Antalya, Turkey (27 September) – Daniela Holmqvist fired a 3-under-par 69 at Gloria Golf Club’s Old Course to propel two-time champion Sweden into the lead by one stroke over Latvia after the first round of the 2012 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship (WWATC).
Sweden, which won the Espirito Santo Trophy in 2004 and 2008, also counted an even-par 72 from Madeline Sagstrom for a total of 141. The third player from Sweden, Nathalie Mansson, added a non-counting round of 73.
“We had a solid game from all of them,” said Swedish captain KG Nissen. “It was a good, solid start.”
The Women’s World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation, which comprises national governing bodies of golf in 126 countries and international professional tours. The competition, which is being held for the 25th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
This year’s event is hosted by the Turkish Golf Federation. The teams play for the Espirito Santo Trophy. The IGF is the international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and will conduct the Olympic golf competition in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole ) total is the team’s score for the championship.
Holmqvuist, 24, who graduated from the University of California-Berkeley and earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2012, carded five birdies against two bogeys. In 2009, she won a Swedish professional mini-tour event.
“The tee shots are crucial on both courses,” she said. “And, I got some putts to drop early.”
Latvia, which is playing in its third Espirito Santo Trophy competition, countered Sweden’s pace with the play of sisters Krista and Mara Puisite, who are American college teammates at Texas State. Both are playing in their third WWATC.
Krista Puisite, 21, got her round at Gloria Golf Club’s New Course to five under but finished with a 2-under 70. Her sister, Mara. 20 finished with an even-par 72.
“Krista and Mara have played in the two previous [Women’s World Amateurs] and I can see the difference,” said Latvian captain Santa Puce. “For small countries like us, it is hard to get two good scores but maturity helps. I hope golf likes Cinderella stories. We are happy to be Cinderella and we are aware of our place on the golf scene. We are still babies in golf.”
Sweden is attempting to extend its streak of 24 consecutive championships finishing in the top 10. It has won a medal in four consecutive championships: gold in 2004, silver in 2006, gold in 2008 and bronze in 2010. The Swedish players know about the history.
“All of the [past Swedish] players competing at the [Women’s] British Open signed a flag for us and they are tweeting their support,” Holmqvist said.
Five teams are clustered in a tie for third place at 1-under-par 143: Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Spain. New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, the No.1-ranked player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot a 2-under 70 at Gloria Golf Club’s Old Course.
Six more teams, including defending champion Republic of Korea, are tied for eighth place at even-par 144. The others at 144 were: Australia, Belgium. France, Germany and Singapore.
For complete results, visit www.internationalgolffederation.org and click on the Golfstat icon.
Story written by Pete Kowalski, WATC Media Officer
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