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What’s in Cameron Smith’s Open-winning golf bag?
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The World Amateur Team Championships is the biggest event in men’s and women’s amateur golf. Tiger Woods and Minjee Lee are former winners – but who won in 2022?
Along with Tiger, some of the biggest names in men’s professional golf have won the amateur game’s flagship event before turning pro, including Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Luke Donald, and Jack Nicklaus.
In women’s professional golf, Georgia Hall, Jennifer Kupcho and Anna Nordqvist are among the big names to join Minjee Lee as former winners.
The World Amateur Team Championships is the biggest amateur team competition in the world. It takes place every two years and is organised by the International Golf Federation (IGF), comprised of 150 national federation members from 147 countries.
The men’s competition is named the Eisenhower Trophy, while the equivalent competition for women is the Espirito Santo Trophy. The men’s tournament was first played in 1958; the women’s in 1964.
IGF National Members may enter one men’s team and one women’s team. Players must be amateur golfers.
Each team has two or three players and plays 18-holes of stroke play for four days. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the winning teams, as well as the trophies.
The Espirito Santo Trophy took place from 24 August to 27 August, with the USA defending champions. The Eisenhower Trophy took place August 31 to September 3, with Denmark the defending champions.
The WATC 2022 was played on two iconic golf courses in Paris, France. Le Golf National – Albatros Course, and Le Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche – Red Course. For each of the trophies, the teams played each course twice.
Le Golf National hosted the hosted the 2018 Ryder Cup, and is scheduled to host the golf competition at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Sweden won the Espirito Santo Trophy for the third time in 2022 at Le Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Breteche on a tiebreaker over the United States.
They were tied at 13-under combined scores after four rounds of stroke play, but after comparing non-counting scores, a 1-over-par 73 from Sweden’s Louise Rydqvist was one stroke better than American Rachel Kuehn’s 74, giving Sweden the gold medal and the USA the silver.
Germany and Japan tied for the bronze medal position, one stroke behind. It’s Sweden’s first medal since capturing bronze in 2012. For the US, it’s the 21st medal, which includes 14 golds, four silvers and three bronze.
Ingrid Lindblad, No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, shot a 3-under 69 in the final round, while Meja Ortengren added a 2-under 70. But it was a closing bogey by the world’s top-ranked amateur which handed Sweden the win.
American star of the future Rose Zhang had just birdied No. 17 to move to 4 under on her final round, to give the US a one-shot lead over Sweden with one hole to play. But Zhang, a three-time McCormack Medal winner and the reigning NCAA individual champion, missed the green with her approach at the final hole and then failed to convert her seven-feet par putt.
Although there is no official medal or title for lowest individual score, that honour went to Sweden’s Meja Ortengren, Germany’s Helen Briem and the USA’s Rose Zhang, who all tied at 7-under 279.
Marco Florioli shot a 6-under 66, and Pietro Bovari a 3-under 68, to lead Italy to the Eisenhower Trophy at Le Golf National. It was the country’s first victory in 32 WATC appearances.
Italy’s 72-hole hole score of 31-under-par was one stroke better than second-placed Sweden, with the the United States in third, a further three strokes back. Norway finished in fourth place, their highest finish ever. Spain was fifth, France sixth, Japan seventh, while Austria and Wales shared eighth, and Finland was 10th.
Italy got the victory despite the non-counting 70 shot by Filippo Celli, who was the low amateur at the recent 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews.
The lowest individual score honour went to Sweden’s Tobias Jonsson with a score of 17-under 269.
The next WATC will happen in 2023, rather than 2024. This is because the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.