US wins World Amateur Team title
KARUIZAWA, Japan (AP) — SMU junior Bryson DeChambeau birdied the final hole and Canadian playing partner Corey Conners closed with a bogey to give the United States a two-stroke victory Saturday in the World Amateur Team Championship.
The United States won the Eisenhower Trophy for the record 15th time in the biennial event, successfully defending its 2012 title in Turkey.
DeChambeau hit a 110-yard wedge shot to 9 feet to set up his birdie on the par-4 18th.
“I knew where we stood when I was on the 18th tee box and I knew that I needed a birdie on the last,” DeChambeau said. “I striped my drive and hit a wedge in there and nailed that nine-footer. I said that I needed to make birdie and I went out and made birdie”
Conners three-putted from 35 feet from the back collar.
“I didn’t know about the scores and I wasn’t sure if his would be counting or not,” Conners said. “There was never a doubt that he was going to make it. It was a pretty nice looking putt.”
Spain’s Jon Rahm broke Jack Nicklaus’ individual record, closing with a 5-under 67 on Karuizawa 72 Golf East’s Iriyama Course for a 23-under 263 total. Nicklaus finished at 269 in 1960 at Merion in Pennsylvania.
“I’m about ready to cry right now because, honestly, Jack Nicklaus is a hero,” said Rahm, a junior at Arizona State. “I can’t really explain how good it feels to beat his record. It’s just unbelievable.”
DeChambeau, from Clovis, California, had a 73 in the final group, and Virginia senior Denny McCarthy added a 64 to give the United States a record 38-under 534 total. Texas sophomore Beau Hossler shot 75, with only the top two scores counting in the team total.
“It was very exciting right down to the last putt,” U.S. captain Jim Hyler said. “I’m so thrilled for these three young men. They played really hard all four days. We had different people count each day and it is a team event and I think the way it worked out for us really highlights what a great team event it is.”
The U.S. broke the record of 554 set by the Netherlands in 2006 in South Africa.
“There’s personal achievements that we’ve all had but it’s in a different league to play for your country and represent your country well,” said Hossler, from Mission Viejo, California. “We’re very proud of what we’ve done this week. Denny and Bryson played incredibly these last two days and for me to reap the benefits of that is nice. I struggled today.”
On Friday, DeChambeau had a tournament-record 10-under 61 on the Oshitate Course to help the Americans take a three-stroke lead into the final round.
Canada, six shots back entering the day, tied for the lead with a two-stroke swing on 18 in the third-to-last group. Barry University’s Adam Svensson made a birdie for Canada, and McCarthy had a bogey for the U.S.
McCarthy played the first eight holes in 8 under with an eagle, six birdies and a par. He broke the tournament nine-hole record at 8-under 28.
“I knew my score was counting for sure so my game plan on the back nine was to not do anything stupid or crazy and not drop any shots,” said McCarthy, from Rockville, Maryland. “At the same time, I still needed to be aggressive and give myself chances because he (Svensson) was making birdies and I knew he was going to count for Canada.”
Svensson finished with a 65. Conners, the U.S. Amateur runner-up, added a 68, and former Kent State teammate Taylor Pendrith had a 70.
“We fought back really hard,” Canadian captain Graham Hill said. “We knew that we were going to have to play well to have a chance and we played great and brought it right to the last hole. Obviously, it didn’t work out the way that we wanted, but we’re really proud of the guys for the way they played and the way they handled themselves.”
Spain was third at 35 under.