Sep 06, 2018: Denmark, with John Axelsen shooting 8-under 64 and Rasmus Hojgaard firing 4-under 68, posted a 12-under-par 132 to slide past host Ireland for a two-stroke first-round lead.
The Danish pair, playing the Montgomerie Course, combined to tie for the second-lowest first-round score in Eisenhower Trophy history, just one behind the record of 131 set by the USA in Turkey in 2012.
“Everything just worked today,” said Axelsen, a University of Florida sophomore, who won the Danish Amateur in 2017 and 2018. “I was going up to the ball and just feeling like this is going to be close.”
Host Ireland, playing in the first group of the morning off the second nine, made a home-course statement with a 10-under par total of 134.
Robin Dawson began with six birdies in his first 11 holes on his way to a 7-under 65 and John Murphy and Conor Purcell posted identical 3-under 69s. World No. 10 Dawson won the 2018 Irish Amateur Open and was runner-up at the Amateur and European Amateur earlier this year.
“We knew coming into the week it was going to be a big birdie fest,” said Dawson, an equine business graduate from nearby Maynooth University. “It helps drive us on every time. When you make one [birdie] you want to make another one. I think making a lot of birdies is key out here and going low.”
India and Switzerland shared third place at 9 under, followed by New Zealand and Japan in fifth at 7 under and Thailand, Spain, England, Portugal and Republic of Korea tied in seventh at 6 under.
Defending champion Australia was tied for 21st at 3 under.