Karuizawa, Japan: Yu Chun-an fired a second successive 67 as Chinese Taipei stayed within striking distance of the leaders at the half-way stage of the 2014 World Amateur Team Championship.
Heading into Friday’s third round, the Chinese Taipei team is in a share of 11th place on 274 – six shots off the blistering pace being set by Argentina.
Host nation Japan fell from equal 10th place overnight to tied 21st on 278 at the Karuizawa 72 Golf East.
Two strokes back in joint 23rd are China, Korea and Singapore while India is tied for 31st , followed by Thailand [equal 34th, 285], Hong Kong and Malaysia [equal 36th, 286] and Philippines [49th, 297].
The Argentines, who began the day in fourth position, posted a nine-under 133 over Oshitate Course to hold a one-stroke lead over Sweden, Switzerland and the USA at 18-under 268, which ties for the second-lowest 36-hole total in championship history.
First-round co-leaders Canada lost four strokes in the last three holes to drop to fifth place at 270.
“We plan for the tournament, but you’ve also got to plan each round,” said Argentine captain Matias Anselmo. “What we try to do every day is stay under par. It doesn’t matter if it’s one or two or five, we just want to make sure that we’re under par because we know that at this kind of golf course the scores are going to be low. If you get some momentum, you’ve got to take advantage of it. The teams chasing us are really good so we know we’ve got to keep it up.”
Jamie Lopez Rivarola, a sophomore at the University of Georgia in the USA, posted a 66 made up of six birdies and one bogey. Alejandro Tosti, who will enroll at the University of Florida and played in the 2014 British Amateur and the St Andrews Trophy, logged an eagle and five birdies but also had a bogey and a double. Matias Simaski shot a non-counting 71.
Canada, which shared the lead with Sweden and Switzerland after the first round, held the lead at 19-under through 15 holes.
The trio of teams in second place also played the par-71 Oshitate Course as Sweden and Switzerland both posted seven-under 135 and the USA tallied nine-under 133 to match the low team score of the day with Argentina, Scotland and Spain.
The USA counted a 66 from Beau Hossler, the 2014 Western Amateur champion, and a 67 from Bryson DeChambeau. Denny McCarthy shot a 68, which ties the record for lowest non-counting score.
Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult, fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), shot a 66 and team-mate Adam Blomme tallied a 69.
For Switzerland, Benjamin Rusch posted a 66 and Mathias Eggenberger added a 69.
Spain is tied for sixth at 271 with Scotland and England. Australia and Denmark share ninth position at 273, followed by Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, Italy and Mexico tied for 11th.
Thirty-five teams have posted sub-par totals after 36 holes and 63 sub-par scores counted in the second round, breaking the record of 45 in 2006.
The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises 137 national governing bodies in 131 countries. The competition, which is being held for the 26th time, is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.
This year’s event is hosted by the Japan Golf Association. The teams play for the Eisenhower Trophy. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.