Tramore's Robin Dawson led from the front again as Ireland remained on track for gold medal glory at halfway in the World Amateur Team Championship at Carton House.
The 22-year old went bogey-free for the second day running, firing five-birdies in an immaculate 68 as Portmarnock's Conor Purcell shot 69 with John Murphy's three-under 70 discarded.
As a result, Ireland added a nine-under-par second round total to their 10-under par opening day tally to lie tied for second with Thailand and Denmark on 19-under par, just one stroke behind pacesetters New Zealand, who shot 13-under par on the tougher Montgomerie Course yesterday.
Irish coach Neil Manchip was thrilled with their performance even if all three players felt they could have shot at three two or three shots lower yesterday.
"What we have done today has kept us right up there in the tournament," Manchip said. "We have shot really decent score, and you can't ask for more than that.
"A couple of teams caught up today that didn't have great days yesterday and vice versa. But we are right in it, right where we want to be.
"We could be five or six shots better, but we still have another 36 holes to go. As long as you are there or thereabouts with a couple of rounds to go, that's brilliant."
Italy’s Stefano Mazzoli showed the course was there for the taking when he birdied the first and then made eight birdies in a row from the third to get to nine under.
But even the red-hot Italian couldn't keep it going and having gone out on in eight under 29 and then birdied the 10th, he bogeyed the 11th and had to birdie the par-five 15th to break par coming home, eventually signing for a 64 that helped the Italians move up to tied eighth on 16-under.
With the best two scores to count each day, just five strokes separate the top 10 nations on the leaderboard with the United States up to tied sixth on 17-under par with world number three Collin Morikawa shooting a seven-under 66 and world number two Justin Suh a six-under 67 on the O'Meara yesterday.
New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier shot a seven-under 65 and compatriot Denzel Ieremia a 66 on the Montgomerie Course to leave the Kiwis out in front on 21-under par.
All three Irishmen felt they could have gone lower, but Portmarnock star Purcell insisted they are not thinking about winning just yet, even if they are on track to better Ireland’s historic first bronze medal in Mexico two years ago.
“Personally, it doesn't really enter our minds,” Purcell said. “I get a thrill from making birdies in front of a crowd, and the end outcome isn't really in my head.”
Bandon's John Carroll, Ireland's non-playing captain, was more than pleased.
“It was another great day for the boys,” Carroll said. “To follow up yesterday's score with nine under today was fantastic.
“All the boys are playing well. I know one or two are disappointed that they haven't shot two or three more under par.
“But they have played excellent golf, and they are well in the hunt, and that's all that matters at this stage. It’s only halftime and I know the boys are certainly looking forward to the next few days.”
Dawson birdied the third, fourth and fifth but had to wait until the 15th for his next birdie and while he had an eagle chance from just six feet after a stunning approach to the par-five 17th, he wasn't beating himself up for missing that chance.
"I misread the putt and ended up just shoving it, but you are never going to snub a birdie on 17 because it's a long hole," said Dawso who.
"I am happy overall. The game is solid, and I hit some nice shots out there. I didn't have to do much. I didn't get out of position. It's nice when it's like that."
Murphy birdied four of his first six holes but then had a mixed bag on the back nine, mixing birdies at the 14th and 17th with bogeys at the 11th, 13th and 15th.
"I have just got to eliminate the bad holes over the next couple of days," the Kinsale man said. "I think I had six or seven birdies in there today, but there were too many bogeys thrown in at that."
Ireland felt the dealt well with the pressure of playing at home, especially on the O'Meara Course where there are myriad birdie chances.
Purcell made five birdies in his first 13 holes and while he might have been a few shots lower having lipped out twice on his front nine, he felt Ireland did a good job of staying on an even keel, even if he did bogey the 15th and par his last three holes.
"I think going out today, you could have it in your head that the O'Meara should be the easier of the two courses and there should be more birdies," Purcell said.
"So when you start making a few pars when you should be making birdies, you can get a bit down. Overall I think we did a good job at keeping our spirits up and we are still in contention, and that's where we want to be."
New Zealand set a record for lowest second-round score to take the top spot of a tightly packed leaderboard at 20-under-par 270 through 36 holes by one stroke over Denmark, Thailand and host Ireland.
