WATC Press Releases

32nd World Amateur Team Championship Inside The Field

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31 Aug. - 3 Sept. 2022 Le Golf National and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche, Paris, France

NUMBER OF TEAMS – A record-tying 72 teams have entered the 32nd World Amateur Team Championship, tying the mark set in Turkey in 2012.

DEFENDING CHAMPION – Denmark will try to become the first team to win consecutive WATC titles since the USA did so in 2012 and 2014. The Danes also won silver at the Eisenhower Trophy competition in 2012. 

HOST NATION - France will be playing in its 31st World Amateur Team Championship, with its only missed appearance being in 1962 in Japan. The French won the Eisenhower Trophy in 2010 and won silver in 2002 and bronze in 1992 and 2012.


Four players from the field played in the 2022 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. The quartet of players includes Austin Greaser (USA) T61 and Michael Thorbjornsen (USA) MC, as well as Adrien Dumont de Chassart (BEL) MC and Keita Nakajima (JPN), MC.


Five players in this year’s field played in the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews in July – low amateur Philippo Celli (ITA) T47, Aaron Jarvis (CAY) T76, Sam Bairstow (ENG) T81, Keita Nakajima (JPN) MC, Aldrich Potgeiter (RSA) MC


Mark Power of Ireland played for Great Britain and Ireland at the 2021 Walker Cup Match at Seminole Golf Club in the USA.

WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ (11 players in the Top 25 in WAGR as of 24 Sept.)

1 – Keita Nakajima (JPN)

3 – Ludvig Aberg (SWE)

4 – Gordon Sargent (USA)

5 – Austin Greaser (USA)

6 – Michael Thorbjornsen (USA)

9 – Sam Bairstow (ENG)

10 – David Puig (ESP)

16 – Adrien Dumont de Chassart (BEL)

18 – Wenyi Ding (CHN)

21 – Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (ARG)

25 – John Gough (ENG)


Rachid Akl, 64, of Lebanon, who owns a transport company, is the oldest player in the field and 15-year-old Lev Grinberg of the Ukraine is the youngest.

Storylines – Alphabetical (By Country)


Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Segundo Oliva Pinto are teammates at the University of Arkansas where both played on the Southeastern Conference Championship team in 2021. Fernandez de Oliveira was the runner-up at the 2022 Latin America Amateur and won the 2022 South American Amateur in Ecuador. Pinto was the runner-up at the South American Amateur. He gained notoriety for his sportsmanship and demeanor when he lost in the Round of 16 at the 2020 U.S. Amateur because his caddie tested the sand in a bunker, which resulted in a loss of hole penalty.


Captain Matt Cutler, the high-performance manager at Golf Australia, is the men’s captain for the third time. He has also served as the WWATC captain in 2012 and 2014. He is the only captain in the 2022 competition to have served for gold-medal winning teams for the Espirito Santo (2014) and Eisenhower Trophy (2016) competitions.


Adrien Dumont de Chassart and Matthis Besard are teammates at the University of Illinois. Dumont de Chassart won the Big 10 Conference Player of the Year Award in 2021 and 2022. Besard advanced to the final 16 at the 2022 Western Amateur.


Jarryd Dillas, who works in the insurance business, is making his ninth appearance at the WATC. Except for 2006, he has played in every Eisenhower Trophy competition since 2002. A staple in Bermuda golf competitions, he has won 10 Bermuda Amateur Four-Ball Championships (latest in 2021) and nine Bermuda Amateur Match Play Championships (latest this year) and three Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play Championships (latest in 2019).


Garrett Rank, who is playing in his third WATC, is an official in the National Hockey League in North America. A cancer survivor, Rank won the 2019 Western Amateur.


Aaron Jarvis, who plays collegiate golf at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, won the 2022 Latin America Amateur Champion and played in the 2022 U.S. Open, the Open Championship and will play in the 2023 Masters Tournament.


Gabriel Morgan is the captain of Chile’s team for the sixth time. He was also a member of the 1992 and 1996 Chilean teams.


Nalapon Vongjalorn is an HVAC mechanic and manager and is playing in his second Eisenhower Trophy competition.


Wenyi Ding won the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in July to become the first male from his country to win a USGA Championship. He was the runner-up at the 2020 Volvo China Open and won the China Amateur Golf Open in 2019, 2020 and 2021.


Captain Fabio Villamizar owns a dental practice in Cali.
Manuel Marizalde, 43, is playing in his fourth WATC but his first since 2002. He previously played in 1996, 1998 and 2002. A semifinalist at the 2001 U.S. Amateur Championship, Marizalde was an All-American in his college days at Brigham Young University.


