Canada shares early WATC lead; U.S. 2 back

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U.S. Amateur runner-up Corey Conners helped Canada grab a share of the first-round lead Wednesday at the World Amateur Team Championship in Japan. 

Conners, who lost in last month’s U.S. Am final to Gunn Yang, opened with a 6-under 66 and former Kent State teammate Taylor Pendrith carded a 68 to post 10-under 134 at Karuizawa 72 Golf East. That was good enough for a share of the Round 1 lead with Sweden and Switzerland. 

The United States, which won this event in 2012 for the record 14th time, is in a tie for sixth, two shots back, after the first round. The American duo of Beau Hossler (Texas) and Denny McCarthy (Virginia) each shot 68, while SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau shot a non-counting 69. 

Thirty-seven of the 67 teams broke par in the first round, with 65 sub-par counting scores, easily breaking the previous record of 42 (2004). 

The 72-hole event concludes Saturday.