Will Zalitoris and Philip Barbaree are part of the winning US team
Spirit International photo
It was coming down to the wire, and the United States team of Philip Barbaree and Will Zalitoris were sitting in an unusual position. They entered the final nine holes with a lead over their two closest competitors, France and Mexico, but in the combined (men’s and women’s team scores), Mexico had the lead by a couple of strokes.
With Spain already in the clubhouse at 33-under, Barbaree, a 2017 LSU-commit from Shreveport, La., drained an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole that cut the Mexico lead to one stroke.
On no. 17, Barbaree again made a clutch putt for birdie while the Mexican team had a bogey for a two-shot swing that now had the American team up by a stroke. A par by Zalitoris (Wake Forest) on 18 clinched the men’s draw for the US, going 66-60-66=192, four shots ahead of the French team of Antoine Rozner and Gregoire Schoeb (196) and six shots better than Spain (198) in the men’s draw.
On the women’s side, the Mexican team of University of Arkansas-commit Maria Fassi and Ana Paula Valdes (2015 Women’s Porter Cup champion) finished the event with 20 birdies and an eagle against just one bogey over 54 holes of golf. They went 64-67-64=195 for a four shot win over the English team of Hayley Davis and Bronte Law, who fired a 62 on Wednesday’s final round. The United States ended in a tie for 7th place, seven shots out of the lead.
The two-shot swing on the men’s side on 17 allowed the United States team an overall win on the combined leaderboard. The final winning total of 38-under (394) was one shot better than Team Mexico and five shots ahead of the Spanish team. France and England round out the top five.
The Spirit Golf International Amateur Golf Championship is a biennial event alternating years with the World Amateur Team Championships and features teams from 20 countries on six continents. The best men and women players in each country are chosen to play for their home country.
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