England players Annabell Fuller, Conor Gough and Robin Williams have been selected for the European team for the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup.
The match takes place at Disneyland Paris from September 24-25 and the team will attempt to regain the trophy from the United States after a 15½ – 8½ defeat at Interlachan Golf Club in 2016.
The Junior Ryder Cup was formally introduced in 1997 – with stars such as Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Suzann Pettersen all having taken part in the event since – and, once again, it will serve as a curtain-raiser for the main event at Le Golf National, from September 28-30.
Fuller, 16, is a Curtis Cup player, Gough has just won the Boys’ Amateur Championship and is ranked 34th in the world, Williams sank the winning putt for GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy match against continental Europe.
The team also includes Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard, the Eruopean amateur champion and his twin, Rasmus who won the Toyota Junior World Cup title earlier this year. The 17-year-oids are the first set of male twins to play in the Junior Ryder Cup.
The Junior Ryder Cup celebrates the progress and hard work taking place at the grass roots level of golf, which helps talented young players develop into national team amateurs and some even to The Ryder Cup itself.
It has been the platform from which successful professional careers have been launched for numerous players.
Masters winner Garcia played in the 1995 exhibition match and four years later was part of the full European Team at The Country Club in Brookline, while Pettersen played in the Junior Ryder Cup in 1997 and 1999 before becoming one of Europe’s greatest female golfers and taking part in eight Solheim Cups.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was in the victorious 2004 Junior Ryder Cup team, and since then he has won four Major Championships and three Ryder Cups.
Americans Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth have made the transition from Junior Ryder Cup players to Major Champions – Spieth was part of a record-breaking US team in 2008 while the pair both played together in the 2010 edition of the event.
Hunter Mahan, having been in the 1999 junior team, also went on to form part of the 2008, 2010 and 2014 US Ryder Cup sides.
Other notable past Junior Ryder Cup players are Europe’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who both played in 1999 and have gone on to become European Tour winners and Ryder Cup players, along with American Lexi Thompson, who played in 2008 and has gone on to win one Major Championship and two Solheim Cups.
Nicolai Hojgaard, 17, Denmark
Rasmus Hojgaard, 17, Denmark
David Puig, 17, Spain
Eduard Rousaud Sabate, 18, Spain
Conor Gough, 15, Stoke Park, England
Robin Williams, 16, Peterborough Milton, England
Emma Spitz, 18, Austria
Emilie Alba Paltrinieri, 16, Italy
Alessia Nobilio, 17, Italy
nnabell Fuller, 16, Roehampton, England
Amanda Linner, 17, Sweden
Ingrid Lindblad, 18, Sweden