World Championship 2012
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US Kids World Championship
US Kids World Cup
Boys 12
Pinehurst No 4
Pinehurst No 2

Dan Van Horn - President and Founder of USKids Golf

It was our 7th trip to Pinehurst and this was the one Kyle had been waiting for.  Dan Van Horn added the US Kids World Cup when he moved the World Championships from Williamsburg, W. VA to Pinehurst, NC - the home of American golf.  Kyle was only 6 then, but when he saw the United States Golf bags that the top 10 American twelve year old boys would receive - he told everyone that that was what he wanted.  We went out that Sunday morning to watch some of the matches on Pinehurst No 2 golf course.  Needless to say,  back in 2006 - the idea of seeing Kyle playing on this beautiful course seemed a very distant dream.
6 years later - that dream was coming true.

Now, it would be Kyle's turn. He had never come to Pinehurst without finishing in the Top 10 overall.  He's had 2 wins, 2 runner-ups and 2 tenth place finishes. This year, he finished 3 rounds on Pinehurst No 4 at 1 under par - rounds of 70, 72 & 73 and he was 4th overall and the 2nd highest of the American players. 147 in Kyle's group, from over 40 countries around the world, playing over 6000 yards each day. Pinehurst No 4 course was in beautiful condition - it is ranked 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Teeing off at Pinehurst No 4

On day 1 - Kyle teed off at 7:20 and was doing well.  When we got to the 8th green, however, the dark clouds that had been keeping things cool, now signalled storms in the area and the siren went off.  Lightning was in the area and the course was evacuated for almost 2 hours, but we didn't get any rain.  Kyle and his group - Jarod Buffone from Maryland and Brandon McBride from South Carolina were able to finish the rest of the round without any further interference from Mother Nature.  That was not the case for the golfers who were given afternoon tee times. 

We knew how they felt.


Last year, Kyle had been unable to finish the second round and had to go back on day 3; play 5 holes and then come back to play the final 18.  This year, it happened on Round 1.  It meant that the golfers would keep their same tee times from Round 1; so Kyle, Jarod and Brandon arrived bright and early on Friday to play their second round. 


However - Mother Nature wasn't quite finished and we had another 1 hour weather delay as storms passed by.  It worked out well for Kyle.  Halfway through his round, we got the results from round 1 and learned that he was tied for 3rd behind Cole Hammer (from Houston, Tx) and Brandon Mancheno (Florida).  It wasn't until that evening that we got the final results from round 2.  Kyle was excited to learn that his second round 72 put him in a tie for 2nd with Kevin Wai from China - who we had played a practice round with.

Kevin, from China joins Kyle and Cole both Texans

Kyle was able to secure 4th place, shooting a 73 and finishing the tournament at 1 under par.  Only the top 4 boys completed the 3 day event under-par, and they would be in the elite final pairing for the World Cup Competition on Sunday to be played on the top-rated Pinehurst No. 2 course; which is slated to host, not only the Men's US Open in 2014, but the LPGA's US Open, as well.

(Martin Kaymer and Michelle Wie were the winners)

Top Texas 12 year old Boys
Travis Vick and Cole Hammer from Houston joins Kyle as the top Texas golfers

At the award ceremony that evening, we learned that a change had been made and now the Top 5 - plus ties - would all receive trophies.  So Cole Hammer from Tx was 1st, Graham Hutchinson from South Africa was 2nd, Kevin Wai, China took 3rd.  Kyle was 4th and tied for 5th were Galven Green (Malaysia), Brian Terlesky (Ohio), Alberto Martinez (Florida) and Felipe Ramirez (Columbia)


Then came the part that Kyle had waited 7 years for:  the announcement of the United States World Cup Team - the Top 10 American 12 year olds.  They would receive not only hats and shirts to represent the US, but an awesome Sun Mountain Golf Bag - embroidered with United States on it.  Cole and Kyle would anchor the team, playing in the final, 8th match.  Brian Terlesky and Alberto Martinez would be paired up in the 6th match, directly in front of our top American girls.

2012 United States Boys World Cup Team
After the trophies were handed out, the top 10 American boys were announced

The teams arrived back at Pinehurst at 6 am for a light breakfast, team meeting and photo.  The bag pipes lead the parade of golfers out of the clubhouse to the course where Dan Van Horn gave a welcoming speech and invited the International and United States Team Captains to speak.  Both made sure that everyone knew they wanted the kids to go out - do their best - have fun and bring home the trophy.  The Internationals had never won it in 6 years of competing and US Captain Chris Vonderkall had no intention of relinquishing it without a fight.


USKids Founder Dan Van Horn wished his final pair good luck as they prepare to tee off

It was a hard fought match between the top 4 twelve year old golfers in the world and neither pair was ever up by more than one stroke.  Kevin chipped in on the 17th green to give the Internationals a one stroke advantage, but Kyle made his par putt on 18 to square the match and the boys shook hands and exited the green learning that the United States had indeed won the 7th USKids Golf World Cup - 5.5 pt to 2.5

18th Green
Kyle tips his hat, acknowledging the crowd who watched the US retain the World Cup

Captain Chris Vonderkall presents World Cup
The sign behind says it all !!!

The winning golfers were announced and a replica of the World Cup was brought out, filled with soda (instead of champagneLaughing) and the kids were allowed to pass it around - Just like the pros.


Kyle's Trophies & new bag

2012 - August It's hard to believe Kyle has been playing for USKids Golf since he was 5 years old and now he is 12. He played in his first USKids World Championship just 2 months after his 5th birthday and was the highest ranked 5 year old playing in the Boys 6 & Under division. When USKids moved the World Championships to Pinehurst NC - Kyle returned to the Boys 6 & Under division and became World Champion. Seven years later, Kyle completes his 7th USKids World Championship with the highest ranking in his age division. He is the only 12 yo to have won twice, finished 2nd twice, a 4th place finish and two more top 10 finishes. He was never out of the top 10 at Pinehurst. Rewarding his 4th place finish as a 12 yo meant that he would anchor the US Kids World Cup team playing the top International 12 year olds on the famous Pinehurst No 2 course - where Payne Stewart won the 1999 US Open. He received a beautiful United States golf bag and will get a replica World Cup trophy as the United States Team defeated the Internationals for the 7th straight year.

(So far, the US has continued its winning tradition, retaining the World Cup in 2013 & 2014)

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