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2014 World Amateur Team Championship, 10-13 Sept.

Karuizawa 72 Golf East (Oshitate and Iriyama Courses), Karuizawa, Japan

NUMBER OF TEAMS – A total of 69 teams are entered in the 29th World Amateur Team Championship, which ties for the third-largest field in Eisenhower Trophy history.

GHANA IS FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANT – Ghana is the only country making its first appearance in the World Amateur Team Championship.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – The USA is vying to become the first team to win back-to-back WATC titles since the USA won three consecutive titles in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

HOST NATION – Japan is playing in its 29th World Amateur Team Championship. It has won four medals (gold in 1984 and silver in 1974, 1976, 1982). As the host nation in 1962, Japan finished ninth in the 23-team field with Kiyoshi Ishimoto as playing captain along with Yoshikane Hirose, Naomoto Nabeshima and Ginjiro Nakabe

McCORMACK MEDAL WINNER – Ollie Schniederjans, 21, of the USA, is the winner of the 2014 Mark H. McCormack medal, holding the No.1 position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ at the conclusion of the ranking period.

WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ (Members of the Top 25 playing in WATC)

Week of Aug. 31

3 – Mario Galiano (ESP)

4 – Marcus Kinhult (SWE)

5 – Renato Paratore (ITA)

6 – Bradley Neil (SCO)

10 – Ashley Chesters (ENG)

11 – Beau Hossler (USA)

12 – Guillermo Pereira (CHI)

13 – Jon Rahm (ESP)

14 – Denny McCarthy (USA)

18 – Grant Forrest (SCO)

19 – Lucas Hebert (AUS)

20 – Gavin Green (MAS)

24 – Ryan Evans (ENG)

YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES – Four of the top 10 finishers at the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, are competing in the 2014 WATC. Gold medalist Renato Paratore, of Italy, silver medalist Marcus Kinhult, of Sweden, as well as Feroz Garewal, of India (tied for fifth) and Dou Zecheng, of People’s Republic of China (tied for 10th), were among the top finishers in late August.

In addition, Marcus Kinhult and Linnea Strom of Sweden won the gold medal in the mixed team event. Korea, with Eun Ho Youm and So-Young Lee, was second and Italy, with Renato Paratore and Virginia Elena Carta, was third.

USA COLLEGE ALL-AMERICANS – Following is a listing of the 20 players from the 2014 WATC who were named to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Division I, four Division II and other division All-America teams for 2013-2014:

Division I

Second Team
USA – Bryson DeChambeau, Southern Methodist University

Malaysia – Gavin Green, University of New Mexico

USA – Denny McCarthy, University of Virginia

Third Team

Ireland – Paul Dunne, University of Alabama-Birmingham

Honorable Mention

Wales – David Boote, Stanford University

Chinese Taipei – Cheng-Tsung Pan, University of Washington

Belgium – Thomas Detry, University of Illinois

Scotland – Grant Forrest, University of San Diego

USA – Beau Hossler, University of Texas

Switzerland – Marco Iten, Austin Peay University

Costa Rica – Jose Mendez, University of Minnesota

Canada – Taylor Pendrith, Kent State University

Spain – John Rahm, Arizona State University

Scotland – Chris Robb, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Division II

First Team

Canada – Adam Svensson, Barry University

Second Team

Colombia – Santiago Gomez, Nova Southeastern University

Wales – Michael Herne, Southern Nazarene University

Honorable Mention

Colombia – Ricardo Celia, Nova Southeastern University

NAIA

Guatemala – Jose Rolz, Texas Wesleyan

Hong Kong, China – Matthew Cheung, Oklahoma City University

PALMER CUP 2014 – Five players from the 2014 WATC participated in the Palmer Cup, an international team competition, at Walton Heath Golf Club in England in late June. Europe defeated the United States of America 18.5-11.5. Representing Europe from the Eisenhower Trophy were Grant Forrest, of Scotland, Paul Dunne of Ireland,Thomas Detry of Belgium and Jon Rahm of Spain. The only player from the USA at the WATC is Bryson DeChambeau.

Storylines – Alphabetical By Country

AUSTRALIA

Geoff Drakeford, 23, won the 2014 Porter Cup and was second at the Southern Amateur, Scottish Stroke Play and Australian Amateur and he advanced to the round of 16 at the Western Amateur. Teammate Lucas Herbert also made the round of 16 at the Western Amateur and was tied for second at the 2013 Heritage Classic, an Australian professional event.

BELGIUM

Thomas Detry, 21, is playing in his third WATC, and is a member of the University of Illinois team in the USA (See All-Americas and Palmer Cup notes).

BERMUDA

Captain Chris Brough is an attorney by trade but is also president of the Bermuda Junior Golf Association.

Jarryd Dillas, 29, who is playing in his sixth Eisenhower Trophy, is an accounting administrator. He notes that he lives on an island but has never eaten fish.

CANADA

Adam Svensson, 20, was the NCAA Division II Jack Nicklaus Award winner as Player of the Year at Barry University and his team won the national championship.

Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith were college teammates and roommates at Kent State University in the USA. They shared player of the year honors in the Mid-American Conference in 2014. Pendrith caddied for Conners during the 2014 U.S. Amateur, where Conners finished as runner-up. Pendrith earned low amateur honors at the 2014 Canadian Open.

COLOMBIA

Nicholas Echavarria, 20, won the Mexican Amateur in 2014 by 12 strokes and was a semifinalist at the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2011 and 2012. He attends the University of Arkansas and plays golf there. His brothers, Andre (Florida and now Web.com Tour) and Miguel (Michigan) also played college golf in the USA.

Santiago Gomez and Ricardo Celia are college teammates at Nova Southeastern University in the USA, where the team finished second in the nation.

