Ligue de Paris Wins 16th French-American Challenge
- Final Results
- Day One Recap | Day One Midday Recap
- Day Two Photos | Day One Photos
- Video:Saladino & Young | Annie Park
- Press Book | Preview Story
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (October 17, 2012)– A spirited rally by the MGA/WGMA came up just short in their bid for an unprecedented comeback victory in the 16th French-American Challenge. The Ligue de Golf de Paris proved to be too much once again and they will retain the trophy after winning by a score of 11.5 to 8.5 at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. It marks the fourth consecutive and the 13th overall victory for the Ligue de Paris.
Down 6.5 to 3.5 heading into Wednesday’s 10 singles matches, the MGA/WMGA needed to secure seven points to win the French-American Challenge Trophy. Brian Komline of Black Oak got the charge going with a clutch 1-up victory over Arnaud Bonardi, winning with a par five on the 18th hole.
However the teammates playing immediately behind Komline would not be so fortunate. Cameron Young of Sleepy Hollow, Niall Handley of Essex Falls, and Max Buckley of Westchester had team momentum halted when they ran into three red-hot French players. Young lost his match to Franck Daux 3 and 2, Handley fell to Benjamin Morin 3 and 2, and Buckley lost to Christophe Ravetto, who played 15 holes in 3 under par, 4 and 3.
But the MGA/WMGA wouldn’t go quietly, as they’d win their next three matches. Joe Saladino of Huntington, who recorded a full point in all three of his matches, beat Antoine Schwartz 4 and 2 and reigning MGA Player of the Year Mike Miller of Knollwood notched six birdies in his 4 and 2 win over Olivier Rozner. Budding star Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., took care of Amandine Guignard 5 and 4 to give the team some hope.
“It was a really good experience, different from what I played in the past,” Miller said. “The course yesterday played so hard. No matter how much you play in wind like that, you never feel that comfortable. We still felt we had a chance today with 10 singles matches so we were playing for more than just pride. I think we just dug ourselves too big of a hole.”
The clinching point for the Ligue de Paris came from Anyssia Herbaut, who beat Cindy Ha of Demarest, N.J., 3 and 2. Reigning WMGA Player of the Year Phoebe Timpson of Locust Valley, N.Y., recorded the final point for the MGA/WMGA team with a 1-up victory over Louise Gateau Chovelon.
Unlike Tuesday, playing conditions were absolutely flawless on Wednesday. Sebonack’s quick, undulating greens and stunning views made for an ideal match play venue. The Southampton club, designed by Tom Doak and Jack Nicklaus, is set to host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2013.
The 16th French-American Challenge is a biennial matchup of 10-person (6-man, 4-woman) teams representing the MGA/WMGA and the Ligue de Golf de Paris. The matches will travel back to France in 2014.
Complete coverage, including full results, player bios, photos and video, can be found at mgagolf.org.