“It’s fantastic,” said New Zealand captain Bryce Hamer. “We always know that the guys representing New Zealand are going to give it their best anyway. And, the score looks after itself. So, the guys do themselves proud and everyone else proud.
“Watching them through the day, to be honest I think they left a few out there as well. But, the key stuff, 4 to 6 feet, they made a few of those.”
The Kiwis posted a 13-under 131 on the par-72 Montgomerie Course with a 65 from Daniel Hillier, who holed a birdie putt on the 18th for the outright team lead, and a 66 from Denzel Ieremia to jump from fifth place to the lead.
“I saw there was a scoreboard on 16,” said Hillier, who shared medallist honours in the 2018 U.S. Amateur. “I didn’t even want to look at it. I just thought I’ve got a job to do and I’ve got to do it. And I managed to finish strong, which was nice.”
Thailand had earlier posted the same score of 131 on the ‘Monty’ with a 65 from World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR™) No. 13. Sadom Kaewkanjana and a 66 from Witchavanon Chothirunrungrueng.
After a morning of rain, temperatures rose and scoring conditions improved, producing a slew of under-par scores and shifts on the scoreboard.
Playing the par-73 O’Meara Course, first-round leader Denmark posted a 7-under 139 (69 from John Axelsen and identical 70s from identical twins Ramus and World No. 7 Nicolai Hjogaard). Home side Ireland posted 9-under 133 on a 68 from No. 10 Robin Dawson and a 69 from Conor Purcell.
Also making significant moves on the scoreboard with matching 13-under scores of 133 were Canada (in fifth at 18 under with a 66 from Hugo Bernard and a 67 from Joey Savoie) and the USA (tied for sixth at 17 under on a 66 from No. 3 Collin Morikawa and a 67 from No. 2 Justin Suh). Spain is tied with the USA and Italy shares eighth with Sweden at 16 under and Austria is 10th at 16 under.
Denzel Ieremia, of New Zealand:
“It’s halfway through the tournament, so it’s nice to be in front. It’s a good position. I am confident in our team. We will go through our process and see what happens.”
New Zealand captain Bryce Hamer (who is also the team’s physiotherapist): “It’s a cliché but the team is huge. They all support each other, they get on really well and have a strong culture. I think it’s true to New Zealand that they are very humble guys and they understand what it’s all about.”
Stefano Mazzoli, of Italy (who shot 64 after an opening 79):
“It was 29 on the front nine but I actually birdied on 10 so I had eight birdies in a row. It’s great to come back like this after yesterday – that was a tough day for me. So, yesterday everything was tough and today everything seemed to come easy. I honestly had a chance to go a couple more under, but I got what counts!”
Ryan Lumsden, of Scotland (on the birdie challenge from his coach):
“Ian told me I had to make eight birdies today. I got up to seven through 16 holes and missed a putt for my eighth on 17. I had a little 10-foot putt on the last for birdie and knew I had to make it so I hit it a little firm because I really wanted to make it. Luckily, it rattled the back of the cup and dropped.”
Niklas Regner, of Austria:
“It is definitely easier for Austria to compete here at the World Amateur Team Championships rather than at the European Team as Austria is a little country. It’s easier to find three good players than six good players.”
- The 131 of New Zealand and Thailand surpassed the previous-best second-round low of 132 by Sweden in 2006 and Australia in 2016.
- On the O’Meara Course, the best move of the day in mostly rainy conditions came from Italy, which had finished T-23 after the first round but stood tied for eighth through 36 holes. Propelled by a 9-under 64 from Stefano Mazzoli and a 4-under 69 from Lorenzo Filippo Scalise, they posted a 13-under 133 that put them at the top of the leader board as the first-day contenders teed off in the second round. Mazzoli, the 2015 European Amateur champion, made a 15-stroke improvement after a first-round 79.
- Mazzoli, a senior at Texas Christian University, logged eight birdies in nine holes on the front nine for an 8-under 29, which is one off the WATC mark of 28 set by Denny McCarthy of the USA in 2014 and was matched by John Axelsen of Denmark in the first round. His 64 was the best round of the day.
- Japan’s Keita Nakajima, who injured his hand/wrist late in his first round and could not finish, withdrew before the second round.
