Isabelle Lendl showed some of the skill and tenacity that made her father such a force on the tennis court by winning her first match in the 2006 Junior Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor yesterday.
Lendl, the 15-year-old daughter of the eight-times Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl and the No 5 ranked junior girl golfer in the United States, teamed up with Vicky Hurst to inflict a one-hole fourball defeat on the fancied Spanish pairing of Carlota Ciganda and Marta Silva.
Lendl admitted to a few nerves as she reached the 18th tee one-up, but was boosted by the cheers of the American gallery at the South Wales course.
She said: "During my practice swing I heard a roar and looked back to see one of my friend's parents going crazy, so I knew USA had pulled even in that match. That gave me an extra adrenalin rush."
Suitably charged up, Lendl blasted the ball over the bunker on the left-hand side and back into the middle of the fairway. Hurst did likewise and the pair went on to make comfortable pars. Ciganda, the reigning Spanish ladies international amateur champion, almost snatched a birdie with the last putt, but her long effort from the back of the green brushed the outside of the cup.
Scotland's Carly Booth, who at the age of 14 won this year's Scottish Under-16 Championship, played impressively alongside Italy's Giulia Molinaro but lost by a hole to Esther Choe, the US No 1 girl golfer, and Kristen Schelling. "I'm disappointed, but at least we only lost holes to birdies," said Booth, who would have been three-under for her round on the Roman Road course had she holed out at the 16th.
Europe won three of the remaining four matches to leave the competition perfectly balanced at three points all going into the final day.
Junior Ryder Cup (Europe v USA at Celtic Manor, near Newport, Gwent) First day (Europe first): C Ciganda (Sp) & M Silva (Sp) lost by 1 hole to V Hurst & I Lendl; C Booth (Sco) & G Molinaro (It) lost by one hole to E Choe & K Schelling; A Kristiansen (Nor) & A Friestad (Nor) lost 3 & 1 to P Francis & D Kittleson; P Figueiredo (Por) & V Dubuisson (Fr) bt T Mapu Finau & J Monte 2 & 1; S Einhaus (Ger) & M Kieffer (Ger) bt B Cauley & A Yun 4 & 2; L Gonzales-Escallon (Bel) & S Hausladen (Ger) bt B Altomare & C Blaney 2 & 1.Reuse content