Ireland's Robin Dawson (USGA photo)
DUBLIN, Ireland (Sept. 5, 2018) – Denmark took an early lead over Ireland, the home team, in the first round of the World Amateur Team Championship. The Danish team was able to count scores of 8-under 64 from John Axelsen and 4-under 8 from Rasmus Hojgaard to dive to 12-under 132 on the first day. The pair, playing the Montgomerie Course at Carton House, combined to tie for the second-lowest first-round score in Eisenhower Trophy history, just one behind the record of 131 set by the USA in Turkey in 2012.
“Everything just worked today,” said Axelsen, a University of Florida sophomore, who won the Danish Amateur in 2017 and 2018. “I was going up to the ball and just feeling like this is going to be close.”
Host Ireland, playing in the first group of the morning off the second nine, made a home-course statement with a 10-under par total of 134.
Robin Dawson began with six birdies in his first 11 holes on his way to a 7-under 65 and John Murphy and Conor Purcell posted identical 3-under 69s. World No. 10 Dawson won the 2018 Irish Amateur Open and was runner-up at the Amateur and European Amateur earlier this year.
“We knew coming into the week it was going to be a big birdie fest,” said Dawson, an equine business graduate from nearby Maynooth University. “It helps drive us on every time. When you make one [birdie] you want to make another one. I think making a lot of birdies is key out here and going low.”
India and Switzerland shared third place at 9 under, followed by New Zealand and Japan in fifth at 7 under and Thailand, Spain, England, Portugal and Republic of Korea tied in seventh at 6 under.
Defending champion Australia was tied for 23rd at 3 under.
The U.S. left itself with some ground to make up. Justin Suh, No. 2 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Rankings, put up a 3-under 69 while Western Amateur champion Cole Hammer added 1-under 71. At 4 under as a team, the Americans are eight shots off the lead.
ABOUT THE Men's World Amateur Team
In 1958 the United States Golf Association
asked The R&A to join them in sponsoring
a world-wide amateur golf team event to
be played biennially in non-Walker Cup
years. Between 35 and 40 nations were
represented at the first meeting and
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
presented the trophy which bears his
name. The committee of the event was to
be known as the World Amateur Golf
Council and is now the International Golf
Federation. Teams of four players from
each country competed over 72 holes with
the leading three scores from each round
to count. The first competition was held
between 29 nations at St Andrews, with
Australia beating the United States in a
play-off. In 2002 the format changed to
teams of three with the two leading
scores to count.
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