[PHOTO: Steven Gibbons]

University of North Carolina senior David Ford closed with an eight-under par 64 to lead the USA to an 11-stroke victory in the 33rd men’s World Amateur Team Championship, earning its first Eisenhower Trophy since 2014.

Ford’s round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, UAE, included four birdies and an eagle on his first six holes and a front-nine score of 29 on Saturday. The American three-man team that included Nick Dunlap and Gordon Sargent completed 72 holes with a score of 36-under par 540. Australia and Norway tied for second at 25-under 551. Only a team’s two lowest scores each day count. Dunlap’s final-round 68 was the other counting score for the Americans.

Australia used a strong finish by Jack Buchanan (four-under 68), who birdied four of his final five holes, and a counting score from Karl Vilips (two-under 70) to close at 25-under-par 551. The final-round score of the third member of the Australian team, Jeffrey Guan, did not count, but the Sydney golfer was the best of the Australian trio individually for the week, finishing equal eighth in the individual standings.

Norway’s silver is its first medal in the country’s 26 Eisenhower appearances. The Norwegians, whose previous best finish was fourth place in 2022, used a three-under 69 from Herman Sekne and a two-under 70 from Michael Mjaaseth for a team total of 551.

The individual champion was Kazuma Kobori of New Zealand at 16-under par, 272, one shot ahead of Dunlap, ranked fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Ford, ranked fifth, and Sargent, ranked second, tied for fifth at 13-under 275.

The 30th women’s World Amateur Team Championship will begin on the same course on Wednesday with the Espirito Santo Trophy at stake.