THE Australian team of Cameron Davis, Harrison Endycott and Curtis Luck sits just one shot off the pace after the first round of the World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico.
Davis and Endycott posted the counting scores in the team format which sees the best two of the three team scores count.
Endycott’s 68 and Davis’ 67 combined to put the Australians 9-under, Curtis Luck’s 3-under effort also among the best scores of the day.
Scotland are outright leaders at 10-under thanks in large part to a 6-under 66 from reigning Australian Amateur Champion Connor Syme.
Grant Forrest posted Scotland’s second counting score, a 4-under-68, to be the only team double digits under par after 18 holes.
CAM DAVIS TALKS EISENHOWER TROPHY FROM MEXICO:
Davis is also T3 in the individual competition, one of four players to post 5-under on the opening day.
He is one off the pace set by Scotland’s Syme and Poland’s Adrian Meronk. Endycott is part of seven-way tie for seventh a shot further back while Luck is T14.
It was a strong start for the Australian team who were among the favourites at the start of the week.
Team Manager Dean Kinney of Golf NSW told Golf Link the team was encouraged by their first day’s performance with all playing well.
“Long way to go but a great start to our campaign,” Kinney said.
“Harrison birdied five of his last six holes to shoot 4- under. An incredible effort after not being able to play 2 days earlier with severe food poisoning.
“Cam Davis had his long game on a string. He could have shot anything with a couple of putts falling.
“Curtis was solid as a rock and very professional in a classy 69. We are all doing all the little things extremely well and trusting that will give us the best opportunity for our best performance.”
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All three are proven performers on the big stage, Davis winning the 2015 Australian Amateur while Endycott captured the prestigious Porter Cup in the US earlier in the year.
Luck is the reigning US Amateur champion after storming to a 6 & 4 victory at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan last month.
The Australian team were among the those to play the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club course in the opening round with the second round to be played at the Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club.
Davis set the tone for his round early with a birdie at his first hole, the 10th, before adding two more on the way to the turn.
A bogey at the first, his 10th, seemed to have stalled his momentum but the 21-year-old bounced back with three straight birdies from the 5th.
A second bogey of the day at the 8th was offset by his seventh birdie of the round at the closing hole.
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Fellow Sydneysider Harrison Endycott also rode the rollercoaster in the first round making two bogies in his first three holes.
Like Davis, he hit off the 10th and early indications were that a bout of food poisoning earlier in the week may have taken its toll.
But Endycott has proven himself a feisty competitor in 2016 and three birdies in a four hole stretch saw him make the turn in red figures.
Disaster struck at the 2nd hole, his 11th, when he made a clumsy double bogey but four straight birdies from the 4th, and another gain at the 9th, saw him eventually sign for a 68.
Luck, too, struggled for consistency in his round as he notched six birdies against three bogies.
Making the turn 2-under despite a bogey at his third hole of the day the West Australian looked on track to go low.
But it was a case of two steps forward and one step back over the second nine, three more birdies offset by two bogies though the 20-year-old is far from out of the tournament.
The Australian trio will need to be on their games when they face the more challenging Mayakoba El Camaleon course tomorrow.
Only one score in the top five came from the PGA Tour host venue on day one, Ireland’s Paul McBride firing an impressive 5-under 67.
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