Macedonia fielded a team for the first time, and 17-year-old Peter Stojanovski opened with a 71 _ the same score (on a different course) as U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox. Stojanovski followed with two rounds in the 80s. Macedonia wound up in 63rd place.
“The original objective when the Eisenhower Trophy began was friendship through sport, and that thread has stayed,” Dawson said. “Teams tend not to stay at the bottom forever. Nobody feels embarrassed. Everyone is very tolerant of the newcomers.”
John Cook played on the 1978 team, when the Americans won just about every year. South Korea finished last among 24 teams, 128 shots behind.
“That tells you the direction of golf and how much it’s grown,” Cook said. “Korea is one of the top countries now.”
There have been some interesting moments along the way.
Fay recalled India having to pull out in consecutive years, the first time in 1982 in Switzerland when the team reached London and its embassy realized South Africa (during the apartheid era) was in the field. “They told their team to go home,” Fay said. Two years later, the India team was practicing in Hong Kong when its prime minister, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards. Fay was told to find out if the team still planned to play.
“I thought, `This is going to be interesting,’” Fay said. “There were three Hindus and a Sikh on that team. And the first question they asked me was, `Who was responsible?’ I ducked the question. I said, `I’m not sure.’”
Fay looks back fondly at the World Amateur Team. There were stars from the golf-rich nations such as the U.S. (Woods, Jack Nicklaus) and Britain (Colin Montgomerie). There were promising players from smaller countries like what was then Rhodesia (Nick Price).
“It really was the United Nations of golf,” Fay said.
And the membership keeps growing.