Karuizawa, Japan: Brooke Henderson and Brittany Marchand combined for nine-under-par 135 as Canada held off defending champion Republic of Korea and maintained a two-stroke lead through 54 holes at the 2014 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.
“We had some super-solid play out there,” said Canadian captain Liz Hoffman. “But, we left a few shots out there. We were focused and had a strong start.”
Henderson, 16, second in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WWAGR), fired a six-under 66 and Marchand, 22, added a 69 at Karuizawa 72 Golf East to give the Canadians a three-round total of 23-under 409, second-best in history. Augusta James shot a non-counting 72.
“It is awesome to play with such skilled players who push you to the next level,” said Henderson, who won a Canadian women’s professional event in 2012 at age 14. “We are excited to be in the position we are in at such a great golf course in Japan.”
The round was suspended because of dangerous weather at 3:27 pm with only Canada, Japan and Korea still on the course. Play resumed at 5:16 pm, following a delay of one hour and 39 minutes.
“There was some great competition out there,” Marchand said of playing with the Koreans and Japanese. “We pushed them and they pushed us.”
Two-time defending champion Korea received a 66 from Choi Hye-jin and a 68 from Park Gye-ol to pass Japan and finish in second position at 21-under 411.
Even with a completely new squad from the 2010 and 2012 winners, Korea is attempting to become the first team to capture three consecutive Espirito Santo Trophy competitions since the USA in 1980, 1982 and 1984.
“We tried hard and we putted better today and our irons were very good,” said Korean captain Chang Se-hoon. “It will be really interesting tomorrow. This event has such good players. We hope to defend the trophy, but you never know.”
Korea’s third-round 134 ties for the lowest in WWATC annals and was matched by Australia.
The Australians climbed to fourth place at 16-under 416 fuelled by Minjee Lee’s bogey-free 64, the 2014 WWATC’s lowest individual score and the second-best in history. Teammate Su Oh posted a 70.
Host Japan is third, six strokes behind Canada at 415. Spain is fifth at 417 and Denmark and USA are tied for 6th after eight-under rounds of 136 at 418.