Sixteen of the best American Footgolf players recently went down to Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in the second FIFG Footgolf World Cup. The Argentina Footgolf Federation hosted the Footgolf World Cup at Pilar Golf and Country Club, just 60km outside of Buenos Aires. Pilar Golf Club played host to 230 individual players from 26 different countries for the weeklong event. This was a massive increase from the 2012 Footgolf World Cup hosted in Hungary, which only had 77 participants from 8 countries. All the top competitors in the sport including the UK contingent, the Argentinians, Italians, the Dutch, etc. were there to claim the top trophy of the hybrid sport as an individual and as a team.
Team USA came to the international tournament as a relatively inexperienced group of underdogs. However, that would all change after the first round of individual competition. Fourteen of the sixteen Americans made the cut into the top 144 competitors, an incredible achievement for any country. From there, the top four players would comprise the national team squad for the team competition. Unsurprisingly, the American team was exclusively comprised of Californians including 2015 Footgolf National Champion Jordan Godfrey from LaVerne, California. Team USA also included Julian Nash (Tacoma Pro-Am champion), Arturo Barragan (Footgolf Cup of Nations Champion), Sharif Khatib (West Coast Footoglf President) and Nick Wallace (California Footgolf) as Team USA coach and first alternate. This was a special team that was a tight-knit group with great familiarity for each other, often competing for the top spots in tournaments here in the United States. All of them contributed in extremely important ways.
The team aspect felt like the Ryder Cup in golf. There is no better way to describe the tournament than, “Team USA vs. the Rest of the World.” Jordan Godfrey said, “It was great to compete against all these other countries, especially those with long and storied soccer traditions. We, as Americans, are not usually considered favorites when it comes to soccer. So, it felt really special to beat them on their own turf.” The Americans completely dominated the team competition. Sharif Khatib, the man who sank the winning putt in the final against the favorite Argentinian squad said, [quote_center]“We never trailed. We didn’t let any country play through all 18 holes. It was really special to lead the team competition wire-to-wire.”[/quote_center]They even had fans and other country athletes chanting U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A by the end of the team tournament.
Although a few members of the team were still in the hunt for individual awards the team took precedence. They felt as though the World Cup is a traditional team event, not as much for individual accolades. Godfrey went on to say, “We wanted to truly represent for our country at the World Cup. Individual awards would have been great, but we didn’t play to our full potential because we were drained mentally and physically. That’s why the team aspect was so great. We could rely on and be supportive of each other.” Team USA was a freight train that was unstoppable in the team competition.
Their hard work on footgolf courses all across the United States paid off. The world now knows that Team USA are Footgolf World Champions, an especially incredible achievement especially against hometown favorite Argentina. Team USA is no longer the underdogs in the Footgolf world. In true American fashion, they are the best.
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