ralia’s team made a solid start at the Eisenhower Trophy, the world amateur teams championship for men, at the Oshitate course at Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club in Japan today.
Just days after the Australian women won the equivalent Espirito Santo Trophy on the same course, the Australian trio of men finished at five-under par to be five shots from the lead, held by Canada and Sweden at 10-under.
The best two scores from the three-player teams are counted to the team score.
Ryan Ruffels carded a three-under 68, Lucas Herbert a 69 and Geoff Drakeford and even-par 71 on the opening day.
Ruffels was five-under par through nine holes after teeing off at the 10th, having had birdie opportunities on every hole. Herbert and Drakeford also made the turn under par before tackling the difficult front nine, which features three par-3s and three par-fours of more than 440 metres, which played extra long in the wet conditions.
“A couple of dropped shots hurt us coming in but overall the guys are happy with the start,’’ said Matt Cutler, the Australian team manager. “As was the case last week it's hard to get a point of reference until all teams have played both courses.’’
Ruffels said: “I felt great early, got off to a flying start and held it together as best we could on the second nine, which is playing tough. Still, it's a better start than the girls!’’
The Australian women came from fourth at the end of the third day to win the world title last week.