U.S. takes big lead into Spirit Am finale

The United States will take an 11-shot lead into Saturday’s final round of the The Spirit International Amateur, an international team event held every two years.

The Americans, captained by LPGA star Paula Creamer, finished the third round at a combined 38 under, 11 shots better than Denmark and England. Korea is another shot back.

photo

Jennifer Johnson (right) knocked out Alexis Thompson in the semifinals of last summer’s U.S. Women’s Amateur.

“What I’m going to tell them tonight is just because we have an 11-shot lead, that doesn’t mean anything,” Creamer said. “We have one day left and whoever wins it wins the tournament.”

On the women’s side, Alexis Thompson and Jennifer Johnson hold a seven-shot advantage over Columbia after rounds of 66-64-66.

On the men’s side, Jordan Spieth and Ben Martin have posted rounds of 68-65-65 and sit three shots back of leader Italy.

Thompson and Spieth are both No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. Johnson is a freshman at Arizona State, while Martin is a senior at Clemson.

Two years ago, the United States finished tied for second, two shots back of England. The U.S. also finished second in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

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