McEvoy in confident mood

 

A total of 236 amateur golfers have gathered this week at the Sporting Club, Berlin, for the 22nd Eisenhower Trophy, otherwise the World Amateur Team Championships.

That is a record number of contestants from a record number of countries. For the first time there is a team from Russia, joining Latvia, Slovakia, Bahrain, Pakistan, Bolivia and the Czech Republic.

The 59 four-man teams, with three counting scores each day, represent an increase of seven countries over the last time this event was held, two years ago in Chile.

The defending champions, Britain and Ireland, can expect to be challenged by Australia, Germany, Sweden, the US, winners 10 times out of 21 but only once since 1984, and even by Finland, who have the current British amateur champion, Mikko Ilonen.

But Peter McEvoy, the Britain and Ireland captain, believes his team is even stronger than the one that won in Chile.

He has argued Luke Donald, at college in the US and the number one university player in that country in 1999, is probably England's second best current golfer, amateur or professional, after Lee Westwood.

The team's other Englishman, Paul Casey, has also achieved outstanding success in the US and has won the English amateur championship the last two years.

The team is completed by a Scotsman, Steven O'Hara, runaway winner of their order of merit this year, and by the Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who has done the same in Wales.