish Ladies’ Amateur Championship.
Sanmartin collected 500 points after defeating France’s Chloe Salort on the last hole in the final at Club de Golf Escorpión, in Valencia.
Sanmartin, a Valencia native, had been three down with four to play, but won the last four holes with a superb approach to the last setting the seal on a pulsating comeback.
Salort received 300 points for her runner-up finish, whilst her compatriot Pauline Roussin-Bouchard was awarded 202.5 points after making it to the semi-final stage.
Sweden’s Linn Grant, a losing quarter-finalist, is currently in fourth place on the list with 96.25 points; while France’s Mathilda Cappeliez, who is aiming to compete in her second Junior Ryder Cup after making her debut as a 16 year old at Blairgowrie in 2014, is amongst the players in a share of eighth on 45 points.
The 2016 Junior Ryder Cup will take place at Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota, USA, from September 26-27.
The European team will again comprise 12 amateur players – six boys and six girls – who are European citizens and under the age of 18 as of January 1, 2016.
America have won the last four editions of the Junior Ryder Cup, with Europe’s last victory coming in Ohio, in 2004. The 2006 contest was tied.