Grant Moorhead was part of the New Zealand team that won the Eisenhower Trophy thirty years ago.
Exactly 30 years ago, New Zealand were on top of the amateur golfing world.
On October 4, 1992, Michael Campbell, Phil Tataurangi, Stephen Scahill, and Taranaki’s Grant Moorhead won the Eisenhower Trophy by seven strokes over the United States.
They are the only New Zealand team to have won the tournament, and the other night they, and manager Roger Brennand, met over Zoom to catch up.
“It was interesting, just everyone’s recollections of the time,” said Moorhead, 52, who is now a teaching professional at the Westown Golf Club in New Plymouth.
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They talked about the final round, which they had started second behind the US.
After the first six holes, New Zealand had dropped further behind.
“No one would have put any money on us from that position against a really strong US side,” Moorhead said.
“But in the middle eight holes we made something like, I can’t remember what it was, a bunch of 12 birdies or something. And they didn’t make any.
“And you wouldn’t believe it, we flipped it from, like, six, behind to six in front.
“Phil, because he was behind me on the course, asked Roger if we’d won. He’s like, ‘Yeah, we have, but you’ve still got a job to do – keep playing.’ It was beyond doubt at that point.”
The tournament was in Vancouver and the Canadians were cheering the Kiwis on.
“It was just a real great atmosphere.”
They could see the emotion on Brennand’s face as he realized what they had done.
Moorhead said an important part of playing as a team is having a good team dynamic, which they did.
“Roger had been our manager through the junior team competitions. (The team) were all a similar age. Pretty much we’d all come through junior golf together.”
Moorhead can remember them standing with their hands on the trophy, and walking into the banquet that night and receiving a standing ovation.
“That was pretty cool. But you know, sometimes I think the memories are more the pictures that you’ve seen.”
All four members of the team eventually turned professional, with Campbell going on to win the 2005 US Open.
Campbell lives in Spain and Scahill lives in Australia, Moorhead said.
“Philip and I keep in touch. And probably one of the main reasons for that is we were friends from a young age.”
Moorhead also played in the 1990 tournament, which was held in Christchurch, when New Zealand got second.
This year, Taranaki was represented in the Eisenhower by Sam Jones, alongside James Hydes from Gulf Harbour, and Kazuma Kobori from Rangiora. The tournament was won by Italy.
This week, the big tournament for Moorhead is in Cambridge, where he’ll watch his son, Jackson, 14, play for Taranaki in the Junior Boys Interprovincial.
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