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France Takes Lead in World Amateur Team Championship; Uihlein Receives Medal
France fired a 7-under 137 on Thursday at Buenos Aires Golf Club to take the opening-round lead of the World Amateur Team Championship in Argentina.
The par-72 Buenos Aires Golf Club and par-71 Olivos Golf Club are in the rotation for the biennial event.
Alexander Levy posted a 4-under 68 and Romain Wattel posted a 3-under 69 for France's score. The top-two scores for a country count toward the team's score. The third member of France's team, Johann Lopez-Lazaro, shot a 7-over 79.
"They did their job very well because they followed the strategy and focused on each shot till the end," said French captain Maitena Delamontagne. "We have to stay focused (Friday) to watch our position."
The Canadian team, which played the Olivos course, is in second at 5-under 137. Eugene Wong, who plays for the University of Oregon and is the 2010 Jack Nicklaus Award winner as the Division I player of the year, is a member of Canada's team. He shot a 4-under 67.
"I just wanted to keep the ball in play and not get too aggressive," Wong said. "I hit it close a couple of times and had tap-ins for birdie. To play well is a bonus. It's a four-day tournament and there is a lot ahead of us."
Denmark, Sweden and England are tied for third at 3-under par, with Denmark carding a total of 139 at Olivos and Sweden and England shooting 141s at Buenos Aires GC.
The American team carded a 1-over 143 at the Olivos course and is tied for ninth. The U.S. squad is comprised of Scott Langley, Peter Uihlein and David Chung. Before the matches started in Buenos Aires, Uihlein, who won the U.S. Amateur by beating Chung 4 & 2 at Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Wash., received the 2010 Mark H. McCormack Medal in honor of his status as the world's No. 1-ranked amateur.
"This is pretty special, it ranks right up there with winning the U.S. amateur," Uihlein said after receiving the award from Royal & Ancient chairman Allan Gormly. "To join the list of gentlemen who have won previously is an honor."
Scotland, which won the title in 2008, struggled to an 8-over 150 at the Olivos course and is tied for 41st.
A total of 69 teams are competing in the 27th World Amateur Team Championship, one short of the previous high of 70 from South Africa (2006).
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