The Netherlands Takes World Am Lead


USGASTELLENBOSCH, South Afrca -- Wil Besseling shot a 6-under 66 and Joost Luiten had a 2-under 70 on Saturday to guide The Netherlands into the lead at the World Amateur Team Championship.
The Netherlands stands at 15-under-par 417 heading into the final round of this biennial event, a 72-hole competition between teams of amateur golfers from 70 different countries.
In each of the four stroke-play rounds, the total of the two lowest scores by players from each team constitutes the team score for that round. The four-day total is the team's score for the championship.
With Besseling and Luiten leading the way, Netherlands teammate Tim Sluiter had his 3-over 75 dropped from the team score Saturday.
'We tried to move on moving day,' said Netherlands captain Gordon Machielson. 'We waited and stayed patient and played solid.'
The Dutch own a two-shot lead over the three-time defending champion United States team, first- and second-round leader Canada and a surging Wales contingent.
'It's great but it's probably not expected,' Sluiter said of the lead.
The Americans -- who won in 2004 with Ryan Moore, Spencer Levin and Lee Williams -- posted a 4-under 144 on Saturday, led again by surprising alternate Chris Kirk.
Kirk, who fired a 66 on Friday, joined teammate Trip Kuehne at 2-under 70 on Saturday. Jonathan Moore posted a third consecutive 72 and had his score dropped for the second day in a row.
Kuehne -- the most experienced American with two Walker Cup appearances, and best-known for losing the 1994 U.S. Amateur final to Tiger Woods -- continues to rebound from an opening-round 78.
After holding the lead following the first two rounds, Canada took a step back with a 3-under 141 on Day 3. James Love shot a 70 and Richard Scott had a 71 for the Canadians' counting scores.
'You just can't get a little lazy and give shots back,' disappointed Canadian captain Doug Roxburgh said.
Wales, meanwhile, tied a record for the lowest single-day team score in World Amateur history with a 12-under 132 -- one day after Sweden also matched the mark set by the winning U.S. team in 2004.
Rhys Davies fired the best round of the tournament, an 8-under 64, to lead the Welsh. He was one stroke off the individual tournament record -- this after opening with rounds of 73 and 76.
'The first two days I was nothing short of terrible and a little lost,' Davies admitted. 'I just wanted to be relaxed and ride off the enthusiasm of my caddie. For each putt I made, he reacted like I did and we got into the round.'
Korea stands fifth at 11-under 421, with Sweden and Scotland two shots further back at 423.