- Serbia, playing in its fourth Eisenhower, produced its best all-time round on the strength of a 6-under 67 from Branimir Gudelj and a 5-under 68 from Mihailo Dimitrijevic for an 11-under-135. Gudelj has broken his record for his country’s lowest Eisenhower score, which was 73 in the first round in 2016. Dimitrijevic was a Serbian national team member in football and tennis before taking up golf in 2010. They stand in 23rd place. The Serbs previous best finish was T-54 in 2012.
- Ayoub Id Omar, of Morocco, tied the low individual score for his nation with a 68. Previously in the third round in Mexico in 2016, Yassine Touhami also fired a 68.
World Amateur Team Championships, Eisenhower Trophy, Carton House
After 36 holes
270 New Zealand (Ieremia 66, Mountcastle 76, Hillier 65)
271 Denmark (Axelsen 69, Hojgaard 70, Hojgaard 70)
271 Ireland (Murphy 70, Purcell 69, Dawson 68)
271 Thailand (Hamamoto 71, Kaewkanjana 65, Chothirunrungrueng 66)
272 Canada (Bernard 66, Rank 72, Savoie 67)
273 Spain (Pastor 75, Del Rey 64, Hidalgo 69)
273 United States of America (Morikawa 66, Suh 67, Hammer 71)
274 Italy (Manzoni 77, Mazzoli 64, Scalise 69)
274 Sweden (Widing 68, Gillberg 65, Nilehn 68)
275 Austria (Steinlechner 69, Regner 67, Lipold 69)
277 Germany (Hammer 67, Long 76, John 72)
278 Argentina (Schonbaum 72, Fernandez de Oliveira 69, Contini 68)
278 England (Petrozzi 68, Waite 70, Jordan 70)
279 Australia (Lee 68, Micheluzzi 74, Wools-Cobb 70)
279 Norway (Hovland 73, Reitan 70, Volden 68)
279 Republic of Korea (Choi 73, Jang 68, Oh 78)
279 Wales (Chamberlain 74, Hapgood 68, Williams 70)
280 Chile (Morgan Birke 71, Errazuriz 73, Gana 69)
280 Scotland (Lumsden 67, Scott 71, Walker 69)
280 Switzerland (Freiburghaus 71, Cohen 72, Ettlin 74)
281 India (Kaul 73, Bedi 72, John Thomas 72)
281 Japan (Kanaya 68, Nakajima WD, Imano 76)
282 Serbia (Cvetkovic 73, Dimitrijevic 68, Gudelj 67)
284 Colombia (Ramirez Velandia 71, Restrepo 78, Ardila 70)
284 Costa Rica (Gagne 67, Chaplet 68, Ortiz 73)
284 Czech Republic (Zuska 72, Hruby 72, Zach 70)
284 France (Gandon 73, Lacroix 72, Veyret 72)
284 Poland (Pakosch 77, Pedryc 68, Szmidt 74)
285 Belgium (Dumont de Chassart 71, De Bondt 73, de Wouters d'Oplinter 70)
285 Estonia (Hellat 70, Jegers 75, Turba 69)
286 Netherlands (Ji 70, Kraai 81, van Tilburg 72)
286 Peoples Republic of China (Chen 71, Liang 72, Zhang 74)
286 Portugal (Lopes 78, Girao 79, Lencart 70)
287 Dominican Republic (Valverde A 76, Pena 75, Guerra 71)
287 Venezuela (Garcia 69, Brauckmeyer 73, Prieto 82)
288 Peru (Zubiate 74, Freundt-Thurne 72, Barco 72)
288 Singapore (Ho 75, Lee 73, Foo 69)
