Australia, Thailand surge into 36-hole lead with Spain
30th Espirito Santo Trophy: 25-28 Oct. 2023
Abu Dhabi Golf Club (National Course), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates @OlympicGolf | #WATC2023 | #Rolex | igfgolf.org/watc
When: 26 October 2023
What: 30th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy
Where: Abu Dhabi Golf Club (National Course), Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Australia and Thailand posted a pair of 10-under 134’s to surge into a three-way tie with Spain halfway through the 30th Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. The Aussies and the Thais jumped six spots on the leader board for a share of the top spot at 13-under 275 after Round 2.
The Australian duo of Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and 2023 South Australia Women’s Amateur champion Justice Bosio combined for 10 birdies and no bogeys. Hinson-Tolchard, a senior at Oklahoma State University who won the Big 12 Conference individual title last spring, led the Aussies with a 6-under 66.
“It’s good momentum going into the next two days,” said Hinson-Tolchard, a 2023 U.S. Women’s Open qualifier. “I got off to a hot start. I sunk two good putts to start the day and steadied out a little and then made a 40-footer on [hole] 13, and just kept cruising home.”
Navaporn Soontreeyapas led a late-afternoon charge for Thailand, birdieing four of her final seven holes to post a 7-under 65, the lowest round of the competition thus far. Soontreeyapas, the 2023 Singapore Open Amateur champion, holds a two-shot advantage on the individual leaderboard at 10-under-par 134.
“Today was kind of like moving day for us,” said Soontreeyapas. “I felt good, my putting was very good.”
Thailand, which finished tied for 20th a year ago in France, added a bogey-free, 3-under 69 from Suvichaya Vinijchaitham.
Spain’s Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, who holds a World Amateur Golf Ranking®/WAGR® of No. 2, and Julia Ramirez, No. 5 in WAGR®, both posted 69s, while teammate Carla Bernat Escuder added a non-counting 70. Spain, which held the first-round lead by one stroke, is the only team with all three players inside the top 10 of the championship’s individual scoring.
“We’re hitting really good shots, but we just need to convert those into birdies,” said Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, who earned a top-5 finish in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April. “We have confidence in ourselves. This was not our best day, but we are still one of the leaders. It’s great, but it could be better.”
The Republic of Korea remains in solo fourth place at 11-under 277, two shots off the leaders, with England and the United States of America sharing fifth at 7-under 281.
After starting the day in 17th position, England made the biggest move among the morning wave behind a 5-under 67 from Caley McGinty, a redshirt senior at Ohio State University, and a 2-under 70 from world No. 9 Lottie Woad. After opening with a 77 on Wednesday, McGinty, a member of the last two Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup Teams, rattled off six birdies in windy morning conditions, including three of the four par-3s.
“I went on the range after my round yesterday and figured some things out,” said McGinty. “I got a good feel with my irons and felt really in control of my ball. All my birdies were inside six feet.”
The USA added a 4-under 68 from world No. 6 Anna Davis and a 71 from Rachel Kuehn, who is competing in her third WWATC and her second as a member of the USA team following a silver-medal finish last year in France.
Canada, which began the day one stroke off the lead in solo second, posted an even-par 144 to position itself in a tie for seventh with India and Germany.
“They’re doing a great job staying steady and giving themselves opportunities,” said Canadian Captain Salimah Mussani. “That’s kind of our theme for the week is ‘give yourself opportunities.’ There’s 18 a day so take advantage of as many as you can.”
Anna Davis, USA: “I feel like we’re going to throw some big numbers out there the next two days. I think it’s very possible on this golf course and I think all three of us will have a pretty low number that will definitely put us up there.”
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard: “I love this course. I played the Asia-Pacific [Women’s Amateur] here two years ago so I’m pretty familiar with the set-up and how it plays. It’s definitely tough with the grain on the greens but it’s fun to play. It can be a challenge, but if you put it in the right spots, you’re going to score well. I think you just have to play smart.”
Caley McGinty, England: “I got off to a really slow start [on Wednesday]. My approach play was not good, and the other girls felt like they left a little bit out there, so we weren’t too worried because we knew we had a lot more in the tank. We just had to go out and try to let the putts drop a bit more.”
Lottie Woad, England: “I was getting a bit frustrated. I was just trying to stay patient because 16 pars in a row isn’t exactly fun, but I made a couple of good 10-footers on the last two holes for birdie so I’m a bit happier now.”
Captain Salimah Mussani, Canada: “In the morning, the conditions were a little tougher. It was obviously raining and a lot windier and gusting from different directions, but I think they managed pretty good. A lot of positives going into the weekend. It’s nice that there’s two days left for sure.”
- Thailand’s Soontreeyapas (10-under) leads the individual scoring by two strokes over Kyorim Seo, of the Republic of Korea, and Avani Prashanath, of India. Prashanath posted her second straight bogey-free 68 on Thursday. She is the only player in the field yet to make a bogey or worse.
- Eila Galitsky celebrated her 17th birthday on Thursday with a non-counting 2-under 70 for co-leading Thailand. Galitsky won the 2023 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific and competed in three professional majors this year, including a low-amateur (T28) finish in the Chevron Championship in April.
- Grace Pauline Quintanilla made the only eagle on Day 2. Quintanilla made a 3 on the par-5 8th hole en route to a 1-over 73 for the Philippines.
- The United States of America is seeking to win the Espirito Santo and the Eisenhower trophies together in the same year for the eighth time. The U.S. is the only country to accomplish this feat and last did so in 1984. Last week, the American team of Nick Dunlap, David Ford and Gordon Sargent won the men’s championship by 11 strokes.
- The National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club is playing to a yardage of 6,497 yards/5,940 meters this week for the Espirito Santo Trophy, which makes it the longest course in WWATC history.
- Thursday was the coolest day of the week thus far at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and included the first precipitation. Light to moderate rain trickled in and out of the area throughout the morning with wind gusts up to 26 mph, while temperatures hovered between 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit).
What’s Next:Round 3 begins Friday at 6:30 a.m. local time with a two-tee start on the National Course.