Solid start for McCall

IN CONTENTION: Vaughan McCall.
IN CONTENTION: Vaughan McCall.

New Zealand has made a solid start to the World Amateur Team's Championship in Turkey.

The Kiwis managed a two-under-par 142 team total in round one at the Nick Faldo designed Cornelia Golf Club to claim a share of 15th place.

They will begin round two at the Antalya Golf Club an incredible 11 shots back from 13-time champions the United States who broke the all-time record for lowest 18-hole team score with a 13-under-par 131 to take a four-stroke lead over Mexico after the first round.

Southland golfer Vaughan McCall led the way for the Kiwis with a two under par 70 at the Faldo Course and he was supported by Masterton amateur Ben Campbell who fought back well with two birdies in the final three holes to card an even par 72.

Hamilton golfer Mathew Perry had the non-counting one over par 73.

McCall, who is tied 24th on the individual standings, was one over at the turn after his front nine included three birdies and two double bogeys. The New Zealand Amateur Champion came home strong playing the back nine in three under to post a two under total.

"It was a great day at the office for me," said the 21-year-old from Gore.

"It was the most stress-free and enjoyable round of golf. I was hitting the ball fantastic and dialling in the flag. However the putter wasn't quite on the same wave-length as my iron play. I had nine approaches inside 10 feet and only converted only three of them. I made sure I let the way I was hitting the ball dictate my attitude I was playing great golf. In reward of my attitude and in not giving up I finished strong with two birdies in the last three holes."

Campbell, who finished fourth at the 2010 Eisenhower in Argentina, was two over through 14 and then added birdies on 16 and 18 to ensure the Kiwis kept with the hot scoring pace.

Perry got off to a poor start. He made a triple bogey on the par four 11th and then bogeyed his 10th to be four over through 10 holes. But he rallied with three birdies coming home for a 73.

"It was a mixed day today," said the 24-year-old from Hamilton.

"Both Vaughan and Ben started well, I made a slow one and was four over through 10 holes.

"I managed to finish one over. Both the others birdied two of their last holes which helped out the team total and kept us in it.

"It is time for us to shoot a couple of low ones tomorrow and catch the Yanks."

The performance of the Americans was the talking point after round one.

Chris Williams and Justin Thomas shot 64 and 67 respectively to top the previous mark of 132, which was accomplished three times: by the USA in the first round in 2004 in Puerto Rico and Sweden and Wales in the second and third rounds, respectively, in 2006 in South Africa. Steven Fox, the 2012 U.S. Amateur champion from Hendersonville, Tenn., registered a non-counting 1-under 71.

"We've got some horses," said USA captain Jim Vernon, who is a past USGA president from California.

"Chris was just.....Chris. He was hitting greens and making putts. Justin was a little up and down but he is such a competitor, he came back. Steven was very steady."

Playing at the par-72 Cornelia Golf Club, Williams who is the No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking posted seven birdies and an eagle against one bogey to tie for the second-lowest individual score in history.

The Mark H. McCormack Medal winner tallied five birdies on the inward nine, including four consecutive on holes 12 through 15.

"I hit it close and made a lot of putts," said Williams, a senior at the University of Washington who played on the 2011 USA Walker Cup Team. "Everything went right today. I've been playing well in practice and to be able to support the team is exciting."

A total of 71 countries from around the world are in Turkey to contest the Eisenhower.

France won the 2010 event at the Buenos Aires and Olivos Golf Clubs ahead of Denmark and Dane Joachim Hansen was the individual winner. New Zealand's Ben Campbell finished fourth on the individual standings.

The Eisenhower Trophy has been won by 10 different teams since the event began in 1958 at the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland.

The United States is the most successful country in the Eisenhower history with 13 wins. Great Britain and Ireland, who last combined as a team in 2000, has four wins and Australia has three titles.

New Zealand is one of seven countries who have won the WATC trophy once alongside Japan, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Scotland and France.

For more information, contact:

Peter Thornton

New Zealand Golf Media and PR Manager

021 482 788

World Amateur Teams Championship Round One Scores - Turkey

(1 ) Antalya Golf Club: Sultan Par 71
(2) Cornelia Golf Club: Faldo Par 72

-13 131 United States (2)

-9 135 Mexico (2)

-8 134 Republic of Korea (1)

-7 135 France (1), Netherlands (2), Spain (2)

-6 136 Canada (1), Venezuela (2), Zimbabwe (2)

-5 137 England (1)

-4 140 Austria (2), Malaysia (2)

-3 141 Sweden (2), Germany (2)

-2 142 New Zealand (2) (Vaughan McCall 70, Ben Campbell 72, Mathew Perry 73), Norway (1)

-1 141 Italy (1), Japan (1), Poland (2) 143, Ireland (1)

The Southland Times