Australia strolled rather than charged back into the World Amateur Teams Championship mix in Ireland today.
On the back of a quality Min Woo Lee 68 on the par-73 O’Meara Course at Carton House near Dublin, the Aussies reached a two-round total of 11 under, nine adrift of surprise leader New Zealand on a jam-packed leaderboard.
The Kiwis and Thailand each carded WATC record second-round totals of 131, yet remarkably have 20 teams, including Australia at T14, within 10 shots.
Thailand shares second with Ireland and Denmark at -19, with Canada at -17 and the USA and Spain at -16 in the chase for the Eisenhower Trophy held by the Aussies.
For Australia, West Australian Lee began methodically, but showed his trademark flare to pour in six birdies from the sixth hole onwards to give his team hope.
Queenslander Shae Wools-Cobb also had his scorecard at five under after making birdie at 15, but dropped shots on 16 and 18 to eventually sign for an impressive 70.
Victorian David Micheluzzi signed for another rollercoaster round of 74 with four birdies offset by five bogeys to be the non-counting score of day two.
“I played really good (golf),” Lee said.
“I started poorly with five pars … but then six birdies and a bogey, (so I’m) looking forward to tomorrow.
“I found (the conditions) pretty simple, but you still had to hit those shots.”
The highlight of Lee’s round was an enormous birdie putt on the 12th that gave Australia a spark as it set off in chase of the Kiwis, inspired by former Australian Junior champion Daniel Hillier’s rounds of 69-65.
The Aussies return to the par-72 Montgomerie course for round three, with a couple of sub-par rounds on the tougher links-style course a must to stay in contention.
“I’m excited for the next two days,” Lee said.
“(Back) on the Montgomerie tomorrow, the tougher course, so we just need to make birdies and stay out of the bunkers.”