Date: October 17, 2008

Scotland surge to share lead with USA

Scotland surged into a tie with the USA at 17-under-par 273 in the second round of the World Amateur Team Championship. The Scots, behind a 6-under 67 from Wallace Booth and a 3-under 70 from Callum Macaulay at the par-73 Royal Adelaide Golf Club, erased their two-shot deficit to the Americans, who held the first-round lead. Their 9-under second-round total was matched only by Argentina. They re a close-knit team and it didn t surprise me that we scored so well today, Scottish captain George Crawford said. I think the preparation s been first-class after the boys came down to Australia in February and I think that s been the biggest influencing factor on the squad. Scotland, which had played as a part of Great Britain and Ireland until 2002, realizes the weekend s competition is most important. We re trying to play our own game but we obviously have a little glance at the board from time to time, Macaulay said. It doesn’t really matter what happens on Friday, it s what happens on Sunday that counts. The USA, the championship s most successful nation with 13 previous victories, posted a 5-under 67 from Rickie Fowler and a pair of 2-under 70s from Billy Horschel and Jamie Lovemark at The Grange Golf Club’s West course. All three played very well today, USA captain Walter Driver said. We had a few putts that dropped and a few that didn t drop. Overall, it was a very solid day of play. We are pleased to be where we are but we ve got two more long days of golf to go. Fowler, who played with his USA teammates at the 2007 Walker Cup against Great Britain and Ireland, felt the competitive internal nature of the team was a boost. If we keep pushing each other and playing well, somewhat competing against each other to push each other to play that much better, my playing well will only help the team, Fowler said. New Zealand, behind widely-acclaimed Danny Lee (71) and Jared Pender (67) moved three places into third and was followed by Sweden in fourth, Wales in fifth and fast-moving Australia in sixth. England and Argentina were tied for seventh followed by France, defending champion Netherlands and South Africa in 10th. Argentina, with the biggest move of the day, advanced from 33rd place after the first round. The Aussies began the day on The Grange s West course tied for 17th place but shot 7-under based on a 5-under 67 from Tim Stewart and a 2-under 70 from Rohan Blizard. It was never going to be easy, Australian captain Stuart Cox said of the pressures of being the home side. There was probably a little bit of weight of expectation on them despite the fact that we tried to put it out of their minds. It was always going to be difficult. Today, they really concentrated well. And it s onward and upward from here. In the World Amateur, the team s two best individual scores count.