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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.