How many athletes dream of the opportunity to play for their country? The 12 girls who will represent the United States at the PING Junior Solheim Cup will live that dream, August 12-14, when they take on Team Europe at The Inverness Golf Club in Englewood, Colo. The American Junior Golf Association, which conducts the event in the United States every four years, announced the U.S. team Monday.
The 12 American girls earned their place through the Polo Golf Rankings and Golfweek Rankings, plus two captain’s picks by this year’s captain LPGA Hall of Famer Kathy Whitworth. Past Junior Solheim players include Solheim Cup stalwarts Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lincicome, plus a host of budding young stars like Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda.
The United States leads the all-time series 3-2-1, after Team USA retained the Cup in 2011 with a 12-12 tie at Knightsbrook Hotel in Ireland. It was the first time a team captured the Cup on foreign soil.
And now, let’s meet Team USA, bios courtesy of the AJGA:
Currently No. 1 in the Polo Golf Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., has earned three AJGA wins in 2013 at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, Rolex Girls Junior Championship and ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior. The five-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American tied the AJGA Girls’ record for lowest 18-hole score with a 9-under-par 63 at the 2013 ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior. Lee will compete on Team USA for the third time before joining the UCLA squad in the fall.
2013 AJGA Player Representative Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y., most recently came off a victory at the Thunderbird International Junior in May. Morales has three AJGA wins in her career, as well as eight top-10 finishes in AJGA competition. The 2014 grad sits at No. 3 in the Polo Golf Rankings and No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.
Milledgeville, Ga., native Ashlan Ramsey has two AJGA victories under her belt and 11 top-three AJGA finishes. The Clemson commit is a two-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American and is No. 4 in the Polo Golf Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. She will compete in her second PING Junior Solheim Cup after helping Team USA to victory in 2011.
Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif., earned her first AJGA Invitational win at the 2013 ANNIKA Invitational to add to her two previous top finishes at the 2012 AJGA Junior at Centennial and the 2009 Preseason Junior at Oak Valley. Wu, a 2012 second-team Rolex Junior All-American, has nine top-three AJGA finishes in her career. The 2015 grad has given a verbal commitment to UCLA and is currently No. 5 in the Polo Golf Rankings.
Five-time AJGA champion Karen Chung of Livingston, N.J., most recently picked up a win at the 2013 Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions. The three-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American has had 16 top-three finishes in her career. The 2013 grad is committed to play at the University of Southern California in the fall. Chung is currently the No. 6 player in the Polo Golf Rankings and will compete in her second PING Junior Solheim Cup.
Brea, Calif., native Amy Lee currently holds the No. 7 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings. Lee has nine top-five AJGA finishes and two victories. Her accolades with the AJGA have made her a two-time Rolex Junior All-American. The rising high school junior has made a verbal commitment to play for University of Southern California.
Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, Calif., is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and will represent the West Team at the Wyndham Cup for the second year. She posted a 3-1-0 record in 2012. Lee sits at No. 8 in the Polo Golf Rankings and has earned 11 top-five finishes in national competition.
Casey Danielson of Osceola, Wis., is the No. 5 player on the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. The 2011 W. Duncan MacMillan Classic at Rush Creek champion has collected six top-five AJGA finishes, helping her earn Rolex Junior All-America honors twice. Danielson will play for Stanford University this fall.
Rising high school junior, Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., has collected six top-five AJGA finishes and two wins en route to her No. 11 spot in the Polo Golf Rankings. The three-time Rolex Junior All-American has given her verbal commitment to the University of Florida.
Casie Cathrea of Livermore, Calif., is the No. 3 player on the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. She has two top-five finishes in AJGA events, including a T4 showing at the 2012 The PING Invitational. At the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open, Cathrea earned low-amateur honors with a final-round, 2-under-par 70 at Sebonack Golf Club. Cathrea closed the week at 9-over-par 297.This fall, Cathrea will take her talents to the Oklahoma State University women’s golf team.
At No. 14 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Alexandra Kaui of Las Vegas, is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and claimed two AJGA victories in 2011 at the Genesis Junior Championship and the Las Vegas Junior Open. The Oklahoma University commit has collected nine top-five AJGA finishes and will compete in her first Wyndham Cup this year representing the West Team.
Tucson, Ariz., native Krystal Quihuis will compete in her first Wyndham Cup as a member of the West Team in 2013. Quihuis currently sits at No. 15 in the Polo Golf Rankings behind the strength of five top-10 AJGA finishes including a win at the 2013 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club.