France wins Spirit Int’l, but USA doesn’t leave empty-handed

France wins Spirit Int’l, but the US does not go away empty-handed

– Photo by Spirit Golf Association / Hugh Hargrave

TRINITY, Texas (November 9, 2019) – With seven birdies on the final eight holes, France won its very first Combined International Championship on Saturday at the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship 2019 with a total of 37- under par 395.

The French team led the championship, which, after the first round on Thursday, includes five different competitions played at the same time. France then fell four shots behind the Republic of Korea after the second round. An even attack by the French on Saturday allowed them to overtake and overtake Korea on the dramatic final stretch of the Whispering Pines Golf Club holes.

“We lost the lead, but who cares? They just did their job, played one shot after the other and enjoyed the moments with their friends, ”said French captain Patricia Meunier LeBouc. “And it works. That happened today. It was our turn and we took it from everyone else. I’m very proud of my team.”

Top moments from the final round at The Spirit including Cole Hammer Birdies, Team France victory and the 12 year old Jeong Hyun Lee from the Republic of Korea doing her thing!

– Spirit International (@thespiritgolf) November 9, 2019

It was also a total group performance. Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, a newcomer from South Carolina and the seventh-placed amateur in the world, made four birdies in the finals. Candice Mahe, a Georgia commitment, has made four of her own. Julien Sale, a senior at Arkansas State, rolled in three birdies. Adrien Pendaries, a Duke junior and the top ranked college player in the United States, also made three birdies.

“This is the first time I’ve won a gold medal with the men’s national team,” said Pendaries, whose father, Marc Pendaries, captained the French team at The Spirit in 2011. “We had an incredible week. The girls were great and my partner Julien was superb. My father’s team finished fourth eight years ago, so I can make it difficult for him. “

Korea and Norway shared second place with 35 out of 397 and received silver medals. New Zealand took the silver medal with a final score of 31 out of 401.

Aside from France’s win from behind, the most compelling act of the week was the game played by 12-year-old Korean Jeong Hyun Lee. She was the youngest competitor in the 76-player field, but no one did better or more consistently than her. With 17 birdies in three rounds, Lee won the women’s individual championship, becoming the youngest Spirit participant. Lee, who will turn 13 on November 15, also set the all-time 54-hole record for Maria Fassi of Mexico in 2015.

“I will never forget this tournament. It was so much fun, ”said Lee, who, along with her teammate Yoon Ina, also won the gold medal for the women’s championship with 22 under 194. “This was the first time I played the four ball format. It was a lot of fun to play with Ina. It was an honor for me to represent my country in this great championship. “

Renate Grimstad from Norway won the silver medal in the women’s individual ranking with 15 birdies on her second appearance at The Spirit. The Korean Ina won the bronze medal with 14 birdies.

“I would like to honor Jeong Hyun because she did really well,” said Ina. “Playing with her was so good for me and that’s why we played so well.”

The French Roussin-Bouchard and Mahe won silver in the women’s championship with a 54-hole score of 21 under 195. The Norwegian Grimstad and her teammate Dorthea Forbrigd received the bronze medal at 19 out of 197.

Team USA’s Cole Hammer and Andy Ogletree rallied late to win the men’s championship. Hammer, the world’s third-placed men’s amateur and sophomore student in Texas, caught fire on the track and shook five birdies on the team’s final eight holes to reach 22-under 194. Hammer, who grew up about 80 miles south of Whispering Pines in Houston, also finished second and received a silver medal in the men’s individual championship for a total of 16 birdies.

A -9 final round for the #TeamUSA men secured Cole Hammer and Andy Ogletree a gold medal in the men’s competition!

– Spirit International (@thespiritgolf) November 9, 2019

“It’s been an incredible week,” said Hammer. “We didn’t have our best stuff in the first few days, but we stopped at it. We started rolling on the second nine today and it was fun to have some momentum. “

South Africa and Sweden tied for second place, taking silver medals in the men’s championship out of 20 out of 196. Australia and New Zealand got bronze with scores of 18 out of 198.

Australian Jack Trent won the men’s individual championship with 18 birdies and an eagle. That set the all-time Spirit International record set by Korea’s Bumgeun Chae in 2009. Trent, a UNLV junior who played with the Australian national team in his first event, said the best ball format allowed him to aggressively pursue birdies. The speed of the greens also helped.

“The greens are really fast, really good,” said Trent. “When I got to the greens, I felt like I could do anything. The format helped me a lot. When my teammate got to par, I really tried to make it for birdie. Most of the time I’ve done that. “

Three players received silver medals in the men’s individual championship with 16 birdies, including Hammer, the Italian Pietro Bovari and the Colombian Ivan Camilo Ramirez. The South African Martin Vorster won bronze with 15 birdies.

Regardless of which players won medals, all participants left Whispering Pines with new friends and lifelong memories. That is the real goal of The Spirit International, which Corby Robertson, founder of the Spirit Golf Association, always focuses on.

“We are very happy that we had such an excellent field of participants from all corners of the world,” said Robertson. “The children had the time of their lives. They are all exceptional players and we were just thrilled that they had such a wonderful time. The course was beautifully set up, the weather smiled at us and we couldn’t have had more fun. “

We will experience The 2019 Spirit again for a long time!

What a great week at Whispering Pines.

– Spirit International (@thespiritgolf) November 9, 2019


As always, The Spirit International was played at Whispering Pines Golf Club, the 7,480 yard masterpiece designed by Chet Williams. Whispering Pines has consistently been recognized as the # 1 Texas # 1 since opening in 2000 and is currently ranked 54th in the country by Golf Digest. Whispering Pines sits on 400 acres of pine forests in east Texas, just a chip shot from the Sam Houston National Forest. Located on the shores of Lake Livingston, the spectacular course is framed by towering hardwoods and bordered by streams.

Set up daily for The Spirit by the Texas Golf Association, the course challenges the world’s best players with all sorts of risks, rewards, and scoring opportunities. Founded by philanthropist Corby Robertson, the club offers a great golfing experience, promotes amateur golf and supports charitable causes at local, national and international levels.


U.S. amateur semi-finalist Will Holcomb and reigning Texas amateur champion Hannah Alberto played along with some of their teammates from Sam Houston State as markers at Spirit International 2019 this week.

Nineteen countries are represented at Whispering Pines, which means that a team place remained free. The Bearkats players released the position after their trainer Brandt Kieschnick accepted the Spirit Golf Association’s invitation to play. The Sam Houston State men’s and women’s teams train regularly at Whispering Pines.

“We are grateful to Whispering Pines, the Spirit Golf Association and Corby Robertson for everything they have done over the years to support Sam Houston State,” said Kieschnick.

Showing results for The Spirit International Amateur

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