- USGA/Steven Gibbons photo
It was too little, too late for the United States.
Sweden won the Espirito Santo Trophy for the third time on a tiebreaker over the hard-charging U.S. at the 29th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche in Paris, France, on Saturday.
The Swedes and Americans tied at 13-under 559 after four rounds of stroke play. After comparing non-counting scores, a 1-over-par 73 from Sweden’s Louise Rydqvist, a sophomore at South Carolina, was one stroke better than Wake Forest senior Rachel Kuehn’s 74, giving Sweden the gold medal and the USA the silver. Germany and Japan tied for the bronze-medal position one stroke behind.
The Women’s World Amateur Team Championship is four rounds of stroke play with the two lowest individual scores from each team counting every day.
Ingrid Lindblad, No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, fired a 3-under 69 in the final round, and Meja Ortengren added a 2-under 70, as Sweden made up five strokes on Germany, who held the 54-hole.
“Yesterday we were on our way to good scores (at Le Golf National), and we lost everything in the end,” said Sweden’s head of delegation Fredrik Wetterstrand. “Today, everything went our way, our scores and the other team’s scores. I admit it was a little lucky today. Our team played really well. They were fighting hard on the course, and they did it together”
It’s Sweden’s first medal since capturing bronze in 2012. For the United States, it’s the 21st medal, which includes 14 golds, four silvers and three bronze.
The U.S. began the day four strokes behind Germany and battled its way to a one-stroke lead on the tee of the 72nd hole after a birdie on the 17th by world No. 1 Rose Zhang.
Zhang, a sophomore at Stanford and the defending NCAA individual champion, missed the green with her approach on 18 and could not convert a par-saving putt that brought on the tiebreaker. She finished with a 3-under 69 and Stanford and USA Curtis Cup teammate Rachel Heck shot 70.
“There is obviously that tinge of disappointment,” Zhang said. “On that last putt, I actually hit a really good putt exactly where I wanted, but it just didn’t go in the hole. It was disappointing to end that way, but I am really proud of how we fought back on the last day.
Sweden receives custody of the Espirito Santo Trophy until the next World Amateur Team Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in October 2023. Members of the winning team receive gold medals, second place silver and third place bronze.
by Cameron Jourdon, Golfweek
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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