Team France leads at Spirit International Amateur

Hugh Hargrave

Team France leads at Spirit International Amateur

Amateur

Team France leads at Spirit International Amateur

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TRINITY, Texas – U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree woke up before the opening round of the Spirit International Amateur with a jolt. His phone didn’t charge overnight and he slept through his alarm. Good thing he’s rooming this week with fellow Walker Cup teammate Cole Hammer, who woke him up at 6:40 a.m., 20 minutes later than he planned.

“I told him, I’ve never missed a tee time, but if it wasn’t for him I’d have slept right through,” Ogletree said.

While Ogletree skirted a potential penalty situation, the U.S. women’s team, consisting of Wake Forest junior Emilia Migliaccio and Texas junior Kaitlyn Papp, wasn’t so lucky. The team was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard per Rule 23.2b of the Rules of Golf.

The Spirit International is a 54-hole, four-ball stroke-play competition for amateurs. It features 76 players from 19 countries and six continents playing for gold medals. Each country is represented by two women and two men.


Watch the live stream of The Spirit International 2019 from Whispering Pines through Saturday, right here on Golfweek.com.


On a rainy day with otherwise benign conditions, France shot 16 under to open up a 2-stroke lead over Korea and New Zealand after the first day of the Combined International Competition. Korea leads the women’s team competition (8-under 64) by one stroke over Australia, France and Chinese Taipei while France leads the men’s team competition (9-under 63) with a two-shot cushion on three other teams.

The U.S. men’s team trails by three after France’s Adrien Pendaries of Duke racked up seven birdies and partner Julien Sale of Arkansas State chipped in four of his own.

“When the girls saw the guys get off to a hot start, it just made them want to beat them,” said French captain Patricia Meunier LeBouc.

Starting their day on the back nine, Pauline Roussin Bouchard, who plays at South Carolina, and Candice Mahe, a 19-year-old Georgia commit, combined for only one birdie in their first nine holes. That’s when Mahe, the only member of the French team not playing in college yet, kicked her game into gear and reeled off four birdies in her first six holes on the front nine.

“She really stepped up,” Meunier LeBouc said. “I’m pretty sure if you asked her about today 10 years from now, she’ll probably say it was an important day for her.”

“Allez! Allez!” she roared after Roussin Bouchard rolled in a birdie putt at the last.

Spirit International: Scores | Photos

The U.S. men’s team has some catching up to do if it wants to win gold. The extra sleep seemed to do Ogletree good as he made birdies on two of the first three holes and led the U.S. men’s two-man team to a best-ball score of 6-under 66.

“I rode my man pretty hard today,” said Hammer, a sophomore at Texas, who chipped in three birdies including a 30-foot birdie putt to cap off the day for Team USA.

“We hadn’t really gotten one to go all day,” said Ogletree, who added that his putter let him down.

Their captain Stacy Lewis echoed that sentiment.

“The boys had a ton of looks. They just didn’t make many putts. I don’t think either of them played their best golf today,” she said. “If we can carry our momentum from today into tomorrow, we should be in a good spot.”

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