Ireland start well in Eisenhower despite 75 for Hume
Paul McBride of Ireland, plays his tee shot at the par 4 second hole during the first round of the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy at El Camaleon G.C. in Riviera Maya, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Paul McBride of Ireland, plays his tee shot at the par 4 second hole during the first round of the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy at El Camaleon G.C. in Riviera Maya, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016.  (Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Ireland are in position to challenge for a medal after the opening round of the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico.

The three-man team of Paul McBride (66), Stuart Grehan (70) and Jack Hume (75) are tied for fourth with Thailand and Poland on six under, four strokes behind Scotland, who lead by one from Australia with Spain a shot further back in third.

`The United States team of Scottie Scheffler (73), Brad Dalke (67) and Maverick McNealy (70) is tied seventh on five under with France, Switzerland and Japan.

A team is only as strong as its weakest member and Irish skipper Tony Goode hinted that Ireland would rally around world No 6 Hume, who has been struggling a little for form lately and whose four over par round was discarded.

“You have to take one day at a time, each round at a time,” Goode said. "You can’t expect three players to play right every day. It’s a team event and it is very important that they support each other.”

On his team’s camaraderie, he added: “We put a huge emphasis on team spirit and being together. And togetherness off the golf course, not just on the golf course. It’s important that they work for each other. It’s great to see that.”

McBride, who is in his third year at Wake Forest,  wasn’t getting carried away after he followed six birdies — including one from a fairway divot where he struck a sand wedge to within 2 feet.

He made his lone bogey on the par-four 18th when his greenside bunker shot hit the flagstick and spun from the hole. He failed to convert a 6½-foot par putt.

“I didn’t really do anything crazy,” said man from The Island, whose round was interrupted by a 44-minute weather delay. "I didn’t hole many long putts. The distance-control on my irons was really good.”

On Ireland’s team spirit, he said: “There’s a good feeling around the camp. (Around dinner) everyone will be chirping and happy. It’s just nice.”

He’s certainly feeling good about his game and if Ireland are to win a medal for the first time, matching the women’s team, McBride’s strong run of form may be hugely important.

“We play the so-called easier course tomorrow,” said McBride, was tied third in the individual standings, a stroke behind co-leaders Connor Syme of Scotland and Adrian Meronk of Poland.

"We will go in there pretty confident. There’s nothing in my game that I am worried about which is always a great feeling.”

Tullamore and Maynooth University talent Grehan had four birdies and three bogeys in a one under 70 while Hume had a hugely erratic round.

Out in four over 40 — he  started double bogey, bogey, bogey, then went birdie two, bogey, bogey, bogey, birdie two, par before stringing together nine consecutive pars on the back nine.

Scotland’s discarded round was a three 69 for Robert McIntyre as Grant Forrest shot a 68 to go with Syme’s 66 at the par-72, 6,888-yard/6,386-meter Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club.

Syme, who won this year’s Australian Amateur, carded a 5-under 31 on his outward nine. He finished with seven birdies and one bogey.

“The players know they have a good chance to do well here, and they are all pretty highly ranked in the world,” said Scotland captain Claire Queen, whose team prepared for the hot and humid conditions in Orlando, Fla., last week. “It’s been a really good first day, and that will give them more belief for the remainder of the championship.”

Scotland’s total of 134 tied the third-lowest first-round score in WATC history. The USA Team set the opening-round record with a 131 in 2012 and also posted a 132 in 2004.

“The key was to get it right off the tee, and then it would give you some chances,” said Syme, who made birdies on four of his opening six holes. “There’s a few par fives you can get up on, and my strength today was accuracy off the tee, so I had a lot of good opportunities.”

Australia put together a 9-under-par score at Iberostar. Cameron Davis, the 2016 Brabazon Trophy runner-up, made seven birdies en route to a 5-under 67. Harrison Endycott, this year’s Porter Cup champion, surged to a 68 that included four consecutive birdies on his inward nine after starting on the 10th hole.

 “We’ve come here with high expectations,” said Australia’s captain, Matt Cutler, who also received a non-counting score of 69 from 2016 U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck. “We told the guys not to look at the scoreboards because on day one there are two different courses, and it can change so quickly.”

Spain was two strokes back in third place at 8 under. Mario Galiano, who is competing in his second consecutive WATC, fired a 67, while his teammate Manuel Elvira, who is a junior at the University of Central Florida, added a 69.

