Lake Worth’s Alexa Pano is one of 12 young female golfers named to the United States’ Junior Ryder Cup team.
Unfortunately for Pano and her Coed teammates, they won’t get a chance to compete against the European Junior Ryder Cup team later this month. Last year the Junior Ryder Cup was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this event was officially canceled last month due to ongoing travel problems for the European team. The game was scheduled to take place September 20-21 at the Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
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The US team will attend the Ryder Cup opening ceremony and will participate in the first day of competition on Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin when the event takes place September 21-26. It will also play in an exhibition game on Whistling Straits on September 22nd.
Pano is the only returning player from the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team that competed in Paris in 2018. The three-time Rolex Junior All-American is currently ninth in the Rolex AJGA ranking and 105th in the WAGR.
She played in Stage 1 of the Q-School of the LPGA Tour in August and reached the second stage. However, Pano, 17, recently received a letter from new LPGA Tour Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, telling her that she had been denied an exemption that would have allowed her to go to Level III of q-school play – where you earn your card – until they turn 18.
The U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team consists of six boys and six girls who are U.S. citizens and will be in the high school graduating class in 2022 or younger. In addition to Pano, this year’s roster includes Junior PGA Championship winners Caleb Surratt (Indian Trail, NC) and Anna Davis (Spring Valley, California), as well as five 2020 Rolex Junior All America team selections.
The only other Floridian on the team is Luke Clanton, 17, from Miami Lakes. Clanton is committed to the state of Florida and has been named to the second team of Rolex Junior All-America 2020. He currently occupies eighth place in the Rolex AJGA.
Junior Ryder Cup alumni include major champions of the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Akshay Bhatia, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, Lexi Thompson, Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare from the USA; and Rory McIllroy, Sergio Garcia, Nicolas Colsaerts, Suzann Pettersen, Emily Pedersen and Carlota Ciganda of Europe.
The Junior Ryder Cup is set to resume against Europe in Rome, Italy, in 2023.