China Leads USA After Day 1 Of Youth Match August 1, 2013 By USGA

Patrick Martin (right) of the USA shakes hands with one of his Chinese opponents after teaming with A.J. Beechler for a 3-and-1 victory. (USGA/Patrick Lim)

The United States of America trails China, 5-3, after the first of two days of competition at the 2013 USA-China Youth Golf Match. The competition began on Friday and is taking place at Nanshan International Golf Club in the Shandong Province of the People’s Republic of China.

China claimed three of the four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches and then got a split of the four afternoon four-ball (better-ball) matches. Each side has four boys and four girls.

The competition concludes on Saturday with eight singles matches.

Patrick Martin, 16, of Birmingham, Ala., and Wilson Furr, 15, of Jackson, Miss., earned the lone USA point in foursomes with a 2-up victory. Furr and Martin closed the match with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18. Furr is coming off a strong performance at last week’s U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif., where he advanced to the second round of match play. He won his first-round match there by overcoming an early 4-down deficit.

China easily won the other three foursomes matches. A.J. Beechler, 13, of Pinehurst, N.C., and Seiya Liu 16, of Beverly Hills, Calif., lost, 5 and 4, while Ciara Petronzio, 15, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Divya Manthena, 15, of Camarillo, Calif., and Jean Tyrrell, 16, of Leawood, Kan., and Dree Fausnaugh, 16, of Maitland, Fla., each lost, 6 and 5.

Things got a little better for the Americans in afternoon four-ball play. Martin and Beechler posted a 3-and-1 victory, while Furr and Liu produced a 2-and-1 win. Neither team ever trailed in its match.

Petronzio and Tyrrell lost, 2 and 1, while Fausnaugh and Manthena suffered a 5-and-4 defeat.

Singles play will begin at 7 a.m. local time in China. Beechler begins the session against Jin Bo. Furr faces Wang Dongyu; Liu meet Bai Zhengkai, Martin faces Li Yuan; Tyrrell plays Shi Yuting; Fausnaugh faces Wu Sha; Petronizio plays Sui Xiang and Manthena anchors the competition against Gao Meiqi.

The 2013 USA-China Youth Golf Match, co-sponsored by the USGA and the China Golf Association, is the third edition of this international competition designed to foster camaraderie and sportsmanship between the two nations. Last year’s match was held at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., where China came away the victors, while the inaugural match was played in China in conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, with the USA prevailing.