Nick Dunlap, David Ford, and Gordon Sargent (USGA)
The United States of America surged to its 16th Eisenhower Trophy win, and its first since 2014, on Saturday in the 33rd World Amateur Team Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. David Ford, the No. 5 ranked amateur in the world, posted an 8-under 64, while 2023 U.S. Amateur champion Nick Dunlap contributed a 4-under 68.
“I just feel so happy for these guys,” said USA Captain Mark Newell. “This is a great championship filled with lots of good players and they really earned their victory with great play all four rounds and especially today.”
On the strength of a red-hot Ford, who was 6-under through his opening six holes, the Americans quickly established an eight-shot cushion midway through the opening nine. Ford rattled off four consecutive birdies followed by an eagle hole-out from 140 yards on the par-4 sixth to kick-start his final round.
“I’ve never been 6-under through six before,” said Ford, who carded a 29 on the front side. “I didn’t look at the leaderboard until about hole 13. I wanted to see where we were and then I just tried to make as many birdies as I could coming in.”
Ford’s 64 is the second-lowest individual final round score in World Amateur Team Championship history.
After struggling to get things going early on, Dunlap birdied six of his final 10 holes, leading to his 68, and Gordon Sargent, the low amateur in the 2023 U.S. Open, posted a non-counting 71 for the USA in the fourth round. Dunlap (2), Ford (T-5) and Sargent (T-5), who competed together on last month’s victorious USA Walker Cup team at St Andrews, all finished in the top 5 of the individual scoring.
"I love the fact that everybody contributed just about equally,” said Newell. “Every player had the best score at least one day and every player had the highest score at least one day. They all carried the team for stretches and they all ended up shooting about the same scores overall. A true team effort and exactly the kind that it takes to win this kind of event.”
The USA’s 72-hole hole score of 36-under-par 540 was 11 strokes better than the silver-medal winning Australia and Norway teams. The 11-shot victory was the largest championship margin since Australia’s 19-stroke win in 2016.
Australia used a strong finish by Jack Buchanan (4-under 68), who birdied four of his final five holes, and a counting score from Karl Vilips (2-under 70) to close at 25-under-par 551.
Norway’s silver is its first medal in the country’s 26 Eisenhower appearances. The Norwegians, whose previous best finish was fourth place in 2022, used a 3-under 69 from Herman Sekne and a 2-under 70 from Michael Mjaaseth for a team total of 551.
“Obviously, you want to win when you have a chance to, but this is the best that our country has ever finished, so that’s something to be proud of,” said Sekne, a senior at Purdue University. “Hopefully we’ll be back next time and win it.”
France finished in fourth place, one stroke behind Australia and Norway at 24-under 552. Italy, the 2022 champions, and New Zealand finished in a tie for fifth place at 553.
The USA receives custody of the Eisenhower Trophy until the next World Amateur Team Championship, which will be held in 2025 in Singapore. Members of the winning team receive gold medals and members of the two second-place teams receive silver medals.
Although there is no official recognition, New Zealand’s Kazuma Kobori, the 2023 Western Amateur champion, was the low individual scorer at 16-under 272.
ABOUT THE Men's World Amateur Team
In 1958 the United States Golf Association
asked The R&A to join them in sponsoring
a world-wide amateur golf team event to
be played biennially in non-Walker Cup
years. Between 35 and 40 nations were
represented at the first meeting and
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
presented the trophy which bears his
name. The committee of the event was to
be known as the World Amateur Golf
Council and is now the International Golf
Federation. Teams of four players from
each country competed over 72 holes with
the leading three scores from each round
to count. The first competition was held
between 29 nations at St Andrews, with
Australia beating the United States in a
play-off. In 2002 the format changed to
teams of three with the two leading
scores to count.
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