All is well which ended well for Sam Bennett and the USA team as they both emerged victorious on Saturday at Spirit International, an elite and amateur team competition played at the Whispering Pines GC in Trinity, TX. . But it was not without a late drama that included a rule violation that flowed indirectly from a seemingly harmless team makeup session.
Yes, we said a makeup session.
According to Golfweek, Bennett, a Texas A&M senior who is currently the No. 1 ranked player in the PGA Tour U. University Rankings, received a two-stroke penalty in the final round when he discovered a 15th club up his sleeve. after making par on the opening hole. It turns out that that extra club was the corner of her American teammate Rachel Heck. It looks like the club were left near Bennett’s bag when he and his US teammate and current US amateur champion James Piot got a tattoo on their face from Heck. Either Bennett or Heck picked up the club by mistake and put it in Bennett’s bag assuming it was his.
After realizing the mistake, Bennett was given a penalty of two strokes for breaking rule 4.1b, initially giving him a double bugy on par 4. Impressively, the Aggie All-American failed. didn’t leave him flustered as he made seven birdies and shot a closing 69. His total of 54 holes of six under 210 was still good enough to win the men’s competition by two more strokes. The huge Townsend of Sweden.
“I knew the gods of golf would come back to help me,” Bennett said. “I said to myself, ‘Let’s just come back to the same [for the round] at five ‘o’ clock. I birdies at # 2 and # 5, then it was on.
“On the court I was helping Sam get his face tattooed and I put my club on his bag and I think he maybe accidentally put it in his bag and I didn’t notice it “Heck told Golfweek. “I figured it out right before I left and felt absolutely horrible. It should have cost me, not him. It really motivated me. I wanted to contribute to the team and make sure we came out on top because I knew if we didn’t it would feel like part of my fault.
The Americans, with world No. 1 Rose Zhang, fourth on the combined men’s and women’s team, also won the overall team title, shooting a total of 28 under, 21 strokes better than second Canada.
Heck and Zhang won the women’s title with a total of 12 fewer. Zhang also won the women’s individual title with a score of 10 under 206 while Heck, Zhang’s varsity teammate at Stanford and reigning NCAA player of the year, was fifth.
The makeup accident cost the Americans a title: Bennett and Piot finished second behind Sweden by one stroke in the men’s team competition.