U.S. one good round away from winning World Amateur Team Championships

Collin Morikawa kept the USA within three strokes going into Saturday's final round. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

U.S. one good round away from winning World Amateur Team Championships

Golf

U.S. one good round away from winning World Amateur Team Championships

The United States needs just one good round to win the World Amateur Team Championships. The trio of Collin Morikawa, Justin Suh and Cole Hammer is only three shots behind leaders New Zealand with 18 holes to play.

The U.S. sits on 27-under 407 in a tie with Spain and Thailand, with New Zealand on 30-under 404. For the second day in a row, Morikawa and Suh spearheaded the U.S. charge. Morikawa returned a 66, while Suh chipped in with a 68. Hammer scored 72, but his score didn’t count in the best two of three scores format.

“For us, it’s good as long as we are moving up and giving ourselves a shot,” Morikawa said. “It’s going to be a shoot-out. We have to be ready. The key for today was to put ourselves in position.”

The U.S. is looking to win the Eisenhower Trophy for the first time since 2014, and the 15th time overall.

New Zealand stayed at the top of the leader board thanks to the play of Denzel Ieremia and Daniel Hillier. Former Iowa State player Ieremia scored a third round 65, while Hillier returned a 69 to post a third-round aggregate of 134. Ieremia is joint leading individual with Japan’s Takumi Kanaya.

“I played college golf and I have always said that winning a team event is way more thrilling than winning an individual one,” Ieremia said. “To have an opportunity to try to convert tomorrow is pretty cool.”

New Zealand have only lifted the Eisenhower Trophy once, when Michael Campbell, Phil Tataurangi and Stephan Scahill won in 1992 in Vancouver.

New Zealand captain Bryce Hamer said: “For us, it was another challenge and the boys did well with it. They worked really hard. They just love playing golf. They will look at tomorrow as another challenge. These guys will work extremely hard to do everything to do themselves and their country proud.”

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