July 18, 2008
AUBURN - The United States dominated the final round - claiming 18 of 24 points - to defeat Japan 37-23 at the Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship at Tokyo Golf Club. Team USA won eight and halved two of the day's 12 matches.
Auburn freshman Cydney Clanton won her third match in-a-row, defeating Kaori Azuma, 78-80. The Americans now lead the series 25-8 and have won nine consecutive meetings in Japan.
Ryan Spears again played the first match for the U.S. and again staged a dramatic comeback, trailing by two shots with two holes remaining before halving his match against Yoshihiro Kamei. Zack Sucher and Tomohiro Wakabayashi halved the round's second match. America would respond by winning the next four matches.
Kevin O'Connell posted his second round in the 60s and his third win of the tournament with a 69-73 win against Hiroki Nishida. Chris Wolfe joined O'Connell as the only other player with a perfect record in the event after downing Daisuke Okabe, 72-73. Nick Bova birdied his first four holes and cruised to a 68-77 victory over Shunsuke Sonoda. Andrew Putnam took the lead after the second hole in his match against Hiroki Abe and never looked back, winning 70-73.
Japan claimed its first victory of the day - a Yuki Usami's 72-76 decision over Brent Witcher - before Sam Cyr clinched the team championship by beating Shintaro Kobayashi, 69-71.
The U.S. women won their first three matches. Jessica Yadloczky birdied her first hole before racing out to a nine-shot victory against Nanae Shinzato after firing three-under-par 71. Lizette Salas led wire-to-wire in her 73-77 win against Yumi Takabayashi.
Clanton won America's final match, beating Kaori Azuma 78-80. Hiroko Ayada claimed the final match, 75-78, over Sydnee Michaels.
Team USA's Michaels (219) and O'Connell (208) were named the tournament's women's and men's MVPs, respectively, after posting the lowest three-day stroke total. Michaels was also named Miss Ambassador as voted by the Japanese team.
Final Round Results
Ryan Spears, USA halved Yoshihiro Kamie, Japan
Zack Sucher, USA halved Tomohiro Wakabayashi, Japan
Kevin O'Connell, USA def. Hiroki Nishida, Japan, 69-73
Chris Wolfe, USA def. Daisuke Okabe, Japan, 72-73
Nick Bova, USA def. Shunsuke Sonoda, Japan, 68-77
Andrew Putnam, USA def. Hiroki Abe, Japan, 70-73
Yuki Usami, Japan def. Brent Witcher, USA, 72-76
Sam Cyr, USA def. Shintaro Kobayashi, Japan, 69-71
Jessica Yadloczky, USA def. Nanae Shinzato, Japan, 71-80
Lizette Salas, USA def. Yumi Takabayashi, Japan, 73-77
Cydney Clanton, USA def. Kaori Azuma, Japan, 78-80
Hiroko Ayada, Japan def. Sydnee Michaels, USA, 75-78