RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico — U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck shot a 9-under 63 on Friday to help Australia open a 16-stroke lead in the World Amateur Team Championship.
After lagging behind teammates Cameron Davis and Harrison Endycott in the event that counts the two best scores from the three-man teams, Luck had nine birdies in a bogey-free round at Iberostar Playa Paraiso. Davis added a 68 for a round total of 13-under 131 and three-day total of 32-under 398 , one off the 54-hole record set by the United States in 2014.
“I had a good day at the office,” Luck said. “I felt like I let the team down a bit yesterday shooting even par and the boys obviously having good scores. It was great to come out, put a good round together and a 63 looks really nice on the scoreboard.”
Australia is trying to win the Eisenhower Trophy for the fourth time, following victories in 1958, 1966 and 1996.
“I don’t want to look too far ahead, but it’s exciting to be in the hunt,” Australian captain Matt Cutler said. “To be quite considerably ahead is a great position to be, but we are excited about the prospect of what could occur.”
Davis topped the individual standings at 14-under 201, two strokes ahead of Luck.
Endycott had a non-counting 73.
Ireland was second. Jack Hume shot 66, Paul McBride 69, and Stuart Grehan 71.
“We’re not thinking about a medal just yet, there is still a bit of work to do,” Irish captain Tony Goode said. “Tomorrow is the important round, the fourth quarter as they say in American football, so we’ll have to put something together for the last quarter. The boys are up for it, they’re on good form.”
The two-time defending champion United States was third at 15 under. Texas’ Scottie Scheffler had a 69, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy shot 71, and Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke 72.
Scheffler played alongside luck.
“Watching Curtis make so many birdies helped me out a bit,” Scheffler said. “I was watching good shots all day.”