289 Guatemala (Villavicencio Calderon 75, Castellanos Conde 73, Gurtner 70)
289 Zimbabwe (Allard 75, Amm 73, Krog 80)
290 Puerto Rico (Esteve 79, Alverio 72, Morales 73)
291 Iceland (Sveinbergsson 72, Juliusson 72, Petursson 73)
291 Mexico (Pereda 74, Terrazas 73, Ortiz Becerra 73)
292 Hong Kong, China (Cheung 71, D'Souza 76, Ng 75)
292 Morocco (Id Omar 68, Raouzi 83, Dahmane 76)
294 Saudi Arabia (Almulla 72, Alsakha 78, Attieh 72)
294 South Africa (Saulez 75, Nienaber 76, Mitchell WD)
295 Finland (Mahonen 76, Honkala 75, Valimaki 73)
296 Slovakia (Brezovsky 78, Mach 70, Lucansky 78)
297 Taipei, Chinese (Wang 70, Lai 75, Ho 77)
299 Bermuda (Dillas 75, Ming 80, Campbell 81)
299 Brazil (Ishii 77, Park 75, Machado 76)
299 Turkey (Esmer 75, Yamac 75, Acikalin 75)
299 Uruguay (Reyes 76, Teuten 76, Alvarez 75)
300 Croatia (Buerk 76, Stepinac 78, Vucemil 79)
302 Luxembourg (Weis 76, Weis 76, Winandy 82)
303 Slovenia (Trnovec 76, Potocar 80, Burkelca 75)
304 Malta (Borg 75, Critien 78, Micallef 81)
304 Qatar (Al Kaabi 79, Al Kuwari 77, Al Shahrani 81)
307 Cayman Islands (Hastings 76, Wight 75, Jarvis 75)
307 Guam (Camacho 74, Manalo 78, Poe 79)
308 Panama (Ducruet 75, Cargiulo 79, Ordonez 77)
308 United Arab Emirates (Al Jasmi 75, Skaik 77, Thabet 83)
310 Liechtenstein (Schredt 90, Schreiber 74, Schredt 83)
310 Republic of Moldova (Coica 77, Volostnykh 79, Podgainii 100)
315 Bulgaria (Marinov 76, Savov 89, Staykov 81)
327 Lithuania (Vaicius WD, Momkus 90, Markevicius 76)
329 Ghana (Angel 82, Dogbe 83, Kusi-Boateng 91)
329 Nigeria (Thompson 83, Inalegwu 85, Thompson 90)
337 Haiti (Brandt 93, Saint-Fort 99, Mehu 77)
347 Iraq (Al-Hashimi 103, Barnouti 92, Radee 80)
371 Gabon (Illien 84, Perez Ayo 94)
373 Armenia (Balyan 104, Karakhanyan 94, Saghatelyan 122)
O=O’Meara Course (Par 73); M=Montgomerie Course (Par 72)
131 S Kaewkanjana (THA), 66O, 65M:
133 R Dawson (IRL), 65M, 68O: J Axelsen (DEN), 64M, 69O:
134 T Kanaya (JPN), 66M, 68O: A Del Rey (ESP), 70O, 64M: D Hillier (NZL), 69O, 65M:
135 O Gillberg (SWE), 70O, 65M:
136 J Suh (USA), 69M, 67O: A John (GER), 69M, 67O: R John Thomas (IND), 64O, 72M: D Ieremia (NZL), 70O, 66M:
137 P Lencart (POR), 67M, 70O: B Gudelj (SRB), 70M, 67O: N Regner (AUT), 70M, 67O: L Scalise (ITA), 68M, 69O: M Fernandez de Oliveira (ARG), 68O, 69M: J Garcia (VEN), 68O, 69M: P Cohen (SUI), 65O, 72M:
138 C Purcell (IRL), 69M, 69O: C Morikawa (USA), 72M, 66O: R Hojgaard (DEN), 68M, 70O: J Savoie (CAN), 71M, 67O: L Lipold (AUT), 69M, 69O: R Lumsden (SCO), 71M, 67O: G Petrozzi (ENG), 70O, 68M:
139 J Murphy (IRL), 69M, 70O: G Foo (SGP), 70M, 69O: A Pedryc (POL), 71M, 68O: T Widing (SWE), 71O, 68M: S Zach (CZE), 69O, 70M:
