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USA Runs Away with World Amateur Team Championship
The American threesome of Chris Williams, Justin Thomas and Steven Fox posted a record-setting score of 24-under-par 404 to win the rain-shortened 2012 World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) by five strokes over Mexico Sunday at the par-71 Antalya Golf Club. The USA claimed the tournament's Eisenhower Trophy for the 14th time.
Fox, of Hendersonville, Tenn., and the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion, and Williams, of Moscow, Idaho - the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, shot 2-under 69 Sunday. Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., posted a non-counting 1-under 70 in the event reduced to 54 holes. The previous low 54-hole score was 407 by the USA in Puerto Rico in the 2004 WATC, which was also reduced to three rounds due to bad weather.
"It has been since 2004 that the trophy has found its way to the USA and it is great to have it coming back to our shores," said USA captain Jim Vernon, a past president of the USGA. "They are three guys who bonded well and played golf as a team."
"It's fun to win as an individual," said Williams, a University of Washington senior who won the 2012 Western Amateur. "But to win as a team is awesome and it doesn't get any better than doing it as representative of the USA."
Led by Sebastian Vazquez's individual low total of 15-under 199, Mexico finished second at 19-under 409 to earn its first medal. "We had good expectations this week but this is a dream come true," said Mexican captain Jorge Coughlan. "I played in this a long time ago  and being captain is very satisfying. This is Sebastian's last amateur tournament and there is no better way to go out than winning the World Amateur. He is going to be a heck of a professional."
The Americans, in winning their 24th medal in the 28 Eisenhower Trophy competitions, broke team marks for lowest 18-, 36- and 54-hole scores. "I would go back to the first round where Chris shot 64 and Justin shot 67 and we were 13-under," said Fox of the key point in the championship. "We just built from there."
Four strokes behind Mexico and tied for third at 15-under-par 413 were defending champion France, Germany and the Republic of Korea. Canada and Norway shared sixth at 417, with England in eighth at 418 and Japan, Venezuela and Spain tied for ninth at 419. Host team Turkey ended up tied for 36th.