Tobias Jonsson (IGF photo)
Sweden, powered by an 8-under-par 64 from Tobias Jonsson and a 6-under-par 66 from Ludvig Aberg, passed Japan, who led after Rounds 1 and 2, to claim the lead at 23-under-par 407 after three rounds of the 32nd World Amateur Team Championship at Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche.
“We won’t win the World Championship with the brake on,” said Swedish coach Jonnie Eriksson about Saturday’s final round at Le Golf National. “We need to do our absolute best and hope for some stuff to go our way. There are seven or eight teams in the running. It is going to be awesome tomorrow.”
The Swedes climbed 10 places on the leaderboard based on their 14-under 130 in the third round, which is the second-best team score in Round 3 in Eisenhower Trophy history. The USA set the mark of 128 in Japan in 2014 fueled by Bryson DeChambeau’s championship-record 61.
Entering the final round at Le Golf National, the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games, Sweden is one stroke ahead of first- and second-round leader Japan, Italy and the United States of America. The hosts from France trail by two strokes in fifth place.
“We decided to be very aggressive today because we were a few shots back,” Jonsson said. “I went for it today and I played solid from the start.” The Mercer University junior shared the low round of the day honors with Ashita Piamkulvanich of Thailand, who shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 at Le Golf National.
Italy, which held solo second place at the start of day, drew a 3-under 69 from Pietro Bovari and a 2-under 70 from 2022 Open Championship low amateur Filippo Celli.
“We didn’t play our best to be honest,” said Italian Captain Matteo Delpodio. “It has been a tough day. We had to save a lot of pars. Celli was good on the back nine, but he didn’t play his best golf but was able to manage a good score. It is quite good because there is room for improvement, and we know that tomorrow we have to go low to bring home this championship.”
Japan, which held a five-stroke advantage at the midway point, surrendered its lead because it could not contend with Sweden’s low-scoring surge.
Taiga Semikawa posted a 3-under 69 but World Amateur Golf Ranking®/WAGR® No. 1 Keita Nakajima’s 3-over 75 was a counting score.
“I think playing with the big lead on the first day and then a big lead after the second day, there was always going to be a tough day,” Gareth Jones, Japan’s Captain. “Hopefully, it’s Day 3 that’s the tough day and not Day 4. You never want to defend the lead. You can’t do that. I think today’s a lesson for the lads that we’ve got to keep playing because there are great players out here.”
The USA combined a 4-under from Michael Thorbjornsen with a 3-under from Austin Greaser to put themselves back into contention and tossed out a 1-under from Gordon Sargent.
“They drove it beautifully,” said USA Captain Diana Murphy. “We struggled with the greens but in terms of their off-the-tee play, it was really impressive. I’d say it was our strongest day. The greens got us today, but they found a deep composed spirit again. We are here to give this a really good fight. We’d love to go home with the Eisenhower Trophy.”
Completing the top 10, Spain holds sixth place followed by Norway in seventh, Argentina in eighth, Wales in ninth and fast-moving Austria in 10th.
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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