140 L Gagne (CRC), 73M, 67O: M Lee (AUS), 72M, 68O: H Bernard (CAN), 74M, 66O: G Rank (CAN), 68M, 72O: J Ji (NED), 70O, 70M: M Waite (ENG), 70O, 70M: J Volden (NOR), 72O, 68M: J Hapgood (WAL), 72O, 68M:
141 I Ramirez Velandia (COL), 70M, 71O: S Jang (KOR), 73M, 68O: J Guerra (DOM), 70M, 71O: N Hojgaard (DEN), 71M, 70O: D Gurtner (GUA), 71M, 70O: A Errazuriz (CHI), 68M, 73O: D Amm (ZIM), 68O, 73M: M Contini (ARG), 73O, 68M: K Reitan (NOR), 71O, 70M: W Chothirunrungrueng (THA), 75O, 66M:
142 A Dumont de Chassart (BEL), 71M, 71O: J Turba (EST), 73M, 69O: S Wools-Cobb (AUS), 72M, 70O: C Hammer (USA), 71M, 71O: A Id Omar (MAR), 74M, 68O: M Steinlechner (AUT), 73M, 69O: E Walker (SCO), 73M, 69O: L Barco (PER), 70M, 72O: F Lacroix (FRA), 70M, 72O: V Veyret (FRA), 70M, 72O: F Nilehn (SWE), 74O, 68M: A Hidalgo (ESP), 73O, 69M:
143 C Ardila (COL), 73M, 70O: J de Wouters d'Oplinter (BEL), 73M, 70O: D Micheluzzi (AUS), 69M, 74O: P Mach (SVK), 73M, 70O: M Alverio (PUR), 71M, 72O: S Mazzoli (ITA), 79M, 64O: G Morgan Birke (CHI), 72M, 71O: M Jordan (ENG), 73O, 70M: V Hovland (NOR), 70O, 73M: B Chamberlain (WAL), 69O, 74M: T Williams (WAL), 73O, 70M: J Freiburghaus (SUI), 72O, 71M:
144 H Choi (KOR), 71M, 73O: M Hammer (GER), 77M, 67O: S Scott (SCO), 73M, 71O: E Liang (CHN), 72O, 72M:
145 A Juliusson (ISL), 73M, 72O: S Oh (KOR), 67M, 78O: P Chaplet (CRC), 77M, 68O: C Hellat (EST), 75M, 70O: O Almulla (KSA), 73M, 72O: A Ortiz Becerra (MEX), 72M, 73O: M Saulez (RSA), 70M, 75O: H Zhang (CHN), 71O, 74M: K Hamamoto (THA), 74O, 71M: V Pastor (ESP), 70O, 75M: P Hruby (CZE), 73O, 72M:
146 G Sveinbergsson (ISL), 74M, 72O: R Pena (DOM), 71M, 75O: M Dimitrijevic (SRB), 78M, 68O: P Freundt-Thurne (PER), 74M, 72O: W Wang (TPE), 76M, 70O: K Kaul (IND), 73O, 73M: A Bedi (IND), 74O, 72M: J Zuska (CZE), 74O, 72M: M Cheung (HKG), 75O, 71M:
147 A De Bondt (BEL), 74M, 73O: B Petursson (ISL), 74M, 73O: R Pereda (MEX), 73M, 74O: M Honkala (FIN), 72M, 75O: D Imano (JPN), 71M, 76O: N van Tilburg (NED), 75O, 72M: L Ettlin (SUI), 73O, 74M: J Dillas (BER), 72O, 75M:
148 K Jegers (EST), 73M, 75O: 148 P Pakosch (POL), 71M, 77O: J Gandon (FRA), 75M, 73O: L Park (BRA), 73O, 75M: J Allard (ZIM), 73O, 75M: A Schonbaum (ARG), 76O, 72M: Y Chen (CHN), 77O, 71M: T Ng (HKG), 73O, 75M: K Al Jasmi (UAE), 73O, 75M:
149 R Camacho (GUM), 75M, 74O: K Attieh (KSA), 77M, 72O: S Valimaki (FIN), 76M, 73O: W Nienaber (RSA), 73M, 76O: S Zubiate (PER), 75M, 74O: M Reyes (URU), 73M, 76O: T Yamac (TUR), 74M, 75O: T Gana (CHI), 80M, 69O: L D'Souza (HKG), 73O, 76M: K Mountcastle (NZL), 73O, 76M: L Buerk (CRO), 73O, 76M:
