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U.S. wins Espirito Santo Trophy for 1st time since 1998
The U.S. hoists the Espirito Santo Trophy in Ireland (USGA photo)
The U.S. hoists the Espirito Santo Trophy in Ireland (USGA photo)

DUBLIN, Ireland (Sept. 1, 2018) – The U.S. cracked a 20-year winless streak in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship on Saturday by claiming the Espirito Santo Trophy for the 14th time.

The Americans took advantage of nearly perfect scoring conditions. Led by Kristen Gillman, winner of the 2014 and 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur championships, and Jennifer Kupcho, the reigning NCAA champion, the U.S. team eased to a 10-stroke victory over Japan on the O’Meara Course for its first gold since 1998 in Chile.

“I am so proud of these girls,” said American captain Stasia Collins. “I am so proud of this team, and I am really happy for them and thrilled for the United States. They will always be known as the gold medal winners for the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships – no one can take that away from us.”

The U.S., in winning its first medal since Argentina in 2010, posted a 29-under-par 551.

Gillman, a junior at Alabama, was the driving force of the day, making an eagle and four birdies against one bogey in her first nine holes to make the turn at 5 under. She added a birdie on the 13th en route to a 6-under 67.

Kupcho fired a 4-under-69 to give the U.S. a 10-under fourth-round total of 136. She and Gillman, plus UCLA senior Lillia Vu, were also members of the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team in June.

“We have the strong bond already from the beginning, especially yesterday when we were all struggling we all fought for each other,” said Kupcho, who is about to start her senior season at Wake Forest. “We all wanted to win for each other, and I think that was a big thing coming out of yesterday. And, I think that’s how we got our big lead coming into today.

Japan’s first appearance on the medal podium in 28 appearances was formulated by a pair of 3-under 70s from 18-year-olds Yuri Yoshida and Yuna Nishimura.

Their final total was 19-under 561. Previously, its best finish was fourth in 1984.

Defending champion Korea stalled in its attempt to overtake the U.S. and captured the bronze medal, which is its fifth consecutive medal-winning performance. The Koreans, who had won three of the previous four WWATCs, withstood a late rally from fourth-place People’s Republic of China to finish at 18-under 562.

Although there is no official recognition, Korea’s Ayean Cho was the low individual scorer at 17-under 273.

Results: Women's World Amateur Team
1KoreaA-Yean ChoKorea150068-64-71-70=273
T2COJennifer KupchoDenver, CO100070-65-71-69=275
T2JapanYuka YasudaJapan100065-67-72-71=275
4TXKristen GillmanAustin, TX70074-65-72-67=278
5CanadaJaclyn LeeCanada70076-69-72-65=282

View full results for Women's World Amateur Team

ABOUT THE Women's World Amateur Team

In 1958 the United States Golf Association asked The R&A to join them in sponsoring a world-wide amateur golf team event to be played biennially in non-Walker Cup years. Between 35 and 40 nations were represented at the first meeting and President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the trophy which bears his name. The committee of the event was to be known as the World Amateur Golf Council and is now the International Golf Federation. Teams of four players from each country competed over 72 holes with the leading three scores from each round to count. The first competition was held between 29 nations at St Andrews, with Australia beating the United States in a play-off. In 2002 the format changed to teams of three with the two leading scores to count.

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