2012 Men’s World Amateur Team Championship Storylines

Antalya Golf Club (PGA Sultan Course) and Cornelia Golf Club (Faldo Course)

4-7 October, Antalya, Turkey

RECORD NUMBER OF TEAMS – A record 72 teams are competing in the 28th World Amateur Team Championship, surpassing the previous record of 70 in South Africa in 2006.

FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS – Six countries are making their first appearances in the World Amateur Team Championship: the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kyrgystan, Malta, Oman, Poland and Ukraine.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – France 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 – Turkey is playing in its sixth World Amateur Team Championship. Its best finish was 43rd in 2004 in Puerto Rico. Hamza Sayin, 26, is playing in his fifth World Amateur Team Championship.

McCORMACK MEDAL WINNER – Chris Williams, 21, of the USA, is the winner of the 2012 Mark H. McCormack medal, holding the No.1 position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the conclusion of the ranking period. The University of Washington senior was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship and won the Western Amateur and the NCAA Southwest Regional. He also was a member of the 2011 USA Walker Cup Team.

WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING (Members of the Top 20 playing in WATC)

Week of Sept. 30 (for a full list of rankings visit: http://www.randa.org/wagr.aspx

1 – Chris Williams (USA)
2 – Daan Huizing (NED)
3 – Justin Thomas (USA)
7 – Julien Brun (FRA)
9 – Robert Karlsson (SWE)
11 –Thomas Pieters (BEL)
16 – Marcel Schneider (GER)
19 – Steven Fox (USA)

YOUNGEST AND OLDEST –  Rhadames Pena of Dominican Republic and Hassan Ahmed Hassan Said of Egypt ,15, are believed to be the youngest contestants and Arozam Al-Bushaidi
,56, of Oman, is believed to be the oldest because not all biographical data has made available.

2012 TURKISH AMATEUR OPEN – Players from the WATC were clustered on the final leaderboard of the 2012 Turkish Amateur, and it was nearly a top-three sweep for Germany. Maximillian Rottluff of Germany won at Antalya Golf Club’s Sultan Course and shot 64 in the second round. Teammate Marcel Schneider was second, with a 64 in the final round. Victor Henum of Denmark was fourth; Germany’s Moritz Lampert was fifth. Japan’s Jinchiro Kozuma was seventh. Turkey’s Hamza Sayinfinished ninth.

Storylines – Alphabetical By Country

AUSTRALIA

Daniel Nisbet, 22, is a four-time finalist at the Australian Amateur and has three career holes-in-one, all before he reached his 16th birthday.

Matthew Steiger, 21, is a four-time winner of the Australian Amateur and was twice a quarterfinalist at the British Amateur. He lists his occupation as a bartender.

AUSTRIA

Brothers Lukas and Tobias Nemecz23 and 20, respectively, make up two thirds of the team.

BAHRAIN

Abdulla Jalal, 22, is a customs officer for the government.  He is playing in his first WATC.

BELGIUM

Two members of the team play for the University of Illinois in the USA – Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters. Detry won the 2009 Dutch Open and the 2011 Belgium Match Play while Pieters won the 2012 NCAA Men’s Division I individual title and represented the victorious European Team  at the 2012 Palmer Cup. He also made a hole-in-one during the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship.

BERMUDA

Fraser Hunt, 28, works as a T-shirt salesman for a company called Flying Colours. He won the Bermuda Amateur in 2004.

BRAZIL

Captain Roberto Gomez has a long history in the WATC. He holds the record for most individual appearances in the Eisenhower Trophy competition with 12. This will mark his 13th time representing Brazil. His last appearance as a player was in 2006 at age 49.

CANADA

Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Connors were college teammates at Kent State University in the USA. Hughes won the Canadian Amateur in 2011 and 2012 and earned his degree in the spring of 2102. Connors won the 2010 Ontario Amateur and has one year of college eligibility.

Albin Choi is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy and was eighth in individual scoring in Argentina in 2010. He was the medalist at the 2012 North and South Amateur at Pinehurst in North Carolina of the USA.

CROATIA

Captain Vedran Zanko is a former member of the Croatian National Cricket Team (2002-2006).

CZECH REPUBLIC

Ondrej Lieser, 21, once played in the pro-am at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in the USA with Champions Tour playerKenny Perry.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

John Paul Garrido, 26, is a civil engineer. He is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy. He is also a Special Olympics coach for golf and his athlete won a gold medal in Greece at the 2011 Summer Special Olympic Games.

FRANCE

Captain Fabrice Stolear, 37, is a dental surgeon. He won the French Amateur in 1996.

Edouard Espana, 22, made his first hole-in-one at the 2012 British Amateur at Royal Troon. He won the first stage of European Tour qualifying school in 2012 and advanced to the third round of the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship before losing to the USA’s Chris Williams, 3 and 2.

