The Fidelity Ryder Cup at Thunder Hills marks an end to a successful debut to the DAJT. The Ryder Cup is unique in that it is an invitational tournament reserved for the top four point scorers in each age division. It also features a match play format, with a doubles match on the front and a singles match on the back.
The two team event pits team royal against team light blue. Team royal is comprised of the #1 and #4 point getters with Team Light Blue carrying the #2 and #3 point getters.
The opening six doubles matches provided no separation overall between the two squads. Team Royal got off to a hot start the pairs of Arthofer/Vaassen and Streicher/Hawkins sweeping the 16-17 division matches.
Team Light Blue responded with two consecutive wins by Stelzer/Coohey and E. Kluesner/Fagerlind, sweeping the 14-15 division.
The 12-13 division was a split, with Royal’s Webber/Harwick winning 1 Up and Light Blue’s Kirsch/Kalb winning 1 Up.
Finally, the 10-11 age group brought about some separation. Light blue’s duo of Martineau/Streff won their match 3&2.
After the pairs of Mueller/Smith and Wilson/Fangmann finished their match All Square, team Light Blue emerged with a 9 to 7 lead after doubles matches.
Royal got off to yet another hot start in singles matches. With Kyle Arthofer defeating Max Naumann 3&2 and Ben Vaassen defeating Ben Cummer 4&3.
Girls 16-17 singles was split between the two squads. Light blue’s Breanna Felderman won 3 &2, and Royal’s Morgan Hawkins cruised to a 4&2 victory.
The story was the same in the boys 14-15, with Light Blue’s Davis Stelzer winning 4&3 and Royal’s Nick Splinter winning 1Up.
Shockingly, the only singles match of the day that was halved came between twin sisters Hanna and Ella Kluesner in the girls 14-15 division. Light Blue’s Gabrielle Fagerlind won her match 2&1.
It appeared that team Royal was making a charge after Jackson Webber and Luke Harwick won their matches 2 Up and 3&2 respectively. However, after Royal’s sweep of the 12-13 boys division, Team Light Blue rattled off five victories in the next six matches to seal the deal and deliver a 17.5-14.5 victory.
Brianna Kirsch, Ava Kalb, Cal Martineau, Madden Streff, and Amber Wilson all won decisive matches to clinch the victory.
Royal’s Elin Mueller won her match, her team falling just short.
The consensus among players was that the match play format offered an exciting change of pace from standard stroke play. It also made for great competition. Of 24 matches played throughout the day, just 2 were halved.