Posted by Tom Ensey - email
TOYOTA CITY, Japan – The United States, coached by Huntingdon College's director of golf, fired 11-under 202 to stand atop the leader board following the opening round of the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup 2010 supported by JAL at Chukyo Golf Club's Ishino Course. Team USA's Cameron Wilson leads individually after posting a 5-under par 66.
Matt Mahanic, the Hawks' golf coach, was named coach of the American team last month.
The United States got off to a slow start, but made the turn with Bobby Wyatt, who is from Mobile and will play for The University of Alabama next year, sitting at 3-under and Yarik Merkulov at 1-under.
The Americans heated up on the back nine with all four players shooting under par on the back and for the round. Wilson - who recovered from a 2-over after four holes start - posted 31 on the back nine - including a stretch of eagle-birdie-birdie on Nos. 15-17 - to move from even par to 5-under.
Wyatt missed a short par putt on No. 18 to fall to a tie for second overall at 4-under 67. Yaruslav Merkulov sits in a seven-way tie for tenth at 2-under 69 while Oliver Schniederjans shot 70.
"I think that what they (the U.S. team) did that was most impressive is that they stuck with the game plan and executed shots," said USA coach Matt Mahanic. "They didn't go for anything that they didn't need to, played good golf and took advantage of the course when they were able.
"Cameron Wilson's round was spectacular given he was 2-over early in his round and fought back to post 66. Bobby (Wyatt) played very solid and didn't have any bogeys until the 18th hole. Yarik (Merkoluv) played fantastic, like a rock back there. Ollie (Oliver Schniederjans) birdied three of the last four. I'm really excited going forward the next three days."
After his slow start Wilson moved back to even after birdies on the sixth and eighth holes. Four pars would follow a birdie at No. 10 before his strong finish.
"I hit a couple of loose shots on the front nine," said individual leader Cameron Wilson of the United States. "Then I made a couple of birdies to get it back to even. The back nine I played really well. The beginning of the back nine I lipped out a lot of birdie putts. Then I finished really strong - an eagle and two birdies at the very end of my round."
Source: Huntingdon College sports information office