Golfer Hughes is tops for Canada


Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas won the 2012 Canadian Amateur Golf Champion earlier this year. (Photo: Jeff Hughes)

Oakville – The Team Canada contingent of Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Albin Choi of Toronto and Corey Conners of Listowel, combined to card a final-round 1-over par 143 at the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship in Antalya, Turkey and finished tied for sixth alongside Team Norway at the biennial stroke-play event which had been shortened to 54 holes due to weather.

Forced to complete the third and final round on Sunday (Oct. 7) at the par-71 Antalya Golf Club’s PGA Sultan Course after play was suspended because of darkness on Saturday evening, the Canadian trio posted a tournament-tally of 11-under par 417 to finish the competition 13 strokes back of Team USA’s squad of Chris Williams of Moscow, Idaho, Justin Thomas of Goshen, Ky., and Steven Fox of Hendersonville, Tenn.

The United States, which set 18, 36 and 54-hole scoring records for the championship en route to claiming the Eisenhower Trophy for the 14th time in tournament history, posted a 54-hole score of 24-under par 404. It was Team USA’s first World Amateur Team Championship title since 2004.

With four birdies on the back-nine, including three consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-16 on the PGA Sultan Course, Conners posted a final-round 1-under par 70, while Choi and Hughes shot 2-over par 73 and 4-over par 75 respectively to close out the championship.

“Mackenzie, Albin and Corey represented Canada and themselves in a first-class manner, and will benefit and learn from this great experience and so will I,” said Team Canada’s head coach Derek Ingram. “Sixth place isn’t what the guys wanted, but I am very proud of the effort and professionalism the group showed throughout the championship

“The guys really wanted to win the event and they prepared hard and well. We didn’t have our best stuff in the final round, but the guys battled the entire way.”

Team Mexico earned runner-up honours and a silver medal at 19-under par 409, while defending champion, Team France, Team Republic of Korea and Team Germany finished tied for third, earning bronze medals at 15-under par 413.

Hughes, a member of Team Canada’s National Squad, topped the Canadian contingent on the individual leaderboard, placing T19 with a 54-hole tally of 4-under par 210, 11 strokes back of Team Mexico’s Sebastian Vazquez, the two-time reigning Mexican Amateur champion. Vazquez bested the field individually with a score of 15-under par 199, one stroke better than Williams, the top-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Choi, a member of Team Canada’s National Squad and a junior at North Carolina State University, and Conners, a former member of Team Canada’s National Squad and a junior at Kent State University, both finished T33 at 1-under par 213 for the championship.

Team Canada’s sixth place showing in Turkey is the country’s best result at the World Amateur Team Championship since 2006 when the team of Richard Scott of Kingsville, Ont., James Love of Calgary and Andrew Parr of London, finished second in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

In 27 appearances at the World Amateur Team Championship, Canada has captured the Eisenhower Trophy on one occasion (1986), earned runner-up honours four times, and posted 24 top-10 finishes.

The 2012 World Amateur Team Championship featured 72 teams, which topped the previous mark of 70 in South Africa in 2006.

In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constituted the team score for the round. The 54-hole total was the team’s score for the championship.