When: 30 August 2018
What: 28th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy
Where: Carton House, Montgomerie and O’Meara Courses, County Kildare/Dublin, Ireland
The USA set a 36-hole scoring mark, fueled by matching bogey-free scores of 8-under 65 from Jennifer Kupcho and Kristen Gillman on the O’Meara Course, to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Republic of Korea and three strokes over first-round leader Japan.
“They are all world-class players,” said USA captain Stasia Collins. “They know how to play; they know their games; they played to their strengths, and they all struck the ball very well.”
McCormack medal winner Kupcho and two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Gillman, No.1 and 3, respectively in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, combined for 16-under 272 and broke the 36-hole mark of 273 set by the Republic of Korea in 2010 in Argentina.
“I definitely hit the ball well today, but I still missed a lot of putts and hit it into the hazard on one hole,” said Gillman. “I guess that’s good news, but we can still go lower.”
No.2-ranked Lillia Vu shot 4-under 69 for the USA to tie for the second-lowest non-counting score in WWATC history.
The Republic of Korea’s Ayean Cho, No. 20 in the WAGR, fired a 9-under 64 (best round of the championship to date), which moved her team into second-place at 17-under 273.
“The O’Meara course is shorter than Montgomerie,” said Cho, who finished T-12 at the Korean Women’s Open and has won several amateur competitions in New Zealand. “It meant that with most par-5s I could go for the green in two, and that gave me more confidence to play.
World No. 22 Yuka Yasuda of Japan continued her fine play with a 6-under 67 at the Montgomerie as the first-day team leader posted a total of 15-under 275.
The People’s Republic of China holds fourth place at 279, followed by Germany and Austria tied for fifth at 283, Italy in seventh at 285, Thailand in eighth at 286, Denmark in ninth at 287 and Ireland and Mexico tied for 10th at 288.
Jennifer Kupcho, USA (on Republic of Korea playing competitor Ayean Cho):
“She was absolutely on fire. We can’t do anything about their game and we can’t play defense.”
Yuka Yasuda, Japan:
“It’s good to be near the top but we have just played half of the tournament. We need to play like the half we just played and I’m looking forward to the next two days.”
Stasia Collins, USA captain (on the team getting their nails done on Wednesday afternoon):
“They feel good when they have their nails done and it gives them confidence. When you look down and you feel good about yourself, it makes it easier to roll the ball in the hole.”
- The USA overcame a six-stroke deficit to Japan (2-under vs. 8-under) at the start of the day and Jennifer Kupcho and Kristen Gillman cut away at the lead early with 9-hole scores of 5-under and 4-under, respectively.
- The USA’s second-round 130 is two strokes off the WWATC mark of 128, shot by the Republic of Korea in 2010 and is second-best of any team score for any round.
- The 9-under 64 from Ayean Cho of the Republic of Korea lifted her to a tie with Yuka Yasuda of Japan for the individual scoring lead at 13-under 132 and ties for the second-lowest score for any round at the WWATC.
- The playing group of Ayean Cho (KOR at -9), Jennifer Kupcho (USA at -8) and Annabel Wilson (IRL at +1) was a combined 16 under par.
- Fifteen-year-old Yae Eun Kim of the Dominican Republic scored a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th hole of the Montgomerie Course using an 8-iron in her round of 76. It is the fourth of her career and the first Espirito Santo ace since 2014.
- The 65s by USA players Jennifer Kupcho and Kristen Gillman tie for the third-lowest second-round score in Espirito Santo records
- Canada moved from T-39 to T-23 with a 15-stroke improvement from 154 to 139; Jaclyn Lee – 4-under 69, Naomi Ko – 3-under 70, Maddie Szeryk – 2-under 71.
- Individually, the best improvement in score (13 strokes) came from Nicole Polivchak of Poland, who shot 87 on the Montgomerie and followed with 2-over-par 74 at the O’Meara in Round 2.
Round 3 begins Friday at 07:45 a.m. off the No. 1 tees on both courses.
Spectators are encouraged to attend, and entry into Carton House for the 2018 World Amateur Team Championships is free. For more information, please visit igfgolf.org/watc/watc-2018/