Ricky Barnes Helps United States to First Round Lead at World Amateur Golf Championship

Oct. 24, 2002

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - University of Arizona men's golfer Ricky Barnes helped the United States get off to a strong start Thursday at the World Amateur Golf Championship, as he carded a three-under 69 to put the U.S. in the overall lead after the first round of play.

Barnes' three-under 69 combined with teammate Hunter Mahan's four-under 68 gave Team USA a first-round total of 137 (-7) and the overall lead by five strokes. France (142) is in second place one stroke ahead of five teams tied for third at 143. No other team in the field of 63 nations had more than one golfer finish under par in Thursday's opening round.

A senior from Stockton Calif., Barnes tallied five birdies on the Saujana Golf & Country Club's Palm Course en route to his 69. He was four under on the back nine with birdies on No. 10, 14, 15 and 18. Barnes is tied for third individually, trailing countryman Mahan and Colombia's Camilo Villegas, who each carded four-under 68s. Team USA's third player, D.J. Trahan carded an opening round 76 (+4) and currently resides in a tie for 57th place.

Competition for the Eisenhower Trophy continues through Sunday, Oct. 24. Each nation is represented by a three-man team in this 72-hole stroke play event with the two lowest scores for each team counting towards its total each day.

The four-day event is contested over two different courses at Saujana Golf & Country Club. The Palm Course is a par 72, 6,939-yard layout, while the Bunga Ray Course is a par 72, 6,742-yard layout.

Sponsored by the World Amateur Golf Council, which comprises national governing bodies of golf in more than 90 countries, the World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur golf competition which is rotated among three geographic zones: Australasian, American, and European-African.

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