ADELAIDE, Australia (Oct. 9, 2008) -- Sweden jumped out to a 10-stroke lead over Spain after shooting a record-equalling 9-under-par 137 in the first round of the 2008 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship at The Grange Golf Club’s East and West Courses.
Japan was third while Austria, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and defending champion South Africa were tied for fourth. With a 4-under-par 68 from Anna Nordqvist and a 2-under-par 70 from 2007 European Amateur champion Caroline Hedwall, on the West course, Sweden finished at 15-under-par, 275. Previously, the low 36-hole score was 277, shared by the USA in 1998 and South Africa in 2006.
“They played great,” Swedish captain Marcus Hakanssom said of his team. “We welcome every new record we can get in the tournament.”
Defending champion South Africa was in third place, 15 strokes behind Sweden, followed by Netherlands in fourth and Japan in fifth.
Brazil and Canada were tied for sixth with England and USA tied for eighth. Host nation Australia, Denmark, France and Germany were tied for 10th.
Sweden began the second round 10 strokes ahead of Spain and saw its lead narrowed to as few as five strokes during the day.
“I saw the leaderboard a few times but you have to focus on what you have to do,” said Nordqvist, a USA college All-American at Arizona State University, whose round included an eagle, three birdies and a bogey.
Using a 7-under-par 66 from 2007 British Amateur champion Carlota Ciganda, on the East course, Spain cut three strokes off Sweden’s seemingly insurmountable lead.
Ciganda, who will begin her USA college career at Arizona State in January, logged eight birdies and bogey.
The 66 is the second-lowest second round individual score in championship history. Her teammates Belen Mozo and Azahara Munoz shot matching 72's. Spain is the only nation with same team as 2006.
“It’s going to take us playing like Carlota today,” Munoz said of the possibility of catching Sweden. “We were close today.”
The Spanish plan calls for as many birdies as possible while playing the percentages.
“I insist that to win the championship the players must be aggressive,” Spanish captain Macarena Campomanes said.
“We know when to be aggressive,” Mozo added.
South Africa rose on the leaderboard based on a 6-under-par 67 from Iliska Verwey.
Belgium’s Valentine Gevers made a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th hole on the East course.