CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - University of North Carolina golfer Leslie Cloots, a freshman from Antwerp, Belgium, along with her home country finished ninth in the International Team competition at the 2013 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas. Belgium finished with a 14-under-par, 418 total with a 2-under, 142 round on Saturday.
Cloots ended Saturday with a 9-over round through 12, 5-over for the tournament, in a tie for 71st. She shot one birdie, six bogeys, and two double-bogeys in the final round. She also finished in a tie for 17th in the birdie category after totaling six throughout the tournament, which was played from Oct. 28-Nov. 2. Cloots and fellow Belgian Laura Gonzalez Escallon helped the team finish in the Women's Team competition with a 7-under 209, five shots off leader France's total.
The United States, France, and Malaysia placed in the International Team competition with 33-under, 27-under, and 25-under scores, respectively. In the Men's Team competition, the United States' Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Niebrugge took home gold with a 22-under par total, followed by Finland and Sweden in a tie for second at 16-under. The Women's Team competition saw France win the top prize, followed by the United States and Malaysia.
Jordan Niebrugge, 20, the 2013 US Amateur Public Links Champion, along with fellow American Scottie Scheffler, France's Julien Brun, and Finland's Toni Hakula shared gold in the Men's Individual competition, all finishing with 14 birdies. Brooke Henderson from Canada won the Women's Individual Competition with 13 birdies, followed by Mathilda Cappeliez in second and a tie for third between Kim Williams, South Africa; and Yumi Matsubara, Japan.
The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship featured the world's best amateur men and amateur women golfers as they represented their respective country in team and individual competitions. The 80 participants enjoyed an Olympic-like experience from the Opening/Closing Ceremonies, international village and competing for gold medals. Established in 2001, The Spirit is a biennial event that alternates tournament years with the World Amateur Team Championships.
Twenty countries were represented in the Spirit Championship with two men and two women comprising each country's team. The event consisted of 72 holes of best ball competition with five separate competitions: International Team (combined best ball of the Men's and Women's teams), Men's Team, Women's Team, Men's Individual, and Women's Individual.
Cloots, the 2013 Belgium King's Pike Women's Champion, played in three of Carolina's tournaments this fall, including one as an individual. Joining Cloots on the Belgium squad were Kevin Hesbois, Cedric Van Wassenhove and Laura Gonzalez Escallon. The team captain was Jean de Vooght. This marked Belgium's fourth appearance in the prestigious event - they finished 12th in 2007, 14th in 2009 and 16th in 2011. The United States has now won the last three championships: 2009, 2011, and 2013.