Golf: Perry's hour almost nigh

Mathew Perry is looking forward to performing strongly in Turkey. Photo / APN
Mathew Perry is looking forward to performing strongly in Turkey. Photo / APN

For the past two years the dates for the Eisenhower Trophy in Turkey have been circled in Mathew Perry's diary.

The wait is almost over for the former New Zealand amateur champion who will team up with good mate Ben Campbell (Masterton) and Vaughan McCall (Gore) this week for the World Amateur Team's Championship from October 4-7 in Antalya, Turkey.

Since the 2010 Eisenhower tournament in Argentina, the 24-year-old from the Hamilton Golf Club has been a consistent senior rep for New Zealand.

The Waikato No 1 won his place ahead of a number of contenders to represent New Zealand at the signature event of amateur golf.

The trio are preparing this week with one goal in mind: to follow in the footsteps of the 1992 team of Michael Campbell, Phil Tataurangi, Grant Moorhead and Stephen Scahill who were the first Kiwi team to win the title in Vancouver.

"Making the Eisenhower team has been a goal of mine for the past two years," said Perry.

"It means a lot to represent my country and I'm really looking forward to finishing my amateur career strongly, playing for New Zealand in Turkey."

The crowning moment of his amateur career came in 2011 when he was the fifth golfer from the Hamilton Golf Club to win the New Zealand amateur title.

This year he was a standout performer for the Asia-Pacific team against a strong European contingent in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in Portugal and more recently he finished tied 14th at the Canadian Amateur.

A senior member of the Srixon Academy, Perry is one of the most experienced amateurs in the local game and he'll be looking to use his experience on the big stage.

"This is my first Eisenhower but having played well in big events before like the Nomura Cup, Asian Amateur and Bonallack trophy, I will take some good memories from those events with me to Turkey.

"It is all about how we can combine as a team. We are all good mates and I have travelled a lot with Ben so that will certainly help. We know that this is a great opportunity to make a name for ourselves."

He thinks his experience of playing around the globe will put him in good stead for playing the Cornelia and Antalya Golf Clubs.

"The courses look great. The grasses are all Bermuda which I've played a number of times and I quite like playing. The temperatures are going to be in the mid 20's so that won't be a problem."

Perry believes that the combination of experience and form in their team bodes well to improve on New Zealand's fourth place finish in 2010 in Argentina and even match the effort of the 1992 team.

"We will work through a plan as a team and if we execute that plan there's no reason why we can't emulate the feats of '92."

The Eisenhower Trophy is a biennial world amateur team golf championship for men organised by the International Golf Federation.

Recent tournaments have featured teams from more than 60 countries around the world.

France won the 2010 event at the Buenos Aires and Olivos Golf Clubs ahead of Denmark and Dane Joachim Hansen was the individual winner.

New Zealand's Ben Campbell finished fourth on the individual standings.

New Zealand is one of seven countries who have won the WATC trophy once alongside Japan, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Scotland and France.

- APNZ

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