Ireland lose ground as USA set pace at World Amateur Team Championships
Home team slip to tied-10th spot after a mediocre display on O’Meara course at Carton House
Olivia Mehaffey: shot a level par second round on the O’Meara course at the World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House. Photograph: European Golf Association
Team Ireland lost ground on the competition leaders on day two of the women’s World Amateur Team Championships played over the O’Meara and Montgomerie courses at Carton House.
Playing on the O’Meara course, having opened their tournament on Wednesday on the more challenging Montgomerie layout, Ireland fell back from fifth place overall on day one to tied 10th alongside Mexico with the powerful USA team making a strong move to the top of the team leaderboard.
Ireland’s Olivia Mehaffey shot a level par round over what was considered the more appealing 18 holes with 17-year-old schoolgirl Annabel Wilson one over par and Paula Grant finishing her round on +2 for the day.
The USA in fact set a 36-hole scoring mark, fuelled by matching bogey-free scores of 8-under 65 from the top amateur in the world 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.”
Kupcho and two-time US 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 fired a 9-under 64 (best round of the championship to date), which moved her team into second-place at 17-under 273.