U.S. opens commanding lead at Women’s World Amateur Team Championship

USGA/Steven Gibbons

U.S. opens commanding lead at Women’s World Amateur Team Championship

Amateur

U.S. opens commanding lead at Women’s World Amateur Team Championship

The United States remains on track to win the Espirito Santo Trophy for the first time since 1998 after taking a five-shot lead into the final round of the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship near Dublin.

The American trio of Jennifer Kupcho, Lilia Vu and Kristen Gillman, respectively the top three players on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, sit on 19-under 415 with 18 holes to play at Carton House Golf Club. World No. 1 Kupcho spearheaded the American charge with a 1-under 71 around Carton House’s Montgomerie course.

“I was struggling with putting so I decided instead of lining up the ball, I would set the ball down and putt like I do in practice,” said Wake Forest’s Kupcho, the 2018 NCAA Women’s individual champion. “I don’t focus that much and I just hit it. It worked really well, I made some putts and got my confidence back and I birdied the last two holes, which was a bonus.”

Reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion Kristen Gillman returned a level-par 72, while World No. 2 Lilia Vu shot 73.

“You always want to be in the lead, so it definitely helps going into tomorrow,” Gillman said.

“It was a really tough day, and everyone had to grind,” USA captain Stasia Collins said. “They worked very hard and made some birdies coming in. It was great.”

Defending champions South Korea sit alone in second place on 14-under 420. First-round leaders Japan are third on 421. Hosts Ireland are fourth on 430.

South Korea’s Ayean Cho is the leading individual on 14-under 203, one shot ahead of Japan’s Yuka Yasuda. Kupcho is third on 206, with Gillman fourth on 211.

The United States is on track to win the Espirito Santo Trophy for the 14th time since women were introduced to the World Amateur Team Championships in 1964.

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