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AN UPSET FROM DOWN UNDER
Alfred Wright
November 07, 1966
The powers of amateur golf got a surprise in Mexico City when four unheralded Australians, led by a 43-year-old scrambler, played it cool and quiet and confounded the favorites in a world championship
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November 07, 1966

An Upset From Down Under

The powers of amateur golf got a surprise in Mexico City when four unheralded Australians, led by a 43-year-old scrambler, played it cool and quiet and confounded the favorites in a world championship

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In Mexico golf is about as popular as cowardly bulls, but this sudden success helped bring out a small, chattering, laughing Mexican gallery to see Sunday's action, in which the main attraction was a threesome consisting of Beman, South Africa's Cole and Australia's Berwick.

Cole, who was pretty much expected to carry South Africa to victory, sailed along for six holes, hitting his drives 70 to 80 yards ahead of his opponents and sinking a pair of birdie putts that put him two under par. Suddenly, at 7, he missed a 12-incher—the greens were very rough—and then, at 8, he missed another. Shaken, he drove into the rough at 9, ended with a double bogey, and eventually finished with a 77 that left South Africa in trouble from which his lesser teammates could not recover.

Beman, meanwhile, was playing one of the dream rounds of his career. On the first nine he only once failed to have a birdie putt of less than 18 feet, but he could not sink the putts. Then he did birdie three of the next four holes, and came in with a 69.

This might have considerably closed the gap on Australia, but Berwick was unimpressed. His swing looked like a 15-handicapper's, but he somehow would get the ball close to the green, then chip it dead to the stick for a par and a par and more pars, until he was in with his even-par 72. Hartley, meantime, shot a 73, and either of the 74s by Donohoe or Billings was enough for Australia's victory. Australia had won, not with any spectacular show of strength, and not by unveiling any surprise players who are likely to take the world by storm, but with an exhibition of remarkably steady golf under nerve-testing conditions.

Since 1962, the Eisenhower Trophy has been won by three different countries—the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia—which is just the kind of intense competition that the USGA and the Royal and Ancient and all of the other sponsoring bodies hoped their "Olympics of Golf" would become.

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