RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico ─ Led by Team Canada’s Hugo Bernard of Mont-St-Hilaire, Que., the Canadian contingent had its best day Friday at the men’s World Amateur Team Championship.
Playing in the morning wave, Canada improved its standing 12 places with an 8-under 136 and is now tied for 11th. Bernard, the 2016 Canadian Amateur champion, carded a 66, while Garrett Rank, who works as a National Hockey League official, had a 70.
Bernard birdied three of the four par 3s. He struck an 8-iron to within 8 feet at No.8 and hit a three-quarter pitching wedge to set up another birdie at No. 15.
“He’s a wonderful iron player,” said Doug Roxburgh, who has served as the Canadian captain seven times. “I have only seen him hit a couple of irons that were not directly at the pin. He’s a big, strong guy who takes advantage of his length.”
Jared du Toit, Kimberley, B.C., the best trio in the first two rounds, tallied a 3-over 75, which didn’t count for Canada. After 54 holes, Canada has a cumulative score of 10-over 420.
Australia took a nearly insurmountable 16-stroke lead after 54 holes with a team score of 32-under-par 398 at the par-72, 6,888-yard Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club.
Ireland moved into second place at 16-under par after registering a third-round 135.
England, Austria and Poland are tied for fourth at 13-under.
A biennial competition, the World Amateur Team Championship has been played since 1958, with the winner taking home the Eisenhower Trophy. The United States won the 2014 title in Karuizawa, Japan, by two strokes over the Canadian contingent of Corey Conners (Listowel, Ont.), Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Adam Svensson (Surrey, B.C.).
In 28 appearances at the World Amateur Team Championship, Canada has captured the Eisenhower Trophy on one occasion (1986) and earned runner-up honours five times.
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