GERMANY

Marcel Schneider, 22, has been successful around the world this summer.He won the Australian Amateur and finished as the runner-up at the Turkish Amateur, the Spanish Amateur and the Portuguese Amateur.

Moritz Lampert, 20, won both the Portuguese and German Amateurs this summer. His sister, Karolin was a member of Germany’s silver-medal team at last week’s Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at Gloria Golf Club.

GUAM

Playing captain Lon Lindsey was the Good Will Ambassador for the Island of Guam in 1996. At the age of 17, he won the Junior World Championship in San Diego, Calif., of the USA.

Jimmy Mafnas, 35, owns Big Dawgs Hot Dogs in Dededo, Guam.

HONG KONG CHINA

Shun Yat Hak, 18, won the 2012 HP Boys Championship and the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions in the USA. At the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open, he was the youngest to make the cut in European Tour history, eclipsing the mark held by Sergio Garcia.

ICELAND

Captain Ragnar Olafsson is serving in that capacity for the eighth time. He played for Iceland in the 1982 World Amateur Team Championship.

IRELAND

Captain Padraig Hogan is a full-time bank manager. As a 12-year-old, his Irish dancing team won the world championship. He was a member of Ireland’s European Team Championship squad in 1987.

Alan Dunbar, 22, was a member of the 2011 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team which defeated the USA at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. He also won the 2012 British Amateur at Royal Troon.

JAPAN

Hideki Matsuyama,20, is the only player in the field to have played in the Masters Tournament. He did so in 2011 and 2012 after winning the 2010 and 2011 Asian Amateur. He was the low amateur at the 2011 Masters, having finished T27. He made the cut again in 2012, finishing T54. In 2011, he won the Taiheiyo Masters to become just the third amateur to win on the Japan PGA Tour.

KYRGYZSTAN

This country is making its first appearance in the WATC and has the oldest team in the field with all of its players more than 40 years old. Azamat Matsybekov, 42, is a realtor; Daniyan Alymov is 46, and Konstantin Surikov is 44.

NETHERLANDS

Captain Eric Brommert serves as the race director for the Rotterdam Marathon as well as the national team’s golf coach.

NEW ZEALAND

Captain Brent Paterson played in five Eisenhower Trophy competitions and was a member of New Zealand’s silver-medal winning team in 1990 (tied with USA).

Vaughn McCall, 20, is a dairy farmer. In 2012, he has won the New Zealand Amateur and the New Zealand Stroke Play.

Matthew Perry, 25, is an award-winning landscape architect. He won the New Zealand Amateur in 2011.

PUERTO RICO

Robert Calvesbert, 21, is playing in his second World Amateur Team Championship. 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. He attends Mississippi State University in the USA and played in the 2012 Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour.

Jeromino Esteve IV, 31, loves competitive sport fishing. He won a tournament called the Mayor’s Cup in 2010. He played college golf at Dartmouth College in the USA. He is the general manager of a car dealership.

QATAR

Abdulrahman al Bishi, 24, is a police officer. He is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy competition. He was a member of the silver-medal winning team at the 2012 Arab Golf Championships.

SCOTLAND

Captain Scott Knowles is the golf manager for the Stephen Gallacher Foundation, an organization aimed at encouraging and developing junior golfers in the Lothan’s and Borders areas of Scotland. The group was founded by European Tour player Gallacher and it conducts junior tournaments at several levels, called the Race To Dunbar, which is where the season’s final tournament is held.

SERBIA

Cedomir Ilic, 23, plays college golf in the USA at Savannah State University in Georgia. He was born in Zimbabwe but has Serbian citizenship.

Ilija Djurdjevic, 23, is a professional rugby player for FC Bacelona Rugby in the winter and plays competitive amateur golf in the summer. He goes by the nickname “Kobra.”

SWEDEN

Pontus Widegren, 21, is the only player in the field who owns a World Amateur Team medal. He was part of Sweden’s third-place team in Australia in 2008. A college player at UCLA in the USA, he is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy.

Captain Johan ‘Jesse” Karlsson is a greenkeeper at Strangas Golfklubb and has captained a Swedish team at the 2012 European Team Championship. Previously, he was a caddie on the professional tours in Europe and the USA. He caddied for two wins by Peter Hedblom and one by Anna Nordqvist, who as an amateur won a gold medal for Sweden in 2008 in Australia.

SWITZERLAND

Captain Toni Matti is an architect and he has been captain of the team four times.

WALES

Rhys Pugh, 19, was a member of the victorious Great Britain and Ireland Team at the 2011 Walker Cup Match at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland with a perfect 3-0-0 individual record. An American college player at East Tennessee State University, Pugh has won the 2012 European Amateur Championships and the 2011 Irish Amateur.

VENEZUELA

Julio Vegas, 24, is the younger brother of USA PGA Tour player Jhonattan Vegas, who also played for Venezuela at the WATC in 2002.

Compiled by Pete Kowalski, WATC Media Officer

Copyright © 2012 International Golf Federation. All rights reserved.

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