As the summer schedule rolls on, the American Junior Golf Association's Priority List that will form the United States Team for the 2013 PING Junior Solheim Cup is taking shape.
The seventh edition of the biennial PING Junior Solheim Cup is slated for Aug. 12-14 at The Inverness Hotel & Golf Club in Englewood, Colo. Modeled after the LPGA's Solheim Cup, this two-day match play event puts the top 12 female juniors from the U.S. against their 12 European counterparts in a battle for bragging rights and team pride.
Official teams will be announced Tuesday, July 16. The 2011 matchup marked the first time in six meetings a team captured the Cup on foreign soil, as Team USA retained the title with a 12-12 tie at Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Trim, County Meath, Ireland.
Making the team
The first five team members are chosen from the Polo Golf Rankings with an additional five automatically pulled from the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings if not otherwise selected.
As it currently stands, four players from the 2011 squad are within the top 10 of the Team USA Priority List.
Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., sits atop the priority list as she also holds the No. 1 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings. Lee, who would be the only competitor to return for a third PING Junior Solheim Cup, has always been part of a winning squad. She is a five-time Rolex Junior All-American on the strength of eight AJGA titles, including the 2013 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. The future UCLA Bruin is a two-time Wyndham Cup West Team participant.
Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., is No. 2 on the priority list and also looks to return as a representative of Team USA after competing in the 2011 event. In her first four 2013 starts, Chung has finished within the top 10 and won the Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions. The five-time Rolex Junior All-American has played for the East Team in four Wyndham Cup events.
Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., is coming off a 7-and-6 victory at the Women's Western Amateur and is No. 4 on the priority list. As part of the 2011 Team USA at the PING Junior Solheim Cup and a two-time Wyndham Cup participant, Ramsey has plenty of match play experience to bring to this year's squad.
Esther Lee of Norwalk, Calif., is the last 2011 Team USA member to stand within the top 10 of the 2013 PING Junior Solheim Cup priority list. In her only start of 2013, Lee finished runner-up at the Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club.
AJGA Player Representative Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., and Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., round out the top five in the priority list. Morales is the latest victor at this year's Thunderbird International Junior, while Wu is the reigning ANNIKA Invitational champion.
Casie Cathrea of Livermore, Calif., is the No. 6 spot from the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Girls Rankings behind a strong win at the inaugural Women's Porter Cup. She is No. 18 in the Polo Golf Rankings and will play for Oklahoma State University in the fall.
Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., is also in the mix for a 2013 slot. No. 6 on the priority list from the Polo Golf Rankings, Lee has collected two AJGA titles and finished third at the Thunderbird International Junior.
Casey Danielson of Osceola, Wis., and Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., are both inside the top-10 picks for this year's event. Danielson is a two-time Wyndham Cup competitor for the East Team, while Wagner also represented the East for the first time in 2012. .
The remaining two spots are reserved for Captain's selection. This year's U.S. captain is Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth, who served as Captain of the first two U.S. Solheim Cup teams. Whitworth won at least one LPGA tournament every year from 1962 to 1978, which is the longest streak in LPGA history, and was named the AP Athlete of the Year in 1965 and 1967. She has hosted the Kathy Whitworth Invitational since 1999, providing the world's most talented girls the opportunity to compete among the game's elite junior players.
About the PING Junior Solheim Cup
The PING Junior Solheim Cup is owned and hosted by PING and will be operated by the American Junior Golf Association with assistance from the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour.
Founded by Karsten and Louise Solheim, the Karsten Manufacturing Corporation is a long-time sponsor of the LPGA and AJGA. As the makers of PING golf equipment, the Solheim family continues to ensure the same superior workmanship today that they built into their original clubs more than 46 years ago. Now under the direction of John Solheim, Karsten and Louise's youngest son, the company continues in its efforts to manufacture the highest quality golf equipment. The PING name is known world over. Besides its presence in the United States, PING markets custom-fit and custom-built equipment to more than 70 countries.
For more information on the PING Junior Solheim Cup, please visit the tournament microsite and priority list. If you have photo or player information requests, please do not hesitate to contact Abby Liebenthal, AJGA Manager of Communications at email@example.com and (678) 425-1786.
Office: (678) 425-1786
Cell: (419) 367-9774