Scotland ready for Eisenhower Trophy defence
Scotland will be looking to defend the title they won in Australia two years ago as the second half of the 2010 World Amateur Team Championships get underway tomorrow at Buenos Aires and Olivos golf clubs.
The Scottish team comprising 2010 Amateur Championship runner-up James Byrne, Ross Kellett and Michael Stewart will be hoping to emulate their countrymen Wallace Booth, Gavin Dear and Callum Macaulay, who triumphed by nine strokes over a USA unit, which included Ryder Cup star Rickie Fowler, in Adelaide in 2009.
"We're all raring to go and can't wait for the tournament to start. Being the first Scottish team to defend the title is an exciting opportunity and one we're all relishing," said 20-year-old Stewart, the reigning Scottish Amateur Champion.
"We feel very refreshed having had a break from competitive golf since the end of the domestic season and we're all going into the event with great energy. Ross has been speaking to Callum Macaulay to learn from his experience and we'll hopefully speak to Gavin and Wallace this week to help with our build up.”
69 teams of two or three players will play 18 holes of stroke play on each of four days, with the total of the two lowest scores from each team constituting the team score for the round. The four-day, 72-hole total is the team’s score for the championship.
The Eisenhower Trophy showcases the most talented amateur golfers in the world, none more so than the USA’s Peter Uihlein, the current US Amateur Champion who has occupied the number one spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for a number of weeks.
David Chung, the world number two and US Amateur runner-up, will represent America with Uihlein, while the number three, Romain Wattel, will play for France just over a month after winning the Challenge Tour’s Allianz European de Strasbourg-Golf de la Wantzenau
"The United States will probably start favourites,” added Stewart. “We expect England to be up there challenging and France have a very strong team, with Romain Wattel in their side. We're confident in our own ability, however, and knowing what Scotland has achieved in the past, we believe we have a great chance."
The last three Boys Amateur Champions will also take their places in the field with Pedro Figueiredo (2008), Tom Lewis (2009) and Adrian Otaegui (2010) representing Portugal, England and Spain, respectively.
The United States of America has prevailed in 13 of the 24 Eisenhower Trophy tournaments staged to date, while Great Britain and Ireland, who now play as four separate nations, have won four times. Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden have also each lifted the Eisenhower Trophy.
Australia won in a playoff with the USA when the first championship was played on the Old Course at St Andrews in October 1958. 115 players from 29 countries competed.