Ireland’s medal hopes are on life support after they failed to join the birdie-fest and slipped 16 strokes off the lead at halfway in the World Amateur Team Championships at Carton House.
Olivia Mehaffey shot a level par 73 and Annabel Wilson a one-over 74 on the easier O’Meara Course with Paula Grant’s 75 discarded on a day when golf’s superpowers moved into overdrive in the battle for the Espirito Santo Trophy.
Playing at home brings huge pressures, but Ireland's one-over total of 147 might not have looked as ordinary had their American and Korean playing partners not shot the lights out.
World number one Jennifer Kupcho and number three Kristen Gillman both shot eight-under 65s to catapult the United States to the top of the leaderboard on 18-under par, leaving them one shot ahead of defending champions South Korea for whom Ayean Cho shot a nine-under 64 and Seo Yun Kwon a four-under 69.
As a result, Ireland are tied for tenth place with Mexico, 16 shots behind the USA (15 behind Korea and 13 behind bronze medal positionJapan) and need to shoot in the red on the Montgomerie Course today to get back to the fringes of contention for a medal before returning to the O’Meara Course for Saturday’s final round.
“I don't know how the other girls found it, but it was a little frustrating for me,” said Mehaffey, who fought back from a double-bogey seven at the fourth to be two-under playing the last only to drive into the roots of a tree and finish with a double-bogey six after a penalty drop.
“I had some good chances, tried to force it a little bit and then two doubles, you can't really do that out there.
“You can't make many mistakes because there are a lot of wedges and a lot of short shots. A lot of opportunities.
“When you are even par through a couple of holes, and you've had a lot of opportunities, you feel like you are trying to force it a little bit.
“We just have to pick ourselves up and get back at it tomorrow.”
Lurgan teenager Wilson (17) was two-over after three holes, but while she birdied the fifth and eighth to turn in level par, she grew frustrated trying to match the brilliance of her playing partners, Kupcho and Cho, who were 17-under between them.
“Two bogeys in the first three holes so it was kind of a fight the whole way around,” Wilson said. “It was frustrating, I couldn’t get anything close to have a look at a birdie.”
Her golf swing is a thing of beauty but the occasional loose iron shot proved costly yesterday, especially her approach to the par-five 15th, which sailed marginally right and ended up in the River Rye.
A bogey there was costly as Cho calmly rolled in an 18-footer for an eagle three that had the added effect of forcing a three-putt par from Kupcho.
Non-playing captain Danielle McVeigh is not throwing in the towel, but she had to work hard to sound upbeat.
"We did around about what we did yesterday, maybe a couple of shots worse,” McVeigh said. “Yesterday it was good, today it wasn't. You know, comparison is the thief of joy.
“I am proud of the girls the way they hung in there because it is not easy when those you are playing with are making a ton of birdies.
“By the sounds of it, the girls just tried to force it a little bit and got a little bit impatient.”
Tied for sixth after a three under par day at the Montgomerie Course on Wednesday, Ireland went into reverse gear on the easier of the two courses yesterday.
And while McVeigh’s Theodore Roosevelt quote about comparison being the thief of joy makes perfect sense, she knew it was tough for all three golfers to watch their American and Korean playing partners tear it up yesterday.
Asked what she could say to her team now, she said: “I will just give them a hug. I am not going to tell them some silver lining nonsense. They know themselves.
“We will have an easy afternoon, put the feet up and try and regroup. They are playing great. They just maybe got in their own way today.
"There are no big issues. There are still 280 shots odd that we are going to be hitting, so we are only halfway through.”
Japan’s Yuka Yasuda followed her five-under 67 on the Montgomerie Course with a six-under 67 on the O’Meara to share the lead in the individual standings on 13-under par with Korea’s Cho, who had an eagle and seven birdies in her nine-under 64.
“She was absolutely on fire,” third placed Kupcho said of Cho. “We can’t do anything about their game, and we can’t play defence.”
Ireland can't afford to play defence either if they are to have any chance of matching their bronze medal performance in Mexico two years ago.
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.
