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Australia improves as New Zealand take Eisenhower lead

L-R The NZ side of Daniel Hiller, Kerry Mountcastle and Denzel Ieremia (Photo: USGA Steven Gibbons)
New Zealand, headed by their leading world ranked player, Daniel Hillier, has snatched the lead at the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland.

The Kiwi trio of Hillier, Denzel Ieremia and Kerry Mountcastle are one shot ahead of Thailand, Ireland and Denmark after the second round of play at Carton House near Dublin.

Canada are in 5th place two shots from New Zealand while pre-tournament favourites, USA, are another shot back and tied with Spain.

Hillier, a two-time New Zealand Amateur champion and who has played well for much of the summer in events in the UK and the USA, produced a round of 65 over the Montgomerie layout at the 36-hole Carton House facility to move into a share of 4th place in the Individual standings, three shots behind Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana.

Hillier’s teammate Ieremia, who plays collegiate golf in the USA, improved four shots on his opening round of 70 with a six under 66 to assist New Zealand to a record in the event.

New Zealand's 36-hole total of 131 surpassed the previous-best second-round low of 132 by Sweden in 2006 and Australia in 2016.

New Zealand's only previous Eisenhower Trophy victory came in 1992 when the then four-man side of Michael Campbell, Phil Tataurangi, Grant Moorhead and Stephen Scahill were successful in Canada.

The Australians improved on day two, moving from 23rd to a share of 14th in the event, Min Woo Lee (68) and Shae Wools-Cobb (70) the contributors on day two on the O’Meara course.

Queenslander Wools-Cobb was also heading for a similar round before two late bogeys saw him with a round of 70.

Victorian David Micheluzzi was unable to match his strong opening round of 69 adding a non-counting round of 1 over 74 today with just the leading two players in each team count towards the daily score.

Australia will play the Montgomerie layout on day three looking to find a away back into the tournament after what has been a slow start to its defence of the title.

KIERAN PRATT - THE LONG BUNKER SHOT

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