150 A Ortiz (CRC), 76M, 74O: V Lopes (POR), 72M, 78O: A Girao (POR), 71M, 79O: H Long (GER), 74M, 76O: D Cvetkovic (SRB), 77M, 73O: A Villavicencio Calderon (GUA), 75M, 75O: D Lee (SGP), 77M, 73O: G Manzoni (ITA), 73M, 77O: F Alvarez (URU), 75M, 75O: L Acikalin (TUR), 75M, 75O: K Brauckmeyer (VEN), 77O, 73M: D Volostnykh (MDA), 71O, 79M: E Schreiber (LIE), 76O, 74M:
151 E Restrepo (COL), 73M, 78O: V Mahonen (FIN), 75M, 76O: S Dahmane (MAR), 75M, 76O: P Castellanos Conde (GUA), 78M, 73O: J Ho (SGP), 76M, 75O: N Teuten (URU), 75M, 76O: H Machado (BRA), 75O, 76M: C Weis (LUX), 75O, 76M: G Weis (LUX), 75O, 76M: S Al Kaabi (QAT), 72O, 79M:
152 E Morales (PUR), 79M, 73O: J Szmidt (POL), 78M, 74O: C Lai (TPE), 77M, 75O: K Burkelca (SLO), 77O, 75M: I Vucemil (CRO), 73O, 79M:
153 E Valverde A (DOM), 77M, 76O: M Brezovsky (SVK), 75M, 78O: J Esteve (PUR), 74M, 79O: H Esmer (TUR), 78M, 75O: Y Ho (TPE), 76M, 77O: R Critien (MLT), 75O, 78M: W Campbell (BER), 72O, 81M: G Markevicius (LTU), 77O, 76M:
154 A Terrazas (MEX), 81M, 73O: 154 D Ishii (BRA), 77O, 77M: M Trnovec (SLO), 78O, 76M: S Krog (ZIM), 74O, 80M: J Hastings (CAY), 78O, 76M: A Jarvis (CAY), 79O, 75M: J Ducruet (PAN), 79O, 75M: M Ordonez (PAN), 77O, 77M: M Stepinac (CRO), 76O, 78M:
155 A Alsakha (KSA), 77M, 78O: S Kraai (NED), 74O, 81M: V Potocar (SLO), 75O, 80M:
156 A Borg (MLT), 81O, 75M: J Mehu (HAI), 79O, 77M:
157 O Raouzi (MAR), 74M, 83O: J Micallef (MLT), 76O, 81M: P Wight (CAY), 82O, 75M: V Marinov (BUL), 81O, 76M: M Ming (BER), 77O, 80M: A Al Shahrani (QAT), 76O, 81M:
158 B Lucansky (SVK), 80M, 78O: R Staykov (BUL), 77O, 81M: D Winandy (LUX), 76O, 82M:
159 D Poe (GUM), 80M, 79O:
160 R Manalo (GUM), 82M, 78O: A Coica (MDA), 83O, 77M: A Skaik (UAE), 83O, 77M: F Schredt (LIE), 77O, 83M:
162 L Cargiulo (PAN), 83O, 79M:
163 J Al Kuwari (QAT), 86O, 77M:
164 E Prieto (VEN), 82O, 82M: A Angel (GHA), 82O, 82M:
165 A Radee (IRQ), 85O, 80M: Y Dogbe (GHA), 82O, 83M:
166 G Inalegwu (NGR), 81O, 85M:
168 A Illien (GAB), 84O, 84M: O Thompson (NGR), 85O, 83M:
169 S Schredt (LIE), 79O, 90M:
170 S Thabet (UAE), 87O, 83M: J Thompson (NGR), 80O, 90M:
171 D Savov (BUL), 82O, 89M:
176 D Momkus (LTU), 86O, 90M:
181 K Kusi-Boateng (GHA), 90O, 91M:
185 A Podgainii (MDA), 85O, 100M: L Barnouti (IRQ), 93O, 92M: L Karakhanyan (ARM), 91O, 94M:
187 R Saint-Fort (HAI), 88O, 99M:
188 M Brandt (HAI), 95O, 93M: R Balyan (ARM), 84O, 104M:
193 H Al-Hashimi (IRQ), 90O, 103M:
203 D Perez Ayo (GAB), 109O, 94M:
225 A Saghatelyan (ARM), 103O, 122M:
WD M Mitchell (RSA), 78M, WDO: K Nakajima (JPN), WDM, WDO: M Vaicius (LTU), 84O, WDM