Will Collins and France’s Gary Stal
were the only other competitors to break
par, finishing at 2- and 1-under par,
Kraft, ranked No. 5 in the world,
was in the final pairing with Sordet,
who plays his college golf at Texas Tech
University, and the top-ranked French
amateur Stal, both of whom traded haymakers with Kraft for most of the day.
Sordet birdied Nos. 10, 11 and 12,
picking up six shots on Kraft in just four
holes. He gave one back at 14, making
bogey on the par 3, and it was all tied up
heading to the 15th tee.
Kraft went for the par- 5 15th in two,
and after he hit his second shot well
right and almost out of bounds, Sordet
hammered a 3-wood onto the front of
the green. Kraft’s ball was nestled in the
midst of some trees and was forced to
hit a tricky shot to a flag he could barely
see. After spending a good deal of time
negotiating his backswing, he floated
one out of the rubbish into the center of
the green. Although Sordet two-putted
for birdie and claimed the lead once
again, Kraft made a great par save.
Kraft found himself in a familiar
position as he was in the U.S. Amateur,
trailing by one with just a few holes
It didn’t take long for his experience to prevail. Kraft birdied 16 while
Sordet made a rare mistake, bogeying
the short par 4 after being in perfect
position off the tee just 60 yards from
the green – three-putting from the back
of the green. Kraft made par on 17
and, after Sordet left his decisive effort
short, the champ found himself on the
WHITSETT WINS INAUGURAL
PATRIOT ALL-AMERICAN INVITATIONAL
Cory Whitsett closed with a 5-under-
par 66 to win the inaugural Patriot All-America Invitational on the Gold Course
at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
Whitsett’s three-round total of 14-under
199 was three strokes better than Bobby
Wyatt, his college roommate at Alabama.
Whitsett entered the round with a
two-shot lead but Wyatt applied pressure early by pulling even with an eagle
on the first hole. Both players birded the
fourth hole. Whitsett moved back into
the lead with a birdie at No. 5.
Wyatt responded with two straight
birdies before a bogey at the eighth hole
pulled the pair even at 11 under for the
tournament. Whitsett reclaimed the
lead for good after a birdie on No. 10
was paired with a Wyatt bogey. Birdies
on Nos. 12, 15 and 18 pushed Whitsett’s
lead to its final margin of three shots.
Austin Cook and Julian Suri tied for
third at 4 under while Joe David and Paul
McConnell shared fifth place at 3-under
210. Johannes Veerman, Richy Werenski
and Andrew Yun finished in a three-way
tie for seventh with a total of 2-under
211. Evan Beck, Ben Klaus and Patrick
Rodgers completed the top 10 at 1 under
for the tournament.
Paula Reto cruised to a five-shot win
over Thai teenager Moriya Jutanugarn
on Jan. 2 to successfully defend her Dixie Amateur title at Heron Bay Golf Club.
Reto shot 13-under 275 to become the
first player in Dixie history to win back-to-back titles.
Jaye Marie Green, of Boca Raton,
Fla., finished alone in third another shot
back, while England’s Holly Clyburn was
solo fourth. Tied for fifth at even-par 288
were Madison Opfer, of Plant City, Fla.,
and Madison Pressel, of Boca Raton, Fla.
“I consider Heron Bay my home
course, so that helped a lot,” said Reto,
who was born in South Africa but now
makes her home in Coral Springs. “I just
tried to stay focused and play my game;
to play conservative, but good.
“Normally, my strength is my long
game,” said the 21-year-old Reto, a
junior at Purdue University who did not
start playing golf until 2005. “But this
week it was my putting that made the
difference. The greens here were great;
the whole course was in great shape.”
Diane Lang, of Weston, Fla., solidified
her reputation as one of the dominant
senior golfers in the world, edging Lisa
Schlesinger, of Laytonsville, Md., by two
shots to claim her third straight senior
women’s Dixie Amateur. Ivy Steinberg, of
Stouffville, Ont., finished third.
Lang, a three-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion, has won the title every
year since the division was established