Young guns: The US team hold their trophy after winning the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup.

US boys complete comeback

The United States made a determined comeback to successfully defend the title in the Boys Division of the 2017 Toyota Junior Golf  World Cup at Toyota City in Japan.

The US clinched their ninth crown in the 25 years of the event when they sped from six shots back to fire the low round of the day – 10 under par – to finish 21 under for the tournament on 831.

Host nation Japan finished four shots back at 17-under while third round leader Thailand was third, a further three shots back.

American boys’ coach Kyle Blaser said he was impressed with his side’s self-belief and ability to fight back from so far down and emerge victorious.

“The guys really bought into themselves and wholeheartedly believe they could come back,” Blaser said.

“We really stepped up in tough conditions and I can’t say how proud I am of these young men.

“Not only are they great golfers but they’re great kids and it’s been an honour and a pleasure to represent the United States as their coach.”

Denmark (-6) claimed fourth spot, six under the card, ahead of Germany, which at four under, was the only other team to beat par.

New Zealand slipped to one over to finish sixth ahead of France (+4) and South Africa (+8). Mexico (+10), Italy (+12), Colombia (+24), Korea (+35), Peru (+36), Zimbabwe (+45) and Guatemala (+51) filled the minor placings.

American Frank Capan – leader after three of the four rounds – claimed the boys’ individual title at 10-under. Kosuke Hamamoto of Thailand (-8) came in second while Denmark’s Gustav Frimodt (-7) was third. Shota Ueki of Japan and American Travis Vick – who stormed home with a final round 63 – tied for fourth at six under.

Yuji Sekito of Japan (-5) finished in sixth – one shot ahead of Thailand’s Atiruj Winaicharoenchai.

In the Girls’ Division, the United States (-12) shot the day’s lowest round (-4) to complete a start to finish defence of their title. Japan (-7) was the other team in the field to finish below par.

“It’s a great feeling and I’m so proud of these girls,” United States girls coach JoJo Robertson said.

“From the start, they were a team. They supported each other every round and I couldn’t ask for anything more. They played great golf this week.”

Australia and Italy (+7) tied for third place – two shots ahead of Colombia (+9) and three strokes clear of sixth place South Africa (+10).

American Alyaa Abdulghany (-7) had the lowest round in the field for the second consecutive day to claim the Girls’ Division individual trophy. Japan’s Yuna Nishimura (-3) took second – one shot ahead of Emilia Migliaccio of the United States (-2).

Australia’s Grace Kim and Riri Sadoyama tied for sixth at five over while Italian Clara Manzalini and Kajal Mistry of South Africa (+7) tied for eighth and Australia’s Isabelle Taylor came in 10th at plus-8.

The 2017 TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup Supported by JAL is the world’s only junior golf championship in which 24 national teams – winners of regional qualifiers held across six continents and participated in by more than 65 national teams – compete for the world championship.

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