Ireland World Amateur Team, from left to right, Paul McBride, Stuart Grehan, captain Tony Goode, and Jack Hume as seen during the practice round at the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy at Iberostar Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.  (Copyright USGA/Steve Gibbons)

Ireland World Amateur Team, from left to right, Paul McBride, Stuart Grehan, captain Tony Goode, and Jack Hume as seen during the practice round at the 2016 Eisenhower Trophy at Iberostar Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.  (Copyright USGA/Steve Gibbons)

“It is important to post a good score early because of the weather, because it is so hot,” said Spain’s captain, Luis Mendez. “Playing in the morning is an advantage, and you have less hot weather.”

Galiano, who helped his country win the 2014 European Amateur Team Championship, made four birdies and one bogey on the outward nine at Iberostar. He added birdies on Nos. 14 and 16, both par 5s.

“I played really solid around the course,” Galiano said. “I hit the fairways, put the ball in good positions, and I am very confident with the irons, so I also hit the greens to give myself opportunities.”

Adrian Meronk, of Poland, matched Syme for low round with a 6-under 66 at Iberostar. Meronk and Mateuz Gradecki, who shot a 72, are competing in their third WATC together and were East Tennessee State University teammates. Thailand’s Kaousuke Hamamoto and Sadom Keawkanjana each fired a 3-under 69.

USA, France, Japan, and Switzerland are tied for seventh at 5-under. Brad Dalke, of the USA and the 2016 U.S. Amateur runner-up, posted a 4-under 67, while teammate Maverick McNealy had a 1-under 70. Dalke, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, made birdie on his first hole before hitting an 8-iron approach from the rough to set up his sixth birdie of the round at the par-4 16th.

“I was a little nervous before this round because this is such a huge event,” said Dalke, whose team has won the last two WATCs. “We want to defend it for a third time. I was nervous but once I got out there I felt comfortable.”

Twenty-six teams broke par in the first round and 52 sub-par scores counted, the second-highest total in WATC history.

The WATC is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises 147 national governing bodies in 141 countries and 22 professional members.

The competition, which is being held for the 30th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Europe-Africa. This year’s event is being hosted by the Mexican Golf Federation. The teams play for the Eisenhower Trophy.

The IGF is the international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and conducted 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 total (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.

Teams that played Mayakoba El Camaleon in the first round will play Iberostar Playa Paraiso in the second round and vice versa.

2016 World Amateur Team Championship

Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club (I) Par-72, 6,988 yards/6,38 metres 

Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club (M) Par-71, 6,771 yards/6,187 metres

