The 30th edition of the Eisenhower Trophy gets under way at the Mayakoba El Camaleón and Iberostar Playa Paraiso venues tomorrow.
Here are our five players to watch as they bid to lead their team to a winning result in Mexico.
Maverick McNealy (USA):
The world’s leading amateur golfer Maverick McNealy has amassed ten collegiate victories over the past two seasons in his rise to the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR™) and won four events individually in 2016: the Western Intercollegiate, where he shot a tournament record total of 194, the lowest ever by a Stanford golfer, the Gifford Collegiate, the US Collegiate and the Illini Invitational.
His 69.57 stroke average was the second-best in the nation and he was named a Ben Hogan Award finalist for the second year in a row. He is tied with Patrick Rodgers for the second-most career wins at Stanford with 10, one behind Woods’ 11. The 21-year-old was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, one of only six golfers, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, to do so.
McNealy is joined in a strong United States’ team by US Amateur runner-up and former Junior PGA Champion Brad Dalke, and Scottie Scheffler, the former US Junior Amateur Champion, will spearhead the USA’s quest for a third win in a row in the Eisenhower Trophy after triumphs at Antalya, Turkey in 2012 and Karuizawa, Japan two years ago.
Curtis Luck (AUS):
The 20-year-old Australian landed the biggest title of his amateur career when he defeated the United States’ Brad Dalke 6&4 in the final of the 116th U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakland Hill’s South Course.
The Perth golfer, who is based at the Cottesloe Golf Club, became the third Australian to win the coveted Championship after Walter Travis and Nick Flanagan.
His form this year has been impressive, winning the Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia, finishing tied 5th at the ISPS HANDA Global Cup on the Japanese Golf Tour, and third in the South Australia Amateur Classic.
His previously finished runner-up behind Tae Koh of New Zealand at the 2014 Australian Amateur Championship.
Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (ESP):
The 20-year-old Spaniard counts three victories in 2016, including the Copa de Andalucía, Internationaux de France Coupe Murat, and the Campeonato de Barcelona.
Cantero Guiterrez also played four events on the European Challenge Tour, his best finish coming in the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf, where he finished tied-37th position.
Scott Gregory (ENG):
The 21-year-old from Hampshire, England won The Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl in impressive fashion earlier this year.
Gregory displayed an excellent short game and cool-under-pressure putting to defeat Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre 2&1 in the 36-hole final on the coast of South Wales, earning him the opportunity to play in The 145th Open at Royal Troon, where he led after the first nine holes of the opening round.
Runner-up in the Spanish Amateur Championship this year, Gregory was also selected for Great Britain and Ireland for the St Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe at Prince’s, where he played a pivotal role in ensuring captain Craig Watson’s side tied the match to retain the trophy as the current holders.
Matthias Schwab (AUT):
Named the 2015-16 Male Athlete of the Year by Vanderbilt University, Matthias Schwab of Austria has demonstrated excellent form in the United States’ collegiate golf scene.
Schwab was also included as a first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC after leading Vanderbilt with a stroke average of 70.53.
The 21-year-old from Rohrmoos has posted six top-10 finishes this season, including tied-1st in the Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach, third at the Mason Rudolph Championship, tied for seventh at the Schenkel Invitational, tied for eighth at the Querencio Cabo Collegiate, and eighth at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Challenge.
Schwab also represented Europe in winning the Arnold Palmer Cup against the United States, clinching the trophy by a nine point margin.