By Brian Keogh
Eanna Griffin. Photo by Golffile
Ireland’s Hugh Foley, Eanna Griffin, Aine Donegan and Anna Foster were tied for 14th after the opening round of the Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas.
Established in 2001, The Spirit International is a biennial, 54-hole, four-ball stroke-play competition for amateurs. The Spirit Golf Association and Texas Golf Association invited 76 players from 19 countries and six continents to play for gold medals. Each country is represented by two women and two men.
There are separate team and individual competitions for men and women as well as an overall combined team event.
In the men’s event, France’s Julien Sale and Adrien Pendaries combined for a gross 63 (nine-under) to lead by two strokes from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Waterford Golf Club’s Griffin and Royal Dublin talent Foley combined to card a two-under 70 that left them tied 15th in the men’s event.
In the women’s title race, Lahinch’s Donegan and Elm Park’s Foster posted a three-under 69 to share 12th place, five strokes behind South Korea.
In the overall standings, Ireland were tied for 14th on five-under after the opening round, 11 strokes behind France who are represented by Sale, Pendaries, Pauline Roussin Bouchard and Candice Mahe.
The US team, which also features Walker Cup players Andy Ogletree (the US Amateur champion) and Cole Hammer, was tied for fourth with Australia.
The US women’s team of Emilia Migliaccio and Kaitlyn Papp was disqualified for signing for an incorrect score.
According to Golfweek
On the par-three third hole, they signed for a 2 for Migliaccio when it was actually Papp who recorded birdie on that hole. Team Scotland kept the card for the Americans, and no other score was recorded for the women’s team on the third hole. According to Rule 23.2b, which applies to four-ball stroke play, the score for the hole must be identified as the score of the correct player.
The error was self-reported by U.S. team captain Stacy Lewis, who was eating lunch a good 30 minutes after play was over and happened to notice a discrepancy on the birdie-leader scoreboard.
“I noticed that Kaitlyn had four but I knew she made five so I clicked further,” Lewis explained. “That’s when I kind of knew there was an issue and brought it to a rules official’s attention.”