UVA senior men’s golfer Denny McCarthy (Rockville, Md.) got off to an amazing start during his final round at the World Amateur Team Championships to help the U.S. team win the event and defend its Eisenhower Trophy.
McCarthy posted a final round score of 8-under 64 and teammate Bryson DeChambeau made a 9-foot birdie on the 18th green, to stave off the charge of Canada to win the WATC for the 15th time for the U.S.
McCarthy was 8-under through his first eight holes and set the WATC mark for lowest nine-hole score when he made the turn in 28. He posted six birdies, one eagle and two pars on his final front nine.
McCarthy was the only member of the gold-medal team to record all four scores in the 60s. He had rounds of 68, 68 and 67 before finishing with a 64. McCarthy’s 72-hole total of 19-under 267 allowed him to finish fifth overall. Spain’s Jon Rahm wwas the top individual at a tourney record 23-under 263.
“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,” McCarthy said McCarthy. “At the same time I still needed to be aggressive and give myself chances because he (playing competitor Adam Svensson) was making birdies and I knew he was going to count for Canada.
“I came out with the mindset today that I was going to need to play really well if we were going to win and I took that to every hole. I got off to a hot start and made some nice putts and it was just flowing for me.”
The championship was tied at 37 under par when DeChambeau and Conners, playing in the last group, reached the 18th tee. Both players hit their drives in the fairway on the 443-yard, par-4. DeChambeau, who shot 61, the lowest round in history in the third round, played first and hit a 50-degree wedge from 110 yards. Conners’ approach settled 35 feet from the hole on the back collar. Conners left his birdie attempt short, which set the stage for DeChambeau’s winning birdie.
“I knew where we stood when I was on the l8th 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”
DeChambeau, a junior at SMU, finished at his final round with a 73 and was tied for 16ht overall at 16-under 270 during the four-day tournament.
Texas sophomore Beau Hossler shot 9-under 277 including a 75 during the final round. He tied for 33rd in the individual standings.
“It was very exciting right down to the last putt,” USA 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.”
“I couldn’t be happier for Denny to go represent America and to bring home the Eisenhower Trophy against the best amateur competition in the world,” said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. “To shoot 64 with a front nine 28 in the final round shows why Denny is one of the best amateurs in the world. Denny loves the big stage, he thrives on pressure and there is no bigger stage in amateur golf.”
The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises 137 national governing bodies in 131 countries. The competition, which is being held for the 26th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
This year’s event is hosted by the Japan GolfAssociation. The teams play for the Eisenhower Trophy. The IGF is the international federation for golf for the international olympic committee and will conduct the Olympic golf competition in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. 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.