2009 World Golf Teachers Cup
Location: Palmetto Dunes Resort, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Individual Champion: Luis Menezes
Score: 69-73 – 142
Team Champion: United States
|The setting was hard to beat – two top-notch golf courses at one of the country’s premier resorts in a scenic setting. The 9th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup, held at Palmetto Dunes Resort November 4-5, 2009, in Hilton Head, South Carolina, provided its usual thrills and close calls, along with some tremendous golf and great camaraderie.Team USA, after failing to capture the team title in the past two World Cups, took home the trophy for the first time since 2003 in defeating defending champion Team Caribbean by a single stroke, 764-765. Luis Menezes of Itu, Brazil, flashed the form that many knew he had in taking the individual championship with a two-round total of 142 on rounds of 69-73, defeating James Douris of Australia by two shots.For Team USA in the World Cup, the victory returned them to what was formerly a familiar position – the winner’s circle. The United States captured four of the first five team titles in World Cup history before being shut out in Brazil in 2005 and in Boulder City in 2007.
Team Caribbean, indicating they would not relinquish their championship without a fight, took the lead after the first round with a score of 377 in the play-six-players, count-five-scores format, with Team Canada second at 381 and the United States at 382. Brazil, at fourth with 386, was the only other team with a realistic chance to win the title, with Team Great Britain, Team Netherlands, and Team Holland too far back.
Brazil failed to make a significant move on day two, and the United States matched its first round score of 382. Prospects for an American victory appeared to be bleak with Canada and Caribbean still on the course. However, both Canada and Caribbean uncharacteristically struggled the second day, shooting scores of 387 and 388, respectively, and the United States emerged victorious.
Representing Team USA were Michael Wolf, Tipo Toomalatai, Jerry Moore, Mark Harman, Matt Smith, and Douris. Douris, although an Australian, was eligible to play for the United States since he was certified through the USGTF. Team Australia did not field a team this year, opening the door for Douris to play for the American squad.
Team Caribbean was represented by Richards, Anthony Benny, Ricky Campbell, Tim Mangal, Edward Williams, and Herbert Con. Team Canada finished third and consisted of David Belling, Christopher Callihoo, Jeremy Dueck, David Klowak, Stephen Kostoff, and Ted Williams.
In the individual race, Menezes opened with a 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Douris, fresh off his victory in the US Cup. The United States’ Patrick Londono was third at 72 along with Ted Williams and Edward Williams, followed by Daniel Carl Birch and defending individual champion Richards at 73. Smith and Jim Perez at 74 and Con at 75 were the only ones left with realistic chances to win on day two.
Ted Williams and Perez, both playing out of the Senior division, and Ed Williams, playing out of the Super Senior division, couldn’t keep pace the second day, nor could Birch or Smith. Londono hung in there with a 73 that still fell short, leaving the individual battle in familiar territory – Douris vs. Richards, with Menezes still in the mix. Heading into the 17th hole, Douris held a two-stroke lead over Richards and Menezes with a score of -1 for the championship, but an unfortunate triple-bogey on that hole derailed his hopes. Menezes sealed the deal by holing a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th to finish the day with a one-over-par 73 for a two-day total of 142 and a two-stroke victory.
Ted Williams, although he fell off the pace for the overall title, did manage to capture the Senior division title with a second-round 76 for a two-day total of 148, besting Perez by two shots and longtime USGTF professional Michel Dion by six.
In the Super Senior division, Edward Williams took home his first title with 72-80 – 152, defeating William Zachary by two and William Gunderman and Jim Peters by four. Darquise Leduc captured the Ladies title with 79-82 – 161, overcoming Jeanne Hazelhekke by seven shots.
The individual championship for Menezes was sweet redemption for the Brazilian, who was in position to take the 2004 United States Golf Teachers Cup in Springfield, Louisiana. A double-bogey on the last hole that year ended his hopes as Belling took home the title. Menezes serves as the head professional at Sao Jose Golf Club in Itu, which hosted the 2005 World Golf Teachers Cup.
|Team scores from the 9th biennial World Golf Teachers Cup, held November 4-5, 2009, at Palmetto Dunes Resort (Arthur Hills and George Fazio Courses):