Ireland 14th as Team USA romp home at Spirit International

Sara Byrne (Photo by Mark Runnacles/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ireland fell one place to 14th in the team standings on the final day as the home favourites USA completed a resounding 21-shot victory at the close of the Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas.

The team in green combined for a 12-over par final round tally in tough conditions for a 23-over par 54-hole total and a 14th place result.

In the women’s standings, Douglas’ Sara Byrne and Lahinch’s Aine Donegan combined for an eight-over par final round to take ninth place at 19-over. Donegan posted two birdies in a closing three-over 75 while Byrne carded five bogeys in a 77.


It was a great experience for the Irish pair with Donegan taking 20th and Byrne tied 21st on the individual leaderboard. World number one Rose Zhang continued her absolute domination of women’s amateur golf, breaking 70 all three rounds for a 10-under par winning total.

Ireland’s men dropped three places to 13th after a closing 11-over par combined score for a 21-over tally. Portumna’s Sam Murphy posted four birdies but also a ‘10’ on the par-5 17th in his four-over 76 while Paul Conroy (Enniscorthy) signed off with a 79.

Murphy tied 17th in the individual rankings on plus-seven while Conroy was in a share of 30th at 14-over. USA’s Sam Bennett won the men’s contest by three strokes at six-under par.

All four Ireland players are currently at University in the US with Murphy and Donegan Freshman at Grand Canyon University and Indiana State University, Byrne a Sophomore at University of Miami and Conroy also in his second year at University of Tennessee Chattanooga.

The Spirit International alumni have gone on to win over 650 professional titles, 25 major championships and 17 Olympic appearances. They include 16 PGA Tour winners, 25 European Tour winners, 23 LPGA Tour winners and 21 Ladies European Tour winners.


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