1.Scotland (SCO) - 134 (-10) I

  Connor Syme 66

  Grant Forrest 68

  Robert MacIntyre 69

2.Australia (AUS) - 135 (-9) I

  Cameron Davis 67

  Harrison Endycott 68

  Curtis Luck 69

3.Spain (ESP) - 136 (-8) I

  Mario Galiano 67

  Manuel Elvira 69

  Ivan Cantero 71

T4.Ireland (IRL) - 136 (-6) M

  Paul McBride 66

  Stuart Grehan 70

  Jack Hume 75

T4.Poland (POL) - 138 (-6) I

  Adrian Meronk 66

  Mateusz Gradecki 72

  Jakub Dymecki 78

T4.Thailand (THA) - 138 (-6) I

  Kousuke Hamamoto 69

  Sadom Keawkanjana 69

  Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng 76

T7.France (FRA) - 139 (-5) I

  Jeremy Gandon 69

  Ugo Coussaud 70

  Antoine Rozner 73

T7.Japan (JPN) - 139 (-5) I

  Kazuki Higa 67

  Takumi Kanaya 72

  Junya Kameshiro 75

T7.Switzerland (SUI) - 139 (-5) I

  Jeremy Freiburghaus 68

  Mathias Eggenberger 71

  Marco Iten 72

T7.United States of America (USA) - 137 (-5) M

  Brad Dalke 67

  Maverick McNealy 70

  Scottie Scheffler 73

T11.Austria (AUT) - 139 (-3) M

  Matthias Schwab 67

  Michael Ludwig 72

  Markus Maukner 80

T11.Dominican Republic (DOM) - 139 (-3) M

  Juan Guerra 68

  Rhadames Pena 71

  Enrique Valverde 78

T11.England (ENG) - 139 (-3) M

  Alfie Plant 69

  Scott Gregory 70

  Jamie Bower 73

T11.Norway (NOR) - 141 (-3) I

  Kristoffer Ventura 70

  Viktor Hovland 71

  Knud Krokeide 74

T11.Sweden (SWE) - 139 (-3) M

  Fredrik Nilehn 68

  Robin Petersson 71

  Hannes Ronneblad 71

T16.Argentina (ARG) - 142 (-2) I

  Alejandro Tosti 71

  Andres Gallegos 71

  Gaston Bertinotti 72

T16.Chinese Taipei (TPE) - 140 (-2) M

  Yu-Chen Yeh 70

  Chun-An Yu 70

  Wei-Hsiang Wang 76

T16.Colombia (COL) - 142 (-2) I

  Mateo Gomez Villegas 70

  Nicolas Echavarria 72

  Santiago Gomez 72

T16.Morocco (MAR) - 140 (-2) M

  Yassine Touhami 68

  Ayoub Id-Omar 72

  Ayoub Lguirati 77

T16.Peru (PER) - 142 (-2) I

  Julian Perico 70

  Felipe Strobach 72

  Luis Fernando Barco 73

T16.Portugal (POR) - 140 (-2) M

  Tomas Silva 69

  Pedro Lencart Silva 71

  Vitor Londot Lopes 71

T22.Finland (FIN) - 141 (-1) M

  Juuso Kahlos 70

  Kim Koivu 71

  Ilari Saulo 75

T22.Iceland (ISL) - 141 (-1) M

  Gudmundur Kristjansson 70

  Andri Bjornsson 71

  Haraldur Magnus 76

T22.Italy (ITA) - 141 (-1) M

  Stefano Mazzoli 67

  Guido Migliozzi 74

  Luca Cianchetti 75

T22.Mexico (MEX) - 141 (-1) M

  Isidro Benitez 70

  Luis Gerardo Garza 71

  Alvaro Ortiz 74

T22.South Africa (RSA) - 141 (-1) M

  Jovan Rebula 70

  Marco Steyn 71

  Dylan Naidoo 75

T27.Canada (CAN) - 144 (Even) I

  Jared du Toit 71

  Hugo Bernard 73

  Garrett Rank 74

T27.Czech Republic (CZE) - 142 (Even) M

  Simon Zach 69

  Matyas Zapletal 73

  Vitek Novak 76

T29.Brazil (BRA) - 143 (+1) M

  Herik Machado 70

  Gustavo Chuang 73

  Daniel Kenji Ishii 73

T29.Denmark (DEN) - 143 (+1) M

  John Axelsen 70

  Marcus Helligkilde 73

  Peter Launer Baek 73

T29.New Zealand (NZL) - 143 (+1) M

  Nick Voke 69

  Luke Toomey 74

  Ryan Chisnall 75

T29.Uruguay (URU) - 145 (+1) I

  Juan Alvarez 68

  Nicholas Teuten 77

  Agustin Tarigo 77

T29.Venezuela (VEN) - 143 (+1) M

  Jorge Garcia 69

  George Trujillo 74

  Manuel Torres 76

T34.Peoples Republic of China (CHN) - 146 (+2) I

  Zihong Zhang 71

  Yilong Chen 75

  Junbin Zhang 79

T34.Puerto Rico (PUR) - 146 (+2) I

  Daniel Caban 71

  Erick Juan Morales 75

  Max Alverio 81

T34.Wales (WAL) - 144 (+2) M

  David Boote 69

  Josh Davies 75

  Owen Edwards 76

T34.Zimbabwe (ZIM) - 144 (+2) M

  Kieran Vincent 69

  David Amm 75

  Benjamin Follett-Smith 76

T38.Germany (GER) - 147 (+3) I

  Jeremy Paul 72

  Max Schmitt 75

  Hurly Long 76

T38.Netherlands (NED) - 145 (+3) M

  Vince van Veen 71

  Lars van Meijel 74

  Rowin Caron 81

T38.Republic of Korea (KOR) - 145 (+3) M

  Je chang Ryu 72

  Sung ho Yun 73

  Seung bo Jang 74

T41.Guam (GUM) - 146 (+4) M

  Devin Hua 71

  Redge Camacho 75

  Nalapon Vongjalorn 82

T41.Guatemala (GUA) - 146 (+4) M

  Alejandro Villavicencio 72

  Pablo Castellanos 74

