Korda, Uihlein Help USA Rebound On Day 2 Of Copa de las Americas

Buenos Aires, Argentina (Jan. 7) – According to USA captain Steve Smyers, the difference between the two days was very small.

But, on the second day of the 2010 Copa de las Americas at Olivos Golf Club, the USA team surged to the top of the leaderboard in the overall competition, three strokes ahead of Canada at 15-over-par 589.

The young and uber-talented Argentine team, which held the first-day lead, could not match its previous day scores and plummeted to fifth place.

“These players are so good, that the difference is so slight,” Smyers said, accentuating his point about the scores of the first and  

Peter Uihlein helped rally the USA on the second day of the Copa de las Americas with a 2-under-par 69 at Olivos Golf Club. (Enrique Berardi/Argentine Golf Association)
second day by holding his thumb and forefinger apart but nearly together. “It could be just one little thing that makes the difference between a good round and a great round.”

Two great rounds, in fact the best rounds of the day for the women's and men’s categories, were logged by the youngest American players – Jessica Korda, 16, of Bradenton, Fla., and Peter Uihlein, 20, of Orlando, Fla.  Nathan Smith and Jennifer Song, both two-time USGA champions, each shot 75.

“Everybody played well today,” Smyers said. “Jessica and Peter were just fantastic and while Jennifer and Nathan probably didn’t play the way they wanted, they kept it together.”

Korda, the daughter of 1998 Australian Open singles champion Petr Korda, made six birdies and three bogeys and used her distance to provide scoring opportunities.

 “I can go over trees and cut corners and have the chance to go for par 5s in two,” said Korda, who has shot final-round 69s in each of the last two U.S. Women's Opens. “It’s a team event so you have to try to go as low as possible in case anything happens.”

In fact, Korda’s play helped the USA gain the lead in the women’s competition. She is the low individual among the 24 women’s players at even-par 144.

Uihlein, who went 4-0 in the Walker Cup Match this past September, was more matter-of-fact when asked what the difference between Day 1 and Day 2, saying: “I made no bogeys today, 16 pars and two birdies. It was one of those days where I missed a lot of birdie putts but I made a lot of pars.”

Although young, the players are keeping it all in perspective and realize that this international team championship is just halfway complete.

Korda said: “This shows that we can still do this but there are still two days left.”

Uihlein proffered the advice of keeping the grind on high tensile strength.

“We still have two rounds to go but how many shots did we make up