SWEDEN EDGES USA FOR GOLD MEDAL; GERMANY AND JAPAN EARN BRONZE
Conducted by the International Golf Federation (www.IGFgolf.org) Hosted by the French Golf Federation (www.ffgolf.org) igfgolf.org/watc/watc-2022 | #WATC2022 and #IGFgolf | mediacenter.usga.org
When: 27 August 2022
What: 29th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy
Where: Le Golf National (Albatross) and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche (Red), Paris, France
Sweden won the Espirito Santo Trophy for the third time on a tiebreaker over the hard-charging USA at the 29th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche on Saturday.
The Swedes and Americans tied at 13-under par 559 but after comparing non-counting scores, a 1-over-par 73 from Sweden’s Louise Rydqvist was one stroke better than Rachel Kuehn’s 74 giving Sweden the gold medal and the USA the silver. One stroke behind at 560, Germany and Japan tied for the bronze-medal position.
Ingrid Lindblad, ranked No 2 in the world, fired a 3-under 69 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”
In winning its first medal since capturing bronze in Turkey in 2012, Sweden rebounded from a disappointing fourth-place position in Round 3 after holding the 36-hole lead.
“I knew pretty much all day that I had a counting score,” said Lindblad. “We knew that after yesterday at Le Golf National we would have to go for it whether we finished second or 14th. Meja made about a seven-footer for par on the 18th which was so important for us. That was great.”
The USA, which began the day four strokes behind Germany, battled its way to a one-stroke lead on the tee of the 72nd hole after a birdie on the 17th by No.1-ranked Rose Zhang.
Zhang, a member of Stanford University’s 2022 NCAA Women’s Division I Championship team, 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.”
Germany could not find its form of Round 3 and posted a fourth-round 145 left them tied with Japan, who held a short-lived lead early in the round based on a 4-under 68 from Mizuki Hashimoto, the 2021 Asia Pacific Amateur champion. Teammates Saki Baba, the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, and Mika Ueta both shot 70.
Helen Briem led Germany with an even par 72 and Celina Rosa Sattelkau shot 73.
“It wasn’t our day, but the girls kept fighting,” said Germany captain Pia Gassner, who played in the WWATC in 2008 and 2010. “It was so close that we knew we needed to make birdies, but we just couldn’t make them. We didn’t lose the gold today; we won the bronze.”
Spain, who held a late lead, was fifth at 561, Chinese Taipei was sixth at 566, Canada and Scotland tied for seventh at 570 and the Czech Republic and the Republic of Korea tied for ninth at 572.
The winning team receives custody of the Espirito Santo Trophy until the next World Amateur Team Championship in Dubai, UAE, in October of 2023. Members of the winning team receive gold medals; members of the second-place team receive silver medals; and members of the third-place teams receive bronze medals.
Although there is no official recognition, Sweden’s Ortengren, Germany’s Briem and the USA’s Zhang tied for the low individual score at 7-under-par 279.
Gareth Jones, Japan: “We had a tough day yesterday and a few tears last night, but we knew we had nothing to lose today and we played great on this golf course. We are pretty happy about the way the girls played at this place. The atmosphere on the team, even though they were relatively new, helped them to a great performance.”
Rose Zhang, USA: “Regardless of the result, I met a lot of people from different cultures. I even learned some Japanese from that team, and I made some really good friends. I’m disappointed but it shows that golf is an up and down sport. You can never get too comfortable; I am just going to work harder in the future.”
Captain Pam Murray, USA: “I’m very proud of the girls. They were four back starting the day and came back to leading on 18 and we just got a bad break on 18 when Rose’s ball took a bad bounce coming into the green. She hit an excellent chip shot and we thought the putt would break right, but it went straight. That’s golf.”
- Sweden’s last gold medal was in Australia in 2008. In 29 WWATCs, the Swedes have won eight medals (three gold, two silver and three bronze.
- The USA continues to dominate the all-time medal count as today’s silver gave them 21 medals in 29 appearances. The overall count is 14 golds, four silvers and three bronzes. They were vying to be the first back-to-back WWATC winners since the Republic of Korea won in 2010 and 2012.
- Germany’s shared bronze gives them three total medals and first since their silver-medal performance in 2012.
- Japan has won medals in back-to-back WWATCs (silver in 2018) after not winning any hardware from 1964 to 2016.
- Catherine Lacoste, who played on the gold-medal-winning team at the inaugural Espirito Santo Trophy competition at St. Germain Golf Club in Paris, was among those in the gallery during Round 4. She played on the victorious French team with Claudine Cros and Brigitte Varangot. In 1967, she became the only amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open. An iconic figure in French golf, Lacoste played in seven WWATCs.
- The USA’s Rose Zhang was presented with her third Mark H. McCormack medal as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™
72 teams will compete in the 2022 World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy at Le Golf National and at Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche from 31 August-3 September.