When the World Cup and the North & South Amateur Collide

 

Andres Schonbaum, an Argentinian golfer, watches his native country compete in the World Cup on a television at the Pinehurst No. 8 clubhouse during the 114th North & South Amateur.

Andres Schonbaum, an Argentinian golfer, watches his native country compete in the World Cup on a television at the Pinehurst No. 8 clubhouse during the 114th North & South Amateur.

Argentinian Andres Schonbaum arrived to Pinehurst No. 8 early Tuesday for the first round of the 114th North & South Amateur, hopeful to change his tee time to an earlier start.

Why?

He wanted to ensure he could watch the World Cup match between his native Argentina and Switzerland.

Alas, Schonbaum had to stick with his 8:33 a.m. time, but upon finishing his round at the 9th hole, raced to the No. 8 clubhouse to get in front of a TV.

“Like you grew up with a football, we grew up with futbols.” – Andres Schonbaum

He ordered a beer.

“I didn’t finish too well,” said the 23-year-old graduate of Jackson State. “I guess I was getting too anxious.”

When Angel Di Maria finally broke through with just 2 minutes remaining in extra time, however, Schonbaum jubilantly raised his arms in triumph. A smile creased a face reddened by equal parts Pinehurst sunshine and World Cup angst.

He, however, never felt fully safe until Switzerland’s last-effort free kick was cleared, allowing Schonbaum to stand, hold his hands together in a paryer motion, and quietly bow his head.

“That was scary,” he said.

“Our country is not doing well; the economy is terrible. This is the one time where we can all come together.” – Andres Schonbaum

Schonbaum explained why the match, which vaulted Argentina into the World Cup quarterfinals, meant so much to him – and his family, which still resides in Argentina.

“I’d compare it to the Super Bowl, only the World Cup is every four years, so it’s different,” he said. “That’s why it’s so special. Our country is not doing well; the economy is terrible. This is the one time where we can all come together.”

His 6-over 77 seemed like a long, long time ago.

“Like you grew up with a football, we grew up with futbols…or…”

Schonbaum adds a pause to find the word.

“Soccer balls.”

 

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