ADELAIDE, Australia (Oct. 18, 2008) – With a 3-under-par 69 from Wallace Booth and a 1-under 71 from Gavin Dear, Scotland bolted into a four-stroke lead over the USA in the third round of the 2008 World Amateur Team Championship.
Playing with the USA and New Zealand on The Grange Golf Club’s par-72 West course, the Scots gained four strokes on the USA, with whom they shared the 36-hole lead. Their 54-hole total of 413 is 21-under-par.
Booth, a former competitive wrestler, posted five birdies and two bogeys and has shot under par in all three rounds. Dear logged six birdies against a double bogey and three bogeys.
"We have a system where we know how the other guy stands,” Dear said. “We do feed off each other. If one guy’s playing well, you want to go with him as well.”
Scotland, which had participated in the championship as part of the Great Britain and Ireland team until 2000, has a previous best finish of sixth in 2006.
"We have a short history in the Eisenhower Trophy,” Scottish captain George Crawford said. “We are a small nation with five million people so it would be a great achievement. But I don’t want to talk about victory because a round of golf is a huge thing. Anything can happen in one round of golf.”
With the lead, however, Scotland realizes that there is a chance for many teams to contend.
"The top five or six teams are still in it,” Scotland’s Callum Macaulay said.
According to Crawford, the Scots will play as leaders with an eye on “composure.”
Meanwhile, the 13-time champion Americans, on a 2-under-par 70 from Rickie Fowler and 2-over 74 from Billy Horschel, could not stay even with Scotland at 17-under-par 417.
"The day was tough” USA captain Walter Driver said. “The guys tried hard but did not do was well as the other day. But, tomorrow is another day. And, in this format, anything can happen as we’ve seen today.”
Sweden edged past New Zealand into third place just four strokes behind the USA at 421. The Kiwis are fourth at 423 followed Australia in fifth at 425. Italy, which moved from tied for 13th, shares sixth place with Spain at 426, followed by France in eighth at 428, defending champion Netherlands in ninth at 429 and Wales and South Africa tied for tenth at 431.
The lowest individual round was a 5-under-par 67 from Victor Dubuisson of France.
In the World Amateur, the team’s two best individual scores count.
The lowest scoring teams will play the final round at Royal Adelaide Golf Club and the other half of the bracket will play at The Grange Golf Club’s West course.
The International Golf Federation was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of the game and to employ golf as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship. The IGF is the recognized international federation for golf for the International Olympic Committee and comprises the national governing bodies of golf of more than 110 countries.
Story written by Pete Kowalski, IGF Media Officer.