Some plucky late fight – and subsequent birdies – kept Australia within reach of the top 10 at the World Amateur Teams Championship in Ireland today.
In testing, windy conditions at Carton House near Dublin, the Aussie women looked in danger of sliding from the top 20 after three rounds until a pair of late birdies each from Becky Kay and Grace Kim saved the day.
Kay’s one-over-par 73 on the Montgomerie Course combined with Kim’s grinding 76 to give Australia a five-over total for the third round, and leave the team in a share of 17th at four over with a round to play.
Queenslander Kirsty Hodgkins had been only two over through 11 holes, but endured a tough closing stretch to finish with an 83.
Kay has made a minimum of three birdies each round, but left that run late today with a four on the closing par-five for her third impressive round in succession. The young Gold Coasters is enjoying a great week and climbed back into ninth spot overall in the individual standings.
But for the second consecutive day, honours belonged to the American women who surged five strokes clear atop the Espirito Santo leaderboard.
World No.1 Jennifer Kupcho and world No.3 Kristen Gillman combined for a one-under third round, good enough to have the Americans at -19, handily clear of Korea at -14 and Japan at -13.
Host Ireland moved up to fourth at four under, still theoretically in reach of the Aussies if they can catch fire tomorrow in a crowded race between fourth and 23rd.
Korean Ayean Cho, a former Australian Amateur runner-up, leads the individual race at -14, one clear of Japan’s Yuka Yasuda, the reigning Australian Master of the Amateurs champion.