Abu Dhabi, UAE: The United States of America surged to its 16th Eisenhower Trophy win, and its first since 2014, on Saturday in the 33rd World Amateur Team Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
David Ford, the No. 5 ranked amateur in the world, posted an 8-under 64, while 2023 U.S. Amateur champion Nick Dunlap contributed a 4-under 68.
“I just feel so happy for these guys,” said USA Captain Mark Newell. “This is a great championship filled with lots of good players and they really earned their victory with great play all four rounds and especially today.”
On the strength of a red-hot Ford, who was 6-under through his opening six holes, the Americans quickly established an eight-shot cushion midway through the opening nine.
Ford rattled off four consecutive birdies follo
wed by an eagle hole-out from 140 yards on the par-4 sixth to kick-start his final round.
“I’ve never been 6-under through six before,” said Ford, who carded a 29 on the front side.
“I didn’t look at the leaderboard until about hole 13. I wanted to see where we were and then I just tried to make as many birdies as I could coming in.”
Ford’s 64 is the second-lowest individual final round score in World Amateur Team Championship history.
After struggling to get things going early on, Dunlap birdied six of his final 10 holes, leading to his 68, and Gordon Sargent, the low amateur in the 2023 U.S. Open, posted a non-counting 71 for the USA in the fourth round.
Dunlap (2), Ford (T-5) and Sargent (T-5), who competed together on last month’s victorious USA Walker Cup team at St Andrews, all finished in the top 5 of the individual scoring.
“I love the fact that everybody contributed just about equally,” said Newell.
“Every player had the best score at least one day and every player had the highest score at least one day. They all carried the team for stretches and they all ended up shooting about the same scores overall. A true team effort and exactly the kind that it takes to win this kind of event.”
The USA’s 72-hole hole score of 36-under-par 540 was 11 strokes better than the silver-medal winning Australia and Norway teams. The 11-shot victory was the largest championship margin since Australia’s 19-stroke win in 2016.
Australia used a strong finish by Jack Buchanan (4-under 68), who birdied four of his final five holes, and a counting score from Karl Vilips (2-under 70) to close at 25-under-par 551.
Norway’s silver is its first medal in the country’s 26 Eisenhower appearances. The Norwegians, whose previous best finish was fourth place in 2022, used a 3-under 69 from Herman Sekne and a 2-under 70 from Michael Mjaaseth for a team total of 551.
“Obviously, you want to win when you have a chance to, but this is the best that our country has ever finished, so that’s something to be proud of,” said Sekne, a senior at Purdue University. “Hopefully we’ll be back next time and win it.”
France finished in fourth place, one stroke behind Australia and Norway at 24-under 552. Italy, the 2022 champions, and New Zealand finished in a tie for fifth place at 553.
The USA receives custody of the Eisenhower Trophy until the next World Amateur Team Championship, which will be held in 2025 in Singapore. Members of the winning team receive gold medals and members of the two second-place teams receive silver medals.
Although there is no official recognition, New Zealand’s Kazuma Kobori, the 2023 Western Amateur champion, was the low individual scorer at 16-under 272.
Gordon Sargent, USA: “I played last year [at the WATC in France] and obviously we didn’t finish the way we wanted to. That kind of stung standing there on the podium looking up at the guys who won, so it was nice to come here and get the job done. That flight home would not have been very fun if we had come in second.”
Nick Dunlap, USA: “About two months ago we were lifting the Walker Cup trophy and to do the same here is pretty special.”
David Ford, USA: “It feels sweet. We know each other really well. We all got to share in winning the Walker Cup so to represent our country well again here means the world.”
Captain Hans Aberg, Norway: “They’ve been very calm all week. No stress or nothing. They just went out and played a very impressive performance.”
Ahmad Skaik, United Arab Emirates: “It was a tough week for me. I’m disappointed in my play but a few positives from the week that I can take away. It was a great experience. It’s always an honor to play for the national team especially at home on such a big stage.”
- The USA’s 12-under 132 is tied for the second-lowest final-round team score in championship history (since moving from three to two counting scores in 2002). Singapore also carded a 12-under-132 on Saturday.
- In 33 appearances, the Americans have won 28 total medals (16 gold, nine silver and three bronze).
- The USA is one of seven nations to participate in all 33 World Amateur Team Championships since 1958.
- David Ford’s 29 on the front nine tied the second lowest nine-hole score in championship history, which has occurred six other times. Denny McCarthy shot a 28 on the front nine during the final round of the USA’s Eisenhower Trophy win in 2014.
- Australia now has 14 medals, which remains second all-time behind the United States.
- Norway’s Michael Mjaaseth finished in a tie for eighth place in the individual scoring after he tied for ninth in 2022. He is the only player to finish in the top 10 both years.
- Czechia (T-8th) registered its best finish in a WATC after placing 22nd in 2018.
- South Africa finished in seventh place for its first top-10 showing since 1998.
- Kazuma Kobori’s 16-under bested Nick Dunlap by one in the individual scoring. Kobori was the 2023 Elite Amateur Series champion. In addition to his Western Amateur victory this summer, Kobori added top-10 finishes in the Southern Amateur and Trans-Mississippi Amateur.
The 30th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy will take place beginning Wednesday at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
The 2025 World Amateur Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy will be held at Tenah Merah Country Club in Singapore.