COSTA RICA

Ortiz Alvaro, 35, is a real estate agent playing in his sixth WATC.

Playing captain Manuel Jimenez, 55, is playing in his 12th Eisenhower Trophy, which ties with Roberto Gomez of Brazil for the most career appearances. Jimenez’s first was in 1986. This is his seventh time serving as captain. He is the chairman of the board of director of La Nacion, a newspaper.

DENMARK

Niklas Moller, 22, won a professional golf event the first time he played in one – the 2011 Willis Masters on the Ecco Tour – by making a hole-in-one on the 16th hole in the final round to win by one stroke.

ENGLAND

Captain Nigel Edwards, 36, is a native of Wales, for which he played in the WWATC in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. He is the performance director for England Golf and will serve as Great Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup captain for the third time in 2015. He was a member of two winning Walker Cup teams in 2001 and 2003 and captained GB&I’s win in 2011.

Ashley Chesters, 25, an administrator for an agricultural company, missed the cut at the 2014 British Open but won the European Amateur in 2013 and 2014.

ESTONIA

Martin Jarve, 19, was a competitive freestyle mountain skier for 15 years and won Estonian national titles.

FINLAND

Linus Vaisanen, 22, has lived in eight different countries including his native Finland.

IRELAND

Gavin Moynihan, 19, is playing in his second WWATC. In 2014, he was a member of the University of Alabama’s national championship team in the USA.  He was also a member of Great Britain and Ireland’s Walker Cup team in 2013. Moynihan won the Scottish Amateur in 2014 and the Irish Amateur in 2012 and 2013.

Paul Dunne, 21, missed the cut at the Open Championship at Hoylake in 2014 but was medalist at his qualifying site.

JAMAICA

Captain Mark Newnham is a senior lecturer and attending surgeon at the University of the West Indies. His son,Johnny, 19, is a member of the team and plays college golf at Mississippi State in the USA.

MALTA

J.J. Micallef, 22, has been Malta’s champion of golf, tennis and squash.

Captain Nick Borg, 43, is the older brother of team member Andy Borg, 42. Nick is an executive recruiter and lives in Tokyo. In a previous job, he was a videographer for underwritten documentaries.

NEW ZEALAND

Vaughn McCall, 23, is a dairy farmer. In 2012, he has won the New Zealand Amateur and the New Zealand Stroke Play.

Captain Brent Paterson was a member of New Zealand’s silver-medal team in 1990 when the WATC was in Christchurch. He also played on the New Zealand Eisenhower team in 1986.

POLAND

Mateuz Gradecki, 20, is playing in his second WATC with East Tennessee State University teammate Adrian Meronk, 21. Gradecki’s younger sister, Domenika, was the playing captain of the Polish team in the WWATC last week.

PUERTO RICO

Robi Calvesbert, 23, is an insurance broker and is playing in his third WATC. He played golf with former President Bill Clinton in 2005 in Puerto Rico. His sister, Karen, played for Puerto Rico in 1996, 2000 and 2002 and was a member of the Puerto Rico Golf Association staff that hosted the 2004 WATCs. Calvesbert’s great uncle is actor Raul Julia and he has always dreamed of a career in acting.

Jeronimo Esteve, 33, is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with lymphoma in 2011. He played college golf at Dartmouth College in the USA.

QATAR

Saleh Al Kaahbi is in the Qatar armed forces. He is playing in his third WATC.

SCOTLAND

Bradley Neil, 18, won the 2014 British Amateur and was a quarterfinalist at the Scottish Amateur won by team mate Chris Robb. Neil played in the British Open and missed the cut. The third Scottish player, Grant Forrest, was a quarter finalist at the Scottish Amateur this summer.

SLOVAKIA

Peter Valasek, 21, is playing in his fourth WATC. In 2012, the American college player at Coastal Carolina University, shot the lowest score in his country’s history (67) at the WATC

SWITZERLAND

Captain Toni Matti is an architect and he has been captain of the team five times. He played for Switzerland in the WATC in 1968.

CHINESE TAIPEI

Cheng-Tsung Pan, 22, played at the 2013 U.S. Open and made the cut, finishing T45th. He played in the 2014 Open Championship at Hoylake but missed the cut. He was a quarterfinalist at the U.S. Amateur at the age of 15. He plays college golf at the University of Washington.

THAILAND

Captain Walailak Satarek played professionally on the LPGA, China LPGA and CN Canadian Tour. She played college golf at the University of California-Irvine and was named NCAA Freshman of the Year. In 2007, she was the Player of the Year on the CN Canadian Tour.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Sohail Almarzouqi, 22, is an engineer on the road and transport authorities. He is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy.

Khalid Al Jasmi, 24, is playing in his sixth Eisenhower Trophy. His first was in 2004 at age 14.

UKRAINE

Artur Baduk, 27, is playing in his first WATC. He is a practicing attorney and won the Ukrainian Open in 2014.

USA

Beau Hossler, 19, played in the U.S. Open as a 16-year old in 2011 and tied for 29th in 2012 as a 17-year-old. In 2014, he won the Western Amateur. He plays college golf in the USA for the University of Texas.

VENEZUELA

Freddy Alcantara has been a delegate and captain 14 times. He served as captain from 1968 through 1990 and again in 2010 and 2014. He is an engineer in his business life and he was a piano soloist and a member of the Banda Sinfonica Simon Bolivar in Caracas. He was the chairman of the organizing committee for the World Amateur Team Championships in 1986.

WALES

Captain Zach Gould, 26, competed against three-time major champion Rory McIlroy and won two events with McIlroy in the field.

Rhys Pugh, 20, has been a member of the last two Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup teams in 2011 and 2013.

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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