CHAMPIONS
Champs Update: USA Shows Match-Play Prowess July 25, 2016 | Far Hills, N.J. By Scott Lipsky, USGA

2007 U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr posted a 3-1 record to help the USA to victory in the UL International Crown. (USGA/John Mummert)

The United States Team, consisting of Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller and Lexi Thompson, rose above seven other national teams this past week at the Merit Club in Gurnee, Ill., rallying on Sunday for a come-from-behind victory in the second edition of the UL International Crown.

Showing their savvy in match play, the USA quartet started the final day of the four-day event tied for third out of eight teams, trailing Korea and England, but won three of their four singles matches on Sunday to earn a total of 13 points for the event, edging Korea by one point and England and Chinese Taipei by two.

The International Crown consists of three days of four-ball matches, followed by singles on the last day, allowing three of the four Americans to harken back to their days as members of the USA Curtis Cup Team and its similar format. Kerr, the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion, was a member of the team in 1996 that fell to Great Britain & Ireland, while Lewis (2008) and 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Thompson (2010) played on victorious USA squads. Lewis posted a 5-0-0 record during her turn, and remains the only USA player to do in the history of the Match. The Curtis Cup also includes a session of foursomes play, in addition to four-ball and singles.

Kerr led the way for the USA at the Merit Club with a 3-1 mark.

USGA Champs Crowd Leader Board at Canadian Open

A final-round 64 lifted Jhonattan Vegas to victory on Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, where a number of USGA champions battled to win the national championship of their neighbors to the north.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, who needed to eagle the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Vegas, settled for birdie and a tie for second, leading five USGA champions in the top 10. Brandt Snedeker, the 54-hole leader and 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, shot a 1-under 71 to finish tied for fifth, two strokes back of Vegas. He was joined at 10-under 278 by 2002 U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, who was tied for the lead through 11 holes on Sunday but fell short after playing the seven holes, which included three par 5s, in even par.

Johnson was trying to become just the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and Canadian Open in the same year, and the first since Tiger Woods in 2000. He would have joined a rather exclusive club that also includes Tommy Armour (1927), Lee Trevino (1971), and Jerry Pate (1976).

2006 U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy posted a 63 on Sunday to finish in a tie for ninth after entering the final round in a tie for 44th. Matt Kuchar, the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion, continued his recent run of solid play, also finishing tied for ninth to notch his sixth top-10 in his last eight PGA Tour starts.

Scott Lipsky is the manager of websites and digital platforms for the USGA. Email him at slipsky@usga.org.

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