KARUIZAWA, Japan – The Arkansas men’s golf team will be well represented when play at the 29th World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) gets underway at Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club in Japan. Junior Nicolas Echavarria will be playing for Team Colombia while freshman Alvaro Ortiz will represent Team Mexico.
A total of 69 teams will make up the field, which ties for the third-largest field in Eisenhower Trophy history. Each team is made up of three players while the tournament will be split between the 72 East Golf Club Iriyama Course and the Oshitate Course.
Echavarria and Ortiz were both in the starting lineup for Arkansas in its season-opening appearance at the Carmel Cup almost two weeks ago. Ortiz lived up to his No. 22 ranking in the class of 2014 by earning a share of 15th place thanks to shooting even-par over three rounds at historic Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The trip to Japan will be the second of the year for Ortiz, who was Team Mexico’s top finisher at the 2014 Toyota Junior Golf Word Cup. Ortiz was Mexico’s low-man in three of four rounds en route to finishing the four rounds at eight-under par and in a tie for sixth place individually.
Echavarria, a member of the Colombian National team in high school, won the Mexican Amateur this past summer by a staggering 12 strokes and is coming off a strong finish to his sophomore season in which he had a 70.6 scoring average in postseason play (SEC Championships, NCAA Columbia Regional, NCAA Championships).
The WATC field includes 13 players in the top 25 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking and 14 players that earned GCAA All-American status at a Division I program in 2013-14. Tee times, live results and update information is available at www.igfgolf.org.
Echavarria and Ortiz will miss this weekend’s Olympia Fields CC/Fighting Illini Invitational that features 10 teams in the preseason GCAA top 25 poll.