The World Amateur Teams Championship for men gets underway this week at the European Golf Design s PGA Sultan Course at the Antalya Golf Club and the Nick Faldo designed Cornelia Golf Club in Antalya. The event, which is also known as the Eisenhower Trophy, has been played for since 1958 when first held at the Old Course at St Andrews. Australia has been one of the more regular contenders for the title through the history of the event and have won it on two occasions (1966 and 1996). In recent years however their performances have not been quite so good. In 2010 the Australians finished a lowly 26th in what was their worst ever performance in the event. Australia is represented in 2012 by Queenslanders Daniel Nisbet (Caboolture) and Cameron Smith (Brisbane) and New South Welshman (Narrabri) Matt Stieger. For all three it will be their debut in this event. Nisbet, who will be attending the PGA Tour s Qualifying School soon after this event, has had a great season, winning the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship and finishing runner-up at the Australian Amateur and the Master of the Amateurs before a win at the Players Amateur Championship during a North American campaign. Two weeks ago Smith finished 17th at the Asia Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan, an event co sanctioned between the Japan and Asian Tours, a performance which was sure to give the 19 year old a great boost heading into this week. Smith, a 2011 Australian Stroke-play Champion, finished as the leading qualifier at the Australian Amateur Championship earlier this year and is a former Australian Junior Champion. Steiger, the 2011 Australian Amateur Champion, made it through the first round at the US Amateur before being defeated by the leading qualifier Bobby Wyatt. Stieger also made the quarter finals at the British Amateur and recorded top five finishes at the Porter Cup and the Scottish Amateur. Australia s highest ranked player on the R&A rankings Jake Higginbottom missed out on making the team after an indifferent run of form through the middle of the year although last weekend he won the City of Sydney Invitational. New Zealand, who won this event for the only time in 1992 when represented by Michael Campbell, Phil Tataurangi, Grant Moorhead and Stephen Scahill, is represented this year by Ben Campbell, Vaughn McCall and Matthew Perry. Ben Campbell has already advanced to the second stage of European Tour qualifying. The event involves 72 holes of stroke-play with the leading two scores from each country counting each day.
Author: Bruce Young / iseekgolf.com