RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico — Connor Syme shot a 6-under 6 to help Scotland take a one-stroke lead over Australia after the first round of the World Amateur Team Championship.
Walker Cup player Grant Forrest added a 68 at Iberostar Playa Paraiso to give Scotland a 10-under 134 total, with only the best two scores counting for the three-man teams. Robert MacIntyre had a 69.
“The players know they have a good chance to do well here, and they are all pretty highly ranked in the world,” Scottish captain Claire Queen said. “It’s been a really good first day, and that will give them more belief for the remainder of the championship.”
The 20-year-old Syme topped the individual standings along with Poland’s Adrian Meronk. A rangekeeper at Drumoig Golf Centre in St. Andrews, Syme won the 2016 Australian Amateur.
“The key was to get it right off the tee, and then it would give you some chances,” Syme said. “There’s a few par 5s you can get up on, and my strength today was accuracy off the tee, so I had a lot of good opportunities.”
Cameron Davis led Australia with a 67, Harrison Endycott had a 68, and U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck shot 69, also opening at Iberostar Playa Paraiso in the rotation with Mayakoba El Camaleon.
“We’ve come here with high expectations,” Australian captain Matt Cutler said. “We told the guys not to look at the scoreboards because on day one there are two different courses, and it can change so quickly.”
Spain was third 8 under at Iberostar Playa Paraiso. Mario Galiano shot 67, Manuel Elvira 69, and Ivan Cantero 71.
“It is important to post a good score early because of the weather, because it is so hot,” Spanish captain Luis Mendez said. “Playing in the morning is an advantage, and you have less hot weather.”
The two-time defending champion United States was tied for seventh at 5 under. Oklahoma’s Brad Dalke opened with a 67 at Mayakoba El Camaleon, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy had a 70, and Texas’ Scottie Scheffler a 73.
“I was a little nervous before this round because this is such a huge event,” Dalke said. “We want to defend it for a third time. I was nervous, but once I got out there I felt comfortable.”