ANTALYA, Turkey – With a record-setting score of 24-under-par 404, the USA won the weather-shortened 2012 World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) by five strokes over Mexico on Sunday at the par-71 Antalya Golf Club and claimed the Eisenhower Trophy for the 14th time.
Chattanooga’s Steven Fox, the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion, and Chris Williams, No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), both shot 2-under 69 for the USA. Justin Thomas posted a non-counting 1-under 70.
“It has been since 2004 that the trophy has found its way to the USA and it is great to have it coming back to our shores,” said USA captain Jim Vernon, a past president of the USGA. “They are three guys who bonded well and played golf as a team.”
The previous low total for 54 holes was 407 by the USA in Puerto Rico in the 2004 WATC, which was also played at 54 holes because of weather.
“It’s fun to win as an individual,” said Williams, a University of Washington senior who won the 2012 Western Amateur. “But to win as a team is awesome and it doesn’t get any better than doing it as representative of the USA.”
Despite a strong challenge from Mexico, which finished second at 19-under 409, led by Sebastian Vazquez’s individual low total of 15-under 199, the USA led from the start to the finish, setting records along the way.
The Americans, in winning their 24th medal in the 28 Eisenhower Trophy competitions, broke team marks for lowest 18-, 36- and 54-hole scores.
“I would go back to the first round where Chris shot 64 and Justin shot 67 and we were 13-under,” said Fox of the key point in the championship. “We just built from there.”
The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition, begun in 1958. It is conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises national governing bodies of golf in 126 countries and international professional tours. The competition, which is being held for the 28th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
This year’s event is hosted by the Turkish Golf Federation. The teams play for the Eisenhower Trophy. The IGF is the international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and will conduct the Olympic golf competition in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The 54-hole total is the team’s score for the championship.
The winning team takes custody of the Eisenhower Trophy for two years and each team member receives a gold medal. The second-place team members receive silver medals and the third-place teams receive bronze medals.