Antalya, Turkey (6 October) – The USA set a 36-hole scoring mark of 20-under-par 266 Saturday to maintain its lead at the 2012 World Amateur Team Championships (WATC), which has been shortened to 54 holes because of a second-round weather delay.
“It is the place to be,” USA captain Jim Vernon said of the 36-hole lead. “We’ve got some horses. I will tell them to keep doing what they are doing.”
Chris Williams, of Moscow, Idaho, continued his torrid pace and followed his first-round 64 with a 4-under 67 at the par-71 Antalya Golf Club. Steven Fox, of Hendersonville, Tenn., the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion, shot a bogey-free 3-under 68 for a second-round team total of 135. Justin Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., shot a non-counting 1-under 70.
The previous 36-hole scoring record was 268, set by the gold-medal winning USA team in Puerto Rico in 2004. The new record has placed the USA six strokes ahead of the Republic of Korea, which shot 138 in the second round for a total of 272.
After playing just three holes on Friday, the USA completed its third round Saturday morning. The third round began at 3 p.m. Saturday and will be completed on Sunday.
“My play is as good as it’s ever been,” said Williams, No.1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). “You get in stretches where everything goes your way and everything just goes right.”
The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition, begun in 1958. It is conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises national governing bodies of golf in 126 countries and international professional tours. The competition, which is being held for the 28th 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 Eisenhower 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 in 2016.
In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The 54-hole total will be the team’s score for the championship.
“We still have 18 holes to go and teams are going low because birdies are flowing out there,” said Williams, a University of Washington senior who won the 2012 Western Amateur. “I will just stay aggressive. There is trouble out there but there are places to hit it.”
Fox, a senior at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, changed putters right before the WATC.
“I putted really well today,” he said. “I put in a new putter for this week and I finally got it going. I’ve done it countless times. I guess it’s called ‘new putter syndrome.’ It just gives me confidence.”
Thomas said the Americans like their position on the scoreboard but will not be complacent.
“There are 71 other teams that would like to trade places with us,” said Thomas, No.3 in the WAGR. “We are in a good spot but we’ve got to keep building the lead.”
Canada and Mexico share third place at 274. Defending champion France is fourth at 275 and Germany, Netherlands and Norway are tied for sixth at 276. Sweden is ninth at 278 and England, Japan and Venezuela are tied for 10th at 280.
Turkey, the host team, is tied for 35th at 291.
The leading teams will play Antalya Golf Club in the third round, while the teams in the bottom half of the scoreboard will compete at Cornelia Golf Club.
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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