  Sebastian Barnoya 79

T41.Singapore (SGP) - 146 (+4) M

  Gregory Foo 70

  Joshua Ho 76

  Joshua Shou 76

44.India (IND) - 147 (+5) M

  Aalaap Indira Lakshminarayana 73

  Arjun Prasad 74

  Kshitij Naveed Kaul 76

T45.Hong Kong, China (HKG) - 148 (+6) M

  Leon Philip D'Souza 74

  Matthew Cheung 74

  Terrence Ng 75

T45.Serbia (SRB) - 150 (+6) I

  Branimir Gudelj 73

  Mihailo Dimitrijevic 77

  Ranko Helc 80

T47.Chile (CHI) - 149 (+7) M

  Joaquin Niemann 71

  Claudio Correa 78

  Carlos Bustos 83

T47.Egypt (EGY) - 151 (+7) I

  Issa Abouelela 71

  Dean Naime 80

  Gougou Abdeltawab 91

T47.Slovakia (SVK) - 149 (+7) M

  Adam Puchmelter 73

  Michal Brezovsky 76

  Jakub Hrinda 87

T47.Slovenia (SLO) - 149 (+7) M

  Zan Luka Stirn 74

  Mark Trnovec 75

  Luka Naglic 78

T47.Turkey (TUR) - 151 (+7) I

  Ali Altuntas 71

  Leon Acikalin 80

  Alihan Afsar 85

T52.Bermuda (BER) - 152 (+8) I

  Mark Phillips 75

  Jarryd Dillas 77

  Eric West 80

T52.Ecuador (ECU) - 150 (+8) M

  Juan Miguel Heredia 75

  Rafael Miranda 75

  Jose Miranda 77

54.Belgium (BEL) - 152 (+10) M

  Adrien Dumont de Chassart 75

  Alan De Bondt 77

  Kristof Ulenaers 80

T55.Panama (PAN) - 155 (+11) I

  Jose Guillermo Lewis 77

  Paolo Cargiulo 78

  Luis Cargiulo 83

T55.Qatar (QAT) - 153 (+11) M

  Saleh Al Kaabi 71

  Ali Al Shahrani 82

  Abdulrahman Al Shahrani 90

T57.Cayman Islands (CAY) - 156 (+12) I

  Michael Wight 74

  Payten Wight 82

  Andrew Jarvis 87

T57.Croatia (CRO) - 156 (+12) I

  Ivan Vucemil 75

  Luka Karaula 81

  Adam Brnic 93

T57.El Salvador (ESA) - 156 (+12) I

  Bobby Moore 78

  Rodrigo Sol 78

  Tino Flores 82

T60.Kenya (KEN) - 158 (+14) I

  Bo Gatundu 78

  Sujan Shah 80

  Neer Chandaria 81

T60.United Arab Emirates (UAE) - 158 (+14) I

  Ahmad Skaik 78

  Rashid Hamood 80

  Saif Thabet 86

62.Costa Rica (CRC) - 157 (+15) M

  Manuel Jimenez 78

  Paul Chaplet 79

  Jose Mendez 79

63.Mauritius (MRI) - 160 (+16) I

  Rakesh Channoo 79

  Ian Espitalier Noel 81

  Phil Minkley 86

64.Bulgaria (BUL) - 161 (+17) I

  Asen Mihaylov 77

  Ryan Staykov 84

  Vladi Marinov 85

65.Greece (GRE) - 162 (+18) I

  Dimitrios Rokadakis 79

  Panagiotis Pantazopoulos 83

  Panagiotis Samakovlis 89

66.Jamaica (JAM) - 162 (+20) M

  Sean Morris 78

  Jonathan Newnham 84

  Ian Facey 86

T67.Malta (MLT) - 165 (+21) I

  Jay Jay Micallef 80

  Christian Brown 85

  Andy Borg 85

T67.Republic of Moldova (MDA) - 165 (+21) I

  Aleksei Koika 79

  Dennis Volostnykh 86

  Artiom Podgainii 95

69.Haiti (HAI) - 176 (+32) I

  Jean-Philippe Mehu 81

  Pierre-Antoine Donte 95

  Maurice Pasha Brandt 99

70.Kazakhstan (KAZ) - 189 (+45) I

  Baurzhan Sarkytbayev 92

  Yerbolat Ospanov 97

  Yerbol Bukharbayev 103

71.Armenia (ARM) - 206 (+62) I

  Levon Karakhanyan 86

  Karen Hovhannisyan 120

Ireland in the World Men's Amateur Team Championship (Eisenhower Trophy)

Ireland’s best finish since the breaking with the GB&I model in 2002 came in 2010 when Paul Cutler, Kevin Phelan and Alan Dunbar tied for sixth in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • 2002 T28 Saujana Golf & Country Club (Palm and Bunga Raya Courses), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Moriarty, Kehoe, Fox
  • 2004 T16, Rio Mar Country Club (Ocean and River Courses), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico — Crowe, McTernan, McElhinney
  • 2006 T9, De Zalze Golf Club and Stellenbosch Golf Club, Stellenbosch, South Africa — McIlroy, Shaw, Ward
  • 2008 22nd, Grange Golf Club (West Course) and Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Adelaide, Australia — Caldwell, Lowry, Cutler. 
  • 2010 6th, Olivos Golf Club and Buenos Aires Golf Club, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Cutler, Phelan, Dunbar
  • 2012 T27, Antalya Golf Club and Cornelia Golf Club, Antalya, Turkey — Phelan, Moynihan, Dunbar
  • 2014 11th, Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club – Iriyama and Oshitate Course, Japan — Moynihan, Dunne, Hurley