Paul Chaplet, the 2016 Latin America Amateur champion, is playing in his third WATC. He won the 2016 Latin America Amateur and was the 2017 South American Amateur champion. He played three seasons at the University of Arizona and one at Sam Houston State University, where he won individual honors at the 2021 Southland Conference Championships and was the conference co-player of the year.


Captain Torben Nyehuus is representing his country as captain for the seventh time, and has led Denmark to both of its medals – gold in 2018 and silver in 2012.

Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen, who plays collegiate golf at Oklahoma State University, was runner-up in 2022 European Amateur Championship.


Issa Abou El Ela who played collegiately at Oklahoma City University, now owns an apparel company called Izzy Apparel, which specializes in gym and workout clothing. This is his fourth Eisenhower Trophy competition.


Sam Bairstow was the runner-up at the 2022 Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A.


Captain Matti Lindholm is serving in his role for the fifth time. He played linebacker for the Sacramento Surge of the World League of American Football in 1991 and is an inductee into the Finnish American Football Hall of Fame.


Alejandro Villavicencio is playing in his sixth Eisenhower Trophy competition and his family runs a restaurant chain called Los Ranchos. He also runs a telecommunications company that services phone towers.


Philippo Celli, who plays college golf at Texas Christian University, was low amateur at the 2022 Open Championship in July and won the 2022 European Amateur.


Keita Nakajima is the 2021 Asian Pacific Amateur champion, and played in the 2022 Masters Tournament and the 150th Open Championship. He was the Mark H. McCormack medal winner as the No.1 ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in 2021 and 2022, becoming the first male to win the award twice.


Santiago De La Fuente was one of four runners-up at the 2022 Latin America Amateur. Prior to joining the University of Houston, he played two years at Arkansas Tech University, which won the NCAA Division II team title in 2021 and 2022.


Jerry Ji was a bronze medalist in golf at 2018 Youth Olympic Games. He plays at the University of Illinois, where he won B1G Conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2020. He was a first-team All-B1G choice in 2021, when he was runner-up at the Northeast Amateur and the German Amateur.


Omar Tejeira Jaen, a former golf professional who left that life because of a spinal injury, is the CEO of We Assist, an online concierge service company for six Latin American nations. A two-time All-American at St. Thomas University, he made an ace in the 2021 Central American Amateur that led to an individual and team title.


Jeromino Esteve, a cancer survivor, is playing in his fourth Eisenhower Trophy competition. He works in the automobile sales business and loves to race cars.


James Leow, a member of the Arizona State University’s NCAA Men’s Division I runner-up team in 2022, served in Singapore’s civil defense force as a platoon sergeant for almost two years before he enrolled in college.


Aldrich Potieter is the reigning Amateur champion, winning his title at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s in July. He won the Western Australia Amateur in 2021.


Captain Ludvig Aberg, who plays golf at Texas Tech University, was the 2022 Ben Hogan Award winner as the best American college player. He won the Big 12 Conference individual title in 2022 and was a member of Sweden’s European Team Championship on home soil in 2019.


Zico Correia, who won the 2022 Trinidad and Tobago Open, is playing in his first WATC. He has also been selected to play for Trinidad and Tobago's National Junior football team.


Khalid Yousuf is making his ninth appearance at the World Amateur Team Championships. He has been on the UAE team every year since 2004, except for 2016. He is a manager in the transportation business.


Austin Greaser and Michael Thorbjornsen met in the final of the 2021 Western Amateur with Thorbjornsen winning the match, 4 and 3. Sargent, as a freshman at Vanderbilt University, won the 2022 NCAA Division I men’s individual title. Thorbjornsen, who plays golf at Stanford University, made the cut at the 2022 U.S. Open and finished fourth at the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour this summer. He won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur title.

Kendra Graham, of the USGA executive committee, will serve as a Rules official for the WATC and is the daughter of Ann Beard – who was the captain of the gold medal-winning USA Team at the 1994 Espirito Santo Trophy competition at Le Golf National.


Clifford Sibanda, 54, who began playing golf at age 38, is a sales and marketing executive. He was the runner-up at 2022 Zimbabwe Amateur.


The IGF will offer daily reports/notes/quotes for distribution and posting on the IGF website and will also offer complimentary high-resolution photographs during the World Amateur Team Championships for editorial use. For more information, email photorequests@usga.org.

Contact Pete Kowalski for more information regarding the World Amateur Team Championships:
Pete Kowalski, pkowalski1524@gmail.com; +1 908.216.8435

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