USGA Champions Spieth, Thompson Help U.S. Win Spirit Championship

Nov. 9, 2009

Trinity, Texas – Reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion Jordan Spieth and 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Alexis Thompson helped the United States to a four-stroke victory over Korea at The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship this past weekend at Whispering Pines Golf Club.

The biennial Spirit brings together male and female teams from 20 countries for a 72-hole, stroke-play competition. Each country is  

Reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champ Jordan Spieth guided the U.S. to a tie for sixth in the men's division at last week's Spirit International. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
 represented by two males and two females in a best-ball format.

The combined scores from each male and female squad determine the overall champion. The U.S. squad was captained by 2004 USA Curtis Cup Team member and current LPGA Tour pro Paula Creamer, a member of the 2003 Spirit-winning U.S. squad..

The U.S. posted a winning overall score of 45-under-par 531, four ahead of Korea at 41-under-par 535. Denmark was third (543), followed by Chinese Taipei (544) and England (545).

Thompson, 14, of Coral Springs, Fla., teamed with 18-year-old Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., the runner-up at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur, in the women’s division. The two teens led the U.S. to a seven-shot victory over Korea. The duo posted scores of 66-64-66-68 on the 6,310-yard, par-72 layout for a 24-under-par total of 264.

While Korea closed with a 7-under 65, it was not enough to catch the tough American twosome. Thompson and Johnson, a freshman at Arizona State University, are strong candidates to represent the USA at next year’s Curtis Cup Match, to be held at Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.

Colombia finished in third at 275, with Denmark, England and France sharing fourth position at 277.

On the men’s side, Spieth, a 16-year-old from Dallas, and Clemson University senior Ben Martin, the runner-up at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, helped the Americans share sixth place with Sweden at 21-under 267. The Americans closed the tournament with a 3-under 69, their worst round of the competition. They entered the final round fresh off a pair of 65s in rounds two and three after opening with a 68.

Italy, behind reigning British Amateur champion Matteo Manassero and Andrea Pavan, won the men’s competition by three strokes over Korea with a 27-under-par 261 on the 7,470-yard, par-72 layout. Manassero also was the low amateur at the British Open in July, while Pavan helped Texas A&M win the 2009 NCAA Division I team championship.

Chinese Taipei finished third at 265, followed by Canada and Denmark, who shared fourth position at 266.

Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team members Matthew Haines and Stiggy Hodgson led England to an eighth-place showing (268). England won the overall competition in 2007 by two strokes over the U.S. The U.S. had also finished second in the men’s and women’s  competitions in 2007.

Story written by USGA Digital staff writer David Shefter.


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