Williams highlights collegiate finishers at WATC
Chris Williams has been runner-up in his past three starts. He has no problem with his latest second-place finish, though, for it led to victory.
Williams, a Washington senior, finished one shot behind Mexico’s Sebastian Vazquez at the World Amateur Team Championship. The United States won the championship, though, beating Vazquez’s Mexico team by five shots.
Williams is the world’s No. 1 amateur and No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings after finishing second at both the Husky Invitational and Ping-Golfweek Preview. Alabama sophomore Justin Thomas (T-7 at the WATC) and Chattanooga senior Steven Fox (T-10) were the United States’ other two representatives Oct. 4-7 in Turkey.
Fox’s finish was his best since winning the U.S. Amateur. He started his senior season at Chattanooga with a T-19 at the Carpet Capital and T-39 at the Ping-Golfweek Preview.
They weren’t the only players who’ve honed their games at U.S. colleges, though. Here’s how some other players with ties to American colleges fared at the World Amateur Team Championship:
• TCU’s Julien Brun, a 2012 first-team All-American and NCAA Championship runner-up, tied for fourth with Texas’ Julio Vegas, who represented Venezuela. Brun recently won on the European Challenge Tour as an amateur.
France, the defending team champions, tied for third, while Venezuela was ninth.
• East Tennessee State freshman Adrian Meronk (Poland) finished seventh individually. His ETSU teammate, Wales’ Rhys Pugh, finished 147th, hurt by a second-round 89. Pugh recently won the European Amateur. Meronk shot a final-round 65 to move from 39th to T-7.
• Vegas’ Texas teammate, Brandon Stone, tied for 13th while representing South Africa. Another Texas player, Toni Hakula, shot a final-round 69 to finish 53rd while representing Finland.
• Wichita State senior Rafael Becker tied for 10th while representing Brazil, which finished 26th.
• Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez of Spain also tied for 13th after shooting 68-72-69.
• Finishing in a tie for 19th were North Texas’ Rodolfo Cazaubon (Mexico), Duke’s Tim Gornik (Slovenia), New Mexico’s Gavin Green (Malaysia), Kent State’s Mackenzie Hughes (Canada) and Coastal Carolina’s Peter Valasek (Slovakia).
Cazaubon recently was co-medalist at the Graeme McDowell/Shoal Creek Invitational, while Green won this season’s William H. Tucker Invitational.
Mexico's second-place finish was its best in the history of the World Amateur Team Championship. All three team members had ties to North Texas. Cazaubon and Ortiz are teammates for the Mean Green. Vazquez was supposed to play college golf at North Texas but he didn’t get past the enrollment stage.