World Amateur Team Championships, Espirito Santo Trophy, Carton House
After two rounds (of four)
272 United States of America (Gillman 65, Vu 69, Kupcho 65)
273 Republic of Korea (Kwon 69, Hong 71, Cho 64)
275 Japan (Yoshida 73, Yasuda 67, Nishimura 72)
279 People's Republic of China (Du 71, Liu 69, Yin 70)
283 Austria (Bettel 72, Ruettimann 69, Spitz 73); Germany (Harm 73, Hausmann 71, Henseleit 70)
285 Italy (Don 74, Paltrinieri 74, Nobilio 68)
286 Thailand (Boon-In 74, Piddon 67, Tatematsu 72)
287 Denmark (Fredgaard 69, Nielsen 71, Hansen 73)
288 Ireland (Mehaffey 73, Grant 75, Wilson 74); Mexico (Lopez 72, Ruiz Laphond 74, Fassi 69)
289 Australia (Kay 74, Kim 77, Hodgkins 74)
289 Belgium (Aveling 73, Louis 69, Van Dievoet 78); Scotland (Jaffrey 72, McCook 73, McWilliam 69); Spain (Marfa Sans 70, Hualde Zuniga 67, Perez Sanmartin 74); Sweden (Kinhult 71, Wallin 71, Grant 72)
290 England (Fuller 74, Muse 70, Lamb 71); Netherlands (Bontan 72, Meekers 71, Weber 73); Paraguay (Escauriza Stoeckl 69, Garcia Peralta 72, Servin 72)
291 India (Dagar 73, Dilawari 75, Sagoo 67); New Zealand (Alvarez 77, Garvey 70, Keh 73)
292 Switzerland (Valenzuela 71, Berger 74, Moosmann 75)
293 Canada (Ko 70, Lee 69, Szeryk 71); Finland (Backman 72, Saksa 73, Riihijarvi 74); Hong Kong, China (Cheung 78, Ho 71, Leung 78)
294 Chinese Taipei (Lin 71, Lin 74, Huang 70); South Africa (Telfer 73, Mistry 74, MacNab 71)
295 Guatemala (Echeverria 69, Mendizabal Riepele 78, Arenas 88)
296 Colombia (Garces Escalante 71, Giraldo Roys 73, Serrano Silva 71); Venezuela (Raga 83, Gilly 75, De Antonio 76)
297 Dominican Republic (Corrie-Kuehn 83, Kim 76, Kuehn 73); France (Roussin-Bouchard 75, Broze 74, Laisne 76)
298 Czech Republic (Ryskova 75, Vlasinova 77, Kouskova 73); Norway (Stormo 75, Forbrigd 75, Hjelle Grimstad 73)
299 Malaysia (Shaari 73, Wong 72, Durisic 74)
299 Morocco (Laklalech 73, Rich 77, Belmati 76)
301 Puerto Rico (Rodriguez 78, Rivera 76, Pacheco Claudio 75)
302 Argentina (Anacona 73, Rossi 77, Simmermacher 78); Portugal (Barroso Sa 73, Bessa 71, Gouveia 74)
303 Chile (Morgan 77, Matte 73, Villavicencio 76); Iceland (Kristinsdottir 85, Traustadottir 75, Einarsdottir 73)
304 Slovenia (Fric 70, Obersnel 68, Jecnik 76)
306 Wales (Morris 74, Ryan 81, O'Connor 75)
307 Poland (Polivchak 74, Gradecka 74, Zalewska 77)
308 Peru (Farah 75, Ballesteros 76, Fernandez-Davila 78); Uruguay (Schmid 78, Marques 77, Garcia Austt Marques 77)
310 Slovakia (Heckova 77, Drocarova 78, Bolcikova 76)
311 Singapore (Chen 75, Ng 81, Tan 78)
313 Lithuania (Jarasunaite 82, Starkute 76)
316 Turkey (Ersoy 80, Bilgic 82, Timur 75)
319 Brazil (Grinberg 84, Lacaz Martins 84, de Araujo Caetano 81)
320 Latvia (Gustafssone 82, Jucmane 73, Marksa 83)
325 Guam (Tarpley 91, Vongjalorn 79, Peterson 84)
328 Bulgaria (Borisova 81, Simeonova 83, Skokanska 82)
332 Tunisia (Ladhari 86, Mansouri 95, Saki 78)
341 Lebanon (Assaf 97, Richani 76, Assaf 100)
344 Ukraine (Rastvortseva 89, Horokhovska 86, Sapronova 95)
Individual standings (M=Montgomerie Course O=O’Meara Course)
132 A Cho (KOR), 68M, 64O; Y Yasuda (JPN), 65M, 67O;
135 J Kupcho (USA), 70M, 65O;
137 T Piddon (THA), 70M, 67O;
138 M Du (CHN), 67O, 71M;
139 K Gillman (USA), 74M, 65O;
141 L Vu (USA), 72M, 69O; M Escauriza Stoeckl (PAR), 72M, 69O; A Nobilio (ITA), 73M, 68O; L Bettel (AUT), 69O, 72M;
142 R Kay (AUS), 68M, 74O; C Louis (BEL), 73M, 69O; E Henseleit (GER), 72O, 70M; P Echeverria (GUA), 73O, 69M;
143 O Mehaffey (IRL), 70M, 73O; S Kwon (KOR), 74M, 69O; Y Hong (KOR), 72M, 71O; Y Nishimura (JPN), 71M, 72O; R Yin (CHN), 73O, 70M; M Fassi (MEX), 74O, 69M; L Harm (GER), 70O, 73M; S McWilliam (SCO), 74O, 69M;
144 A Valenzuela (SUI), 73M, 71O; Y Yoshida (JPN), 71M, 73O; C Don (ITA), 70M, 74O; Z Bontan (NED), 72M, 72O; S Hausmann (GER), 73O, 71M; E Hualde Zuniga (ESP), 77O, 67M; R Kuehn (DOM), 71O, 73M;
145 A Wilson (IRL), 71M, 74O; M Hansen (DEN), 72M, 73O; S Sagoo (IND), 78M, 67O; J Lee (CAN), 76M, 69O; F Kinhult (SWE), 74M, 71O; L Grant (SWE), 73M, 72O; C Lopez (MEX), 73O, 72M; T Lin (TPE), 74O, 71M; J Ruettimann (AUT), 76O, 69M; M Ho (HKG), 74O, 71M;
146 S Garces Escalante (COL), 75M, 71O; S Nielsen (DEN), 75M, 71O; A Garvey (NZL), 76M, 70O; S Lamb (ENG), 75M, 71O; R Meekers (NED), 75M, 71O; W Liu (CHN), 77O, 69M; C MacNab (RSA), 75O, 71M; E Spitz (AUT), 73O, 73M; S Kouskova (CZE), 73O, 73M; C Jaffrey (SCO), 74O, 72M;
147 D Dagar (IND), 74M, 73O; H Muse (ENG), 77M, 70O; A Backman (FIN), 75O, 72M; K Riihijarvi (FIN), 73O, 74M; P Roussin-Bouchard (FRA), 72O, 75M;
148 K Fredgaard (DEN), 79M, 69O; E Anacona (ARG), 75M, 73O; W Keh (NZL), 75M, 73O; N Ko (CAN), 78M, 70O; A Fuller (ENG), 74M, 74O; G Wong (MAS), 76M, 72O; K Telfer (RSA), 75O, 73M; C De Antonio (VEN), 72O, 76M; M Cheung (HKG), 70O, 78M; D Forbrigd (NOR), 73O, 75M; L Belmati (MAR), 72O, 76M;
149 P Grant (IRL), 74M, 75O; K Hodgkins (AUS), 75M, 74O; E Moosmann (SUI), 74M, 75O; R Tatematsu (THA), 77M, 72O; A Servin (PAR), 77M, 72O; M Perez Sanmartin (ESP), 75O, 74M; Y Huang (TPE), 79O, 70M; E Saksa (FIN), 76O, 73M; L Bessa (POR), 78O, 71M;
150 G Kim (AUS), 73M, 77O; M Serrano Silva (COL), 79M, 71O; J Alvarez (NZL), 73M, 77O; M Farah (PER), 75M, 75O; E Paltrinieri (ITA), 76M, 74O; D Gradecka (POL), 76M, 74O; D Weber (NED), 77M, 73O; P Marfa Sans (ESP), 80O, 70M; E Broze (FRA), 76O, 74M; H McCook (SCO), 77O, 73M; V Pacheco Claudio (PUR), 75O, 75M;
151 I Fric (SLO), 81M, 70O; C Aveling (BEL), 78M, 73O; N Boon-In (THA), 77M, 74O; M Szeryk (CAN), 80M, 71O; B Wallin (SWE), 80M, 71O; S Shaari (MAS), 78M, 73O; R Hjelle Grimstad (NOR), 78O, 73M; I Laklalech (MAR), 78O, 73M; S Traustadottir (ISL), 76O, 75M; J Rivera (PUR), 75O, 76M; G Starkute (LTU), 75O, 76M;
152 R Dilawari (IND), 77M, 75O; E Van Dievoet (BEL), 74M, 78O; M Jucmane (LAT), 79M, 73O; N Villavicencio (CHI), 76M, 76O; L Durisic (MAS), 78M, 74O; A Laisne (FRA), 76O, 76M; H Ryskova (CZE), 77O, 75M; K Stormo (NOR), 77O, 75M; H Einarsdottir (ISL), 79O, 73M;
153 Y Berger (SUI), 79M, 74O; A Bolcikova (SVK), 77M, 76O; V Obersnel (SLO), 79M, 74O; B Morris (WAL), 79M, 74O; K O'Connor (WAL), 78M, 75O; A Matte (CHI), 80M, 73O; A Ruiz Laphond (MEX), 79O, 74M; K Mistry (RSA), 79O, 74M; K Lin (TPE), 79O, 74M; V Mendizabal Riepele (GUA), 75O, 78M; Y Kim (DOM), 77O, 76M; S Barroso Sa (POR), 80O, 73M;
154 P Schmid (URU), 76M, 78O; K Vlasinova (CZE), 77O, 77M;
155 M Simmermacher (ARG), 77M, 78O; S Morgan (CHI), 78M, 77O; S Garcia Peralta (PAR), 83M, 72O; S Garcia Austt Marques (URU), 78M, 77O; S Gouveia (POR), 81O, 74M; Y Rodriguez (PUR), 77O, 78M; V Richani (LBN), 79O, 76M;
156 V Giraldo Roys (COL), 83M, 73O; V Rossi (ARG), 79M, 77O; S Timur (TUR), 81M, 75O; J Marques (URU), 79M, 77O; A Raga (VEN), 73O, 83M; I Leung (HKG), 78O, 78M;
157 N Heckova (SVK), 80M, 77O; C Chen (SGP), 82M, 75O; S Tan (SGP), 79M, 78O; N Vongjalorn (GUM), 78O, 79M;
158 D Ballesteros (PER), 82M, 76O; L Grinberg (BRA), 74O, 84M;
159 K Drocarova (SVK), 81M, 78O; L Jecnik (SLO), 83M, 76O; V Gilly (VEN), 84O, 75M;
160 J Fernandez-Davila (PER), 82M, 78O; I Ng (SGP), 79M, 81O; D Zalewska (POL), 83M, 77O;
161 N Polivchak (POL), 87M, 74O; I Rich (MAR), 84O, 77M; L de Araujo Caetano (BRA), 80O, 81M;
162 D Bilgic (TUR), 80M, 82O; J Ryan (WAL), 81M, 81O; G Saki (TUN), 84O, 78M; S Jarasunaite (LTU), 80O, 82M;
163 S Ersoy (TUR), 83M, 80O; M Borisova (BUL), 82O, 81M;
165 B Corrie-Kuehn (DOM), 82O, 83M;
166 I Simeonova (BUL), 83O, 83M;
168 R Peterson (GUM), 84O, 84M;
169 A Marksa (LAT), 86M, 83O; B Arenas (GUA), 81O, 88M;
170 E Rastvortseva (UKR), 81O, 89M; R Kristinsdottir (ISL), 85O, 85M;
171 K Gustafssone (LAT), 89M, 82O;
172 S Skokanska (BUL), 90O, 82M; K Ladhari (TUN), 86O, 86M; M Lacaz Martins (BRA), 88O, 84M;
174 D Horokhovska (UKR), 88O, 86M;
178 R Tarpley (GUM), 87O, 91M;
179 H Mansouri (TUN), 84O, 95M;
189 S Assaf (LBN), 89O, 100M;
193 V Sapronova (UKR), 98O, 95M;
197 L Assaf (LBN), 100O, 97M.