Being a student-athlete at the University of Notre Dame offers a unique blend of a world-class education and the opportunity to compete at the highest levels of college athletics. Only months before she sets foot in her first classroom on the fabled South Bend campus, Isabella DiLisio (Hatfield, Pa./Mount Saint Joseph Academy) will step into her own global laboratory against some of the best junior golfers in the world.
DiLisio, an incoming freshman on the Fighting Irish women’s golf team, earned a spot on the three-player United States Junior World Cup Team that will compete in the 2015 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup June 16-19 on the Ishino Course at the Chukyo Golf Club in Toyota City, Japan.
This year marks the second time a women’s competition will be held at the Junior Golf World Cup, which began as a men’s tournament in 1992. It is the world’s only junior golf championship in which national teams from 23 countries (eight women, 15 men) come together to vie for a world title. The participating teams earned their place in the Junior World Cup field after winning regional qualifiers held across six continents and featuring more than 70 national teams.
Joining DiLisio on this year’s Team USA roster are Lauren Stephenson and Samantha Wagner. The trio will aim to improve on the Americans’ fourth-place finish in last year’s inaugural Junior World Cup, which was won by the host nation, Japan, on the same Ishino Course.
The women’s tournament is a four-round, 72-hole competition, played in a three-count-two format, with the top two scores from each team counted daily. This year’s eight-team field — expanded from five in 2014 — includes Colombia, France, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as the United States and Japan.
“I’m really looking forward to this trip and having such a tremendous opportunity to be selected to play the game I love for my country,” DiLisio said. “It’s an incredible honor and a wonderful feeling. Besides playing golf against some of the best players in the world, I’ll have the chance to visit a country I’ve never been to and learn a new culture. Most important of all, I’m hoping to gain many new friends while on this trip, both from the USA and other countries.