KARUIZAWA, Japan – Arkansas men’s golf junior Nicolas Echavarria and freshman Alvaro Ortiz each opened play at the 29th World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) with rounds of one-under par on Tuesday at Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club in Japan.
Representing Colombia, Echavarria’s one-under 70 came on the Oshitate Course while Ortiz’s one-under 71 for Mexico was on the Iriyama Course. Each team is made up of three players with the top two scores each round contributing to the team total. Mexico is part of a tie for 10th at six-under while Colombia is tied for 34th place in the 69-team field.
The one-under 70 turned in by Echavarria was a team-low for Colombia and featured five birdies on the back nine. Echavarria made the turn at four-over par, but went on to birdie four of his last six holes to finish in red numbers. Ortiz’s one-under 71 wasn’t quite as eventful, as the Zapopan, Mexico product carded 13 pars with three birdies, including one on the first 1st and 18th hole, respectively.
Canada, Sweden and Switzerland are all tied for the first round lead at 10-under par. The low round of the day was turned in by Marcus Kinhult of Sweden who shot a seven-under 65 on the Iriyama Course.
The WATC field includes 13 players in the top 25 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking and 14 players that earned GCAA All-American status at a Division I program in 2013-14. Tee times, live results and update information for each of the four rounds is available at www.igfgolf.org.