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Bermuda bounce back in Mexico

Battling back: West tees off at the World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico yesterday (Photograph by Gary Venning)

Eric West came into his own as Bermuda improved their ranking during yesterday’s second round of golf’s World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico.

Teeing off on the back nine at the Mayakoba El Camaleon layout, the former touring professional carded the island’s lowest round of one-over-par 72 in sweltering heat to bounce back from a disappointing opening round eight-over par 80 the previous day.

West, the most senior player on Bermuda’s three-man squad, was at even par through 15 holes but dropped a shot at the par-five 7th to go to one over.

The former Port Royal Golf Course head professional had a chance to bounce right back on the very next hole but was unable to convert a birdie putt and had to settle for par instead.

West’s impressive round, which included an eagle at the par-five 13th and two birdies, helped Bermuda improve from their overnight ranking of tied for 52nd to a share of 47th with a two-round total of 12-over.

Jarryd Dillas and Mark Phillips, the remaining members of Bermuda’s squad, carded identical rounds of three-over.

It was the second straight day that Phillips, who led the island’s charge in the first round, came in at three over as Bermuda fared better than they did the previous day with a combined total of four-over 146.

“It has been a bit of a grind over the last couple of days but our scoring was better today and we hope to build on that over the next two rounds,” Dillas said.

Gary Venning, the team captain, added: “The greens were noticeably slower today and needed some adjustments. A number of the early putts came up short until the players got a feel for the speed.

“The conditions continue to be challenging with temperatures around 100 degrees on the course and very high humidity.”

Bermuda is among the 71 countries competing for the Eisenhower Trophy in the men’s division.

Each team has two or three players and plays 18 holes of stroke play for four days. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round while the four-day total is the team’s score for the championship.

Australia topped the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the tournament after replacing overnight leaders Scotland.

Joshua Ho, of Singapore, carded yesterday’s lowest round of seven-under-par 65, the lowest round of the tournament so far.