FAR HILLS, N.J. – Reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler made six birdies over his final nine holes to lead the USA to a six-stroke victory over France at the rain-shortened Spirit International last weekend at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas.
The USA finished with a 54-hole total of 33-under 399. The four-member squad also included reigning U.S. Amateur Public Links champion and 2013 USA Walker Cup Team member Jordan Niebrugge, an Oklahoma State junior; 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Ashlan Ramsey, a freshman at Clemson; and Ally McDonald, a junior at Mississippi State.
The best-ball score for the two male and two female golfers on each hole determined the team’s total.
“It feels great,” said Scheffler, 17, who defeated Davis Riley in the Junior Amateur final in July and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur three weeks later. “We were really struggling in the morning, but some putts started dropping. That really fired up the rest of our games and allowed us to play aggressively. To win gold here means a lot. It’s what we set out to do.”
The USA won the team competition for the third consecutive time and the fourth overall since the biennial competition’s inception in 2001.
Scheffler and Niebrugge also claimed the men’s team title at 22-under 194, six shots ahead of Finland and Sweden. France and Malaysia were both seven strokes back at 201.
France won the women’s team competition at 12-under 204, by one stroke over the USA and by two strokes over Malaysia and South Africa. The French team consisted of 15-year-olds Mathilda Cappelliez and Eva Gilly.
Julien Brun of France, a junior All-America player at Texas Christian University, claimed the men’s individual title, which is awarded to the player with the most birdies. Brun, Niebrugge, Scheffler and Finland’s Toni Hakula, the 2013 British Amateur runner-up, tied with 14 birdies, and Brun prevailed in a playoff to earn a sponsor’s exemption into the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
Brooke Henderson of Canada, a 2013 U.S. Women’s Open qualifier, won the women’s title with 13 birdies, one more than Cappelliez.
The competition was shortened from 72 to 54 holes due to inclement weather on Thursday.