The United States and Mexico split the amateur and professional; however, the US came out on top overall in the inaugural Uniting Nations Cup played last week at the Jack Nicklaus-Jack Nicklaus II co-designed Peninsula de Cortes golf course in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Set at the scenic Mayan Palace resort, the Uniting Nations Cup consisted of approximately 100 golfers, including 10-man teams from PGA Mexico and Southwest Section PGA, along with 40 top amateurs representing each country.
The US amateurs dominated their side of the competition, winning all three days of competition (fourball, foursomes and singles) to compile 49.5 points to Mexico’s 30.5. That allowed them to hold off a three-day sweep by the Mexico pros, who compiled 13.5 points to the US pros’ 6.5. In the end, the US won the overall competition, 56-44.
The concept of the Uniting Nations Cup is to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Mexico beyond their commercial and cultural ties, while attempting to one day achieve the international reputation of a tournament similar to the prestigious Ryder Cup. Another objective the Uniting Nations Cup sets out to accomplish is the expansion and promotion of the Mexican port destination of Puerto Peñasco.
“We are proud that the tournament was held on the course I designed with my father,” said Jack II, president of Nicklaus Design. “The tournament is a wonderful way to highlight the alliance between the United States and Mexico, and this is a great example of the global appeal of the game of golf. The Uniting Nations Cup not only helped promote the destination of Puerto Penasco, but helped promote our sport in a friendly but spirited competition. I hope the participants felt that our layout was a good test of golf and a strong venue for a match-play event of this caliber.”
The world-class Nicklaus Design golf course at Mayan Palace Puerto Peñasco, in the words of Javier Licea, Executive Director of the PGA in Mexico, “is in excellent condition and is a course that is challenging and ready for the pros to fully enjoy. It is indisputably among the best courses in Mexico… The course encompasses (the Nicklaus) trademark style of enhancing the natural environment that is both challenging and enjoyable.”
After the first day of competition the 40-person US amateur squad took the lead in fourball by winning 12.5 points while the Mexican team finished the day with 7.5. The Mexican professionals, however, won the day with 3 points to the American’s total of 2. Team total: USA 14.5; Mexico 10.5.
In the second day of competition, the amateurs from Arizona extended the lead by dominating the foursomes competition with a score of 14.5 to 5.5. On the professional side, the Mexican team extended its lead by winning the foursomes 4 to 1. Team Total: USA 30; Mexico 20.
Going into the final round, 40 points were available under the singles format. With a consistent wind blowing all morning, the US amateur team captured the day once again with a score of 22.5 to 17.5. Final Amateur Score: USA 49.5; Mexico 30.5. On the professional side of the competition, the Mexican team continued its winning way by taking the singles competition 6.5 to 3.5. Final Professional Score: Mexico 13.5, USA 6.5.
Uniting Nations Cup Scoring Summary: USA Wins Cup with a score of 56 to 44