New Zealand faded to finish 24th at the Eisenhower Trophy world amateur team golf championship today as Ben Campbell and Mathew Perry ended their amateur careers without the glory they had coveted.
The Kiwis could only manage a disappointing two-over-par 144 team total at the Antalya Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey, dropping five places in the final round of the rain-shortened 54-hole, 72-team event.
They ended on an even-par total, 24 shots back from the United States who secured their 14th Eisenhower victory when they held off Mexico by five shots in the final round and set a record for a 54-hole total off 24-under par.
Southland golfer Vaughan McCall, who was the rock for the New Zealand team all week on his Eisenhower debut, led the way for the Kiwis with a three-under par 68 in the final round.
But he received little support from his more experienced representative teammates.
Waikato's Perry signed for a five-over par 76 and Masterton's Ben Campbell had 10-over par 81 on their final appearances as New Zealand amateur reps.
McCall had rounds of 70, 71 and 68 for a 209, five-under par total to finish tied 13th on the individual standings, 10 shots back from the individual winner, Sebastian Vazquez of Mexico. ''Today's round was a bit interesting," said the 21-year-old from the Gore Golf Club.
''It's a funny game. The first two days I hit the ball really well and a few putts didn't drop but today I didn't quite hit the ball as well and made a few crucial up and down to finish really strong on the final five holes.
"I can't wait for the next Eisenhower. Leading amateur will definitely be my goal for the next one."
Perry described his day as ''strange''.
"We had a 30-minute delay which kind of threw me off. I got out there and realised that it would be the last time wearing the New Zealand shirt. The winners were already in so it was a strange feeling playing a tournament when they were already in the clubhouse.''
Campbell was disappointed to leave on a flat note after signing for an 81. His round included four bogeys, four double bogeys and two birdies.
"It (his swing) has been good on the range but I haven't been able to bring it onto the course which is frustrating.
"I have two different swings one for the range and one for the golf course. I have a week to practice now before my next tournament so hopefully I can turn it around."
Campbell is eyeing European Tour Q-school while Perry is looking to Asia.
- © Fairfax NZ News