Czech Republic coach Keith Williams say it’s not “out of the blue,” but after the first round of the Eisenhower Trophy his team sits tied for eighth position.
“We brought our strongest team ever to this event and this is the fruition of our coaching and development program,” said Williams, who has been the national coach for 10 years. “We have been waiting to be able to bring three players who are comfortably able to shoot scores in the 60s, which is needed in this event.”
Two 18-year olds, Simon Zach and Vitek Novak are joined by 21-year-old Michael Pospisil in Japan. Both Zach and Novak are making their second WATC appearances.
The Czech Republic first competed in the World Amateur Team Championship in 1988 and its best finish was 32nd in 2004 and tied for 32nd in 2006 and 2010.
In round one of the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy, Zach, who shot 62 in the final round of Slovak Amateur Open in late August, paced the team to its highest daily finish in 13 World Amateur appearances at 7-under-par 135 on the par-71 Oshitate Course.
In the final round of 2012, Zach (73) and Ondrej Lieser (69) combined for a 2-under 142, the country’s previous best one-day score.
Zach closed with a flourish, making four birdies on the final six holes for a 67. He and Novak, who shot a 3-under 68 that included four birdies and a bogey, were on the 2012 Czech squad that finished 40th in Turkey. Pospisil shot non-counting 76.
“They have all been in the program for five years of coaching and development,” said Williams, a respected instructor. “We support them in playing around the world. They are proven winners and, in the Czech Republic, we would say that they didn’t surprise us with these scores. We expect them to shoot these scores. Now, perhaps we wouldn’t expect those scores in this environment but they have matured and developed as players. They are respected players in Europe. They are not out of the blue.”
Vitek, who won the Czech International Amateur and the Czech International Junior in 2014, also won the Slovak Open in 2013. He represented the continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy in Sweden in August.
Pospisil, who will be a sophomore at the University of Cumberlands in Kentucky in the USA, was the Mid-South Conference Player and Freshman of the Year in 2014 and he also earned NAIA second-team All-American honors.
“The big advantage is that they hit it a long way and today, they hit it straight,” Williams said. “They are the most complete players we have been able to bring.”