Morita Sparks Japan’s Early Lead

Stellenbosch, South Africa (18 October) – Rikako Morita’s 7-under-par 65 sparked Japan to a two-stroke lead over defending champion Sweden, South Africa and Chinese Taipei after the first round of 2006 Women’s World Amateur Team Championships.

The 16-year-old broke the record for lowest individual first-round score in Espirito Santo history. At Stellenbosch Golf Club, the second-year high school student from Kyoto totaled an eagle, six birdies and a bogey in her round.

Teammate Mika Miyazato, 17, of Okinawa, added an even par 72 for a team total of 137. Miyazato and the third Japanese player, Erina Hara, 18, were on the 2004 World Amateur team that finished tied for 4th with Canada.

“I hit my tee shots long and straight and I hit my irons close,” Morita, the 2006 Japan Women’s Public Golf champion, said of her lowest round in competition. The Japanese tied for the lowest first round in championship history with Canada in 2004.

“After 1998, we started to make a game plan for this championship,” said Japan’s captain Mayumi Satofuka. “We discussed course management and the team was very good at following the game plan.”

Since 1998, Japan has finished in the top 10 all three competitions – 7th in 2000, T6th in 2002 and T4th in 2004.

Sweden, the gold-medal winners in 2004, was solid as they began their title defense. “Our attitude was to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight,” said coach Katarina Vangdal.

Anna Nordqvist, 19 of Eskilstuna, shot the lowest round of the day at De Zalze Golf Club, a 4-under-par 68.  Sofie Andersson, 23, of Angelholm, who was a member of the winning team team in Puerto Rico, added a 71 for a 5-under-par total of 139. Both are collegiate players in the USA.

“When they played our national anthem last night, we stood a little taller,” Andersson said.

Making the most of the biennial international event’s first visit to their continent, South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon, 17, of Johannesburg, shot 3-under 69 and Kelli Shean, 18, of Cape Town, posted a 2-under 70.

Swedish and South African players, along with Korea, were in the same groupings “We know we have a good team and we just have to go out and show it,” Simon said.

Also at Stellenbosch Golf Club, Chinese Taipei used a 6-under-par 66 from Pei-Lin Yu and 1-over-par 73 from Ya-Ni Tseng, who defeated Michelle Wie in the final of the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.

Rounding out the top 10 were Germany (141), Canada (142), Australia (143), United States of America (144), and Korea, Spain and England (145).

 

Herewith the final scores from round one from the World Amateur Golf Women’s Team Championship held at De Zalze and Stellenbosch Golf Clubs from 18-21 October 2006.

(The Team score is the two best scores of the day from each team)

 

1

Japan

-7

137

T2

Sweden

-5

139

T2

South Africa

-5

139

T2

Chinese Taipei

-5

139

5

Germany 

-3

141

6

Canada 

-2

142

7

Australia 

-1

143

8

USA

E

144

T9

Korea

1

145

T9

Spain 

1

145

T9

England 

1

145

T12

New Zealand

2

146

T12

France 

2

146

14

Colombia 

3

147

15

Italy

4

148

T16

Netherlands

5

149

T16

Finland 

5

149

T16

Czech Republic

5

149

T19

Venezuela

6

150-

T19

Russian Federation

6

150

T19

Wales 

6

150

T19

Chile

6

150

T23

Mexico 

7

151

T23

Austria 

7

151

T23

Belgium 

7

151

26

Ireland 

8

152

T27

Scotland 

9

153

T27

Argentina 

9

153

T29

Iceland

10

154

T29

Brazil 

10

154

T31

Norway 

11

155

T31

Philippines

11

155

33

Puerto Rico

13

157

34

Bermuda

16

160

35

Guatemala

18

162

36

Switzerland

19

163

T37

Trinidad & Tobago

20

164

T37

Egypt 

20

164

39

Slovakia 

24

168

40

Croatia 

31

175

41

Zambia 

32

176

42

Gabon 

47

191

 

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