Bryson DeChambeu shot a record-setting 61 and Denny McCarthy added a 67 team total of 128 as the USA grabbed the 54-hole lead at 31-under-par 397 at the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) at Karuizawa 72 Golf East.
DeChambeau, an All-American choice at Southern Methodist University, closed his round on the par-71 Oshitate Course with six consecutive birdies. In all, he made 11 birdies against a lone bogey.
“I’m honored and it’s pretty cool to be the low number for the World Amateur,” said DeChambeau of his career low competitive round. “That’s pretty sweet.
“I got off to a hot start and made a couple putts early and just kept going,” he said. “I finished with six birdies and I’ve never done something like that so I’m excited to shoot that number and I’m ready for tomorrow.”
The previous low individual score was 63 by Jason Dawes of Australia in the first round of the 1994 WATC in France.
The USA’s McCarthy, an All-American at the University of Virginia, was 5-under through 13 holes and finished with an eagle, three birdies and a bogey. Beau Hossler, the 2014 Western Amateur champion, shot a non-counting 68, which ties for lowest in history.
“They’re really experienced tournament players,” USA captain Jim Hyler said of his team. “It’s not a surprise to me that we’ve had nine rounds that are all in the 60s.These guys are trending in the right way coming into the World Amateur Team Championship and we’ve seen really good consistent play by all three.”
The USA broke the record for lowest 54-hole score (404 set by the USA in 2012) by seven strokes. Its third-round total of 14-under 128 also broke the mark for any round – 131, set by the USA in the first round in 2012 – by three strokes.
“We’re going to have to go out tomorrow and shoot another low round in double digits under par at least,” said Hossler, an All-American at the University of Texas. “Moving forward we need to play consistent golf, keep our heads down and keep focused on shooting more and more under par. Out here, you’ve got to take it pretty deep and if we can take advantage of the par 5s and the wedge holes, we’re going to be just fine.”
Sweden is second at 28-under 400; followed by Canada and Spain tied for third at 403; second-round leader Argentina in fifth at 404; Australia in sixth at 405; England and Ireland tied for seventh at 408; and Chinese Taipei, France, Mexico, Scotland and Switzerland tied for ninth at 409. Host Japan is tied for 33rd.
Sweden’s Hannes Ronnenblad shot a 7-under 64 and World Amateur Golf Ranking™ No. 5 Marcus Kinhult added a 67 for a 131 to stay within striking distance of the USA.
“It’s always fun to be in the mix on the last day, that was part of our goal,” said Kinhult. “Tomorrow, I hope that we can make sure that the winning team has to play really good golf to beat us.”
Spain’s Jon Rahm, WAGR No. 16, followed his second-round 64 with a 62 in the third round and held the WATC individual low score record for approximately 30 minutes until DeChambeau finished.
“On the first couple holes I felt pretty bad,” said Rahm, an All-American at Arizona State in the USA. “I couldn’t hit a shot straight but somehow I managed to make a couple of pars. I made my birdie on four and then after that I just got into my zone and started hitting every single shot perfect. It felt great.”
Forty of the 67 teams posted 54-hole totals that were under par. The field recorded 73 sub-par individual counted scores in the second round, breaking the record of 43 in 2006.
The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises 137 national governing bodies in 131 countries. The competition, which is being held for the 26th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
This year’s event is hosted by the Japan Golf Association. 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 four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
The teams at in the upper half of scoring will play the Iriyama Course in the fourth round and the teams in the bottom half will play Oshitate.