Erstwhile rivals Emilia Migliaccio of Cary and Gina Kim of Chapel Hill found that working together provided them with their greatest successes to date when they helped the United States win the Junior Ryder Cup for the fifth straight time in this week’s golf event at Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota.
Migliaccio went 3-0 and Kim went 2-1 in their matches as the U.S. team defeated Europe’s team, 15½-8½. Eugene Hong’s 1-up victory over Matias Honkala provided the Americans with the clinching point.
It was the largest margin of victory for the USA since a 22-2 victory in 2008.
Migliaccio, 17, is a senior at Athens Drive High School. She was medalist at the 2013 N.C. High School 4A championship tournament as a ninth-grader before opting to leave high school varsity competition for junior events. The No. 8 player in Golfweek’s junior rankings and an early commit for Wake Forest University, Migliaccio she was runner-up behind Kim in the 2016 Rolex Girls Junior Championship.
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Kim earned her place on the U.S. team of six boys and six girls by finishing this year as No. 1 in the Junior Ryder Cup points standings. A 16-year-old junior at Chapel Hill High School, Kim already has committed to play collegiately at Duke.
Kim and Migliaccio paired up Monday morning to roll past Sweden’s Julia Engström and France’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard 5&4 in a foursome match.
Ranked No. 3 in Europe, Engström is the youngest player ever to win the Ladies British Amateur Championship, while Roussin-Bouchard has played in 23 European tournaments, winning in Spain and Switzerland.
Migliaccio teamed up with 18-year-old Wilson Furr of Mississippi to win a close mixed four-ball match Monday afternoon, 1-up against Roussin-Bouchard and Adrien Pendaries of France. Migliaccio won her third straight match with a 2-up victory Tuesday morning against Beatrice Wallin of Sweden, the winner of the 2016 Annika Invitational.
Kim’s one loss came in the mixed four-ball competition Monday afternoon, where she and Eugene Hong lost 3&1 to Emma Spitz of Austria and 16-year-old German Falko Hanisch.
Kim bounced back Tuesday morning to defeat Roussin-Bouchard 3&2 in one of the final singles matches.