Japan retain lead at World Amateur Team Championship
Taiga Semikawa shot a 65-under par 65 to lead his team Japan to a 36-hole record 264 and a five-stroke lead over Spain after two rounds of the 32nd World Amateur Team Championship at Le Golf National in Paris . The 21-year-old student, who holds a World Amateur Golf®/WAGR® Ranking of No. 18, tied an Eisenhower Trophy record with a first-round 63.
“I think those experiences in Japan, playing in the national amateur and some of those pro events helped my confidence and my performance tremendously,” Semikawa said. He is currently atop the individual leader at 15 under par.
WAGR® number 1 Keita Nakajima added a 69 for Japan’s 134 in the second round and their team score of 264 smashes the 36-hole mark of 266, which the United States set in 2012 in Turkey on their way to their gold medal.
“The whole thing is three players,” said Japan captain Gareth Jones. “We don’t care who is in the standings among the three players. Yesterday our worst score was even and today our worst score was 1 under par. They are all playing very well and we know that three scores are important. I hope and know that they enjoy being part of a team this week and that they will remember this experience for a long time.
Italy, with a 7-under 65 from Filippo Celli and a 3-under 69 from Marco Florioli, jumped from the pack to second place at 17 under, five strokes behind Japan playing at Golf de Saint- Nom-La-Bretèche, where most of the ranking movement has occurred.
“It’s only the second round, we’re only halfway there, so the end of the tournament is still a long way off,” said Celli, who was the small amateur at the 2022 Open Championship in St. Andrews. . “We’ll try to stay calm and play the best we can in the next two rounds. We’ll see how it goes.
Frenchman Tom Vaillant shot a 7-under 65 and Martin Couvra added a 70 as the host nation remained third, alone this time at 16 under.
The United States, based on a 5 under 67 by Austin Greaser and 4 under by Michael Thorbjornsen, moved up five spots to fourth in solo at 15 under.
“I limped,” said Greaser, the 2022 West Amateur Champion, despite scoring 5 under. “I even went through the last five holes and there are two par 5s in there. I’m just glad I didn’t have my A-plus stuff and still shot something low.
Norway moved up eight spots to tie for fifth with Spain at 13 under. Canada and Wales each moved up seven spots to tied for seventh with Australia and Germany at 10 under.
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ABOUT Men’s World Amateur Team
In 1958, the United States Golf Association asked the R&A to join them in sponsoring a world amateur golf team event to be played every two years in non-Walker Cup years. Between 35 and 40 nations were represented at the first meeting and President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the trophy bearing his name. The committee for 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 top three scores from each round to count. The first competition was 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 top two scores counting.
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