Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett, United States dominate at Whispering Pines

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The United States won four of the five gold medals at The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship on Saturday at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity. The biennial competition features 20 teams of international amateurs with two men and two women on each team.Sam Bennett, a senior at Texas A&M, won the men’s individual event with a 6-under 210.World No. 1 Rose Zhang, a Stanford freshman, won the women’s individual competition at 10-under 206.Zhang and Stanford teammate Rachel Heck, the No. 2 women’s amateur in the world ranking, won the women’s team competition by seven shots with a 12-under 420.Team USA won the team championship, which includes scores from three of the four team members each round, with an 11-under 620.Bennett and reigning U.S. Amateur champion James Piot of Michigan State finished second in the men’s team competition, one shot behind Sweden. The U.S. could have made a clean sweep of the medals, but Bennett took a two-shot penalty when he discovered an extra club in his bag after playing the first hole in the final round.Texas Shootout to be played at Royal OaksRoyal Oaks Country Club will host the state’s top 24 amateurs from North and South Texas for the 18th Texas Shootout on Monday and Tuesday. The Texas Golf Association event features the top 12 players (eight mid-amateurs and four seniors) from North Texas squaring off against a South Texas team in a Ryder Cup-style competition. Players qualify by accumulating points throughout the year in designated TGA regional and statewide tournaments, as well as USGA national championships. North Texas leads the series 9-8.The North Team: Gant Bills (Plano), Rob Couture (Dallas), Gary Ezmerlian (Fort Worth), Chuck Gardner (Texarkana), Sean Heidrick (McKinney), Aaron Hickman (Tyler), Frederick Janneck (Fort Worth), Robert Johnson (Abilene), Kyle Kelting (Amarillo), Lee Sandlin (Dallas), Lewis Stephenson (Burleson) and Chris Wheeler (Addison).Buffalo Creek upgrades serve golfersBuffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall celebrated the beginning of a $6.5 million facility enhancement by marking improvements to the course since being back under ownership of the Perry family, the original owners who opened Buffalo Creek 30 years ago. The course, under the management of KemperSports, has seen bunker and tee box upgrades. Among the amenities for golfers are new golf carts, new TVs, an outdoor seating patio and upgraded kitchen equipment.Legends Junior Tour event begins SaturdayTyler’s Willow Brook Country Club will host the Legends Junior Tour’s Jackie Burke Cup Matches on Saturday and Sunday. The Ryder Cup-style event features the top 12 players from North Texas squaring off against their counterparts from South Texas. Each team consists of eight players from the Boys 15-18 Division, two from the Girls 12-18 Division and two from the Boys 14 and Under Division. The North has won the last seven meetings.Find more golf coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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