Stellenbosch, South Africa (29 October) – Joost Luiten of the Netherlands played his last five holes in six-under-par and finished with a 5-under-par 67 as the Dutch captured the Eisenhower Trophy as the winners of the 2006 World Amateur Team Championship.
With Canada and the Netherlands battling for the top position, 20-year-old Luiten began his run with a birdie on the par-5 14th hole at De Zalze Golf Club. He then holed a sand wedge from 93 yards on the par-4 15th for an eagle and closed with birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th.
With Luiten’s 67 and a 2-under-par 70 from individual low scorer Wil Besseling, the Netherlands won by two strokes over second-place Canada and by three over third-place USA at 22-under-par 554. Their winning total is the lowest since the two counting scores format was instituted in 2002.
"His nickname is Pyromaniac and he went on fire,” said Dutch coach Chris van der Velde of Luiten.
Ironically, Luiten’s five-hole streak began after he had bogeyed three of his previous four holes.
"It just happened,” Luiten said. “After 15, I knew I was in the zone.”
For most of the final nine holes, the champions jockeyed with Canada, which shot 7-under-par 137 on a 68 from Richard Scott and a 69 from James Love.
"We didn’t lose it,” said Canada’s captain Doug Roxburgh. “The Netherlands won it. They made the birdies coming home.”
"You can’t question how good they are,” said Scott. “They were 22-under par. They went out and won it.”
Trip Kuehne was 5-under-par on his second nine and finished at 3-under 69 to go along with a 69 from Chris Kirk to move to the USA into the bronze medal slot.
"The Netherlands played great,” Kuehne said. “What Joost did out there is the stuff of legends.”
The previous best finish for the Netherlands was a tie for eighth place in 1992 and 1994. The host South Africans finished tied for 22nd.
The rest of the top 10 included: Wales in 4th at 559, Korea in 5th at 561, England, Scotland and Argentina tied for 6th at 563, and France and Ireland tied for 9th at 564.
Although there is no individual recognition, Besseling was the low scorer at 13-under-par 275.
In the World Amateur, the team’s two best individual scores count. The Netherlands receives custody of the Eisenhower Trophy for the ensuing two years and the players receive gold medals. For the final round, the teams at the top half of the leader board played at De Zalze Golf Club. The bottom half teams played at Stellenbosch Golf Club.
The International Golf Federation was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF is the recognized international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and comprises the national governing bodies of golf of more than 100 countries.
Story written by Pete Kowalski, IGF Media Officer. E-mail him with questions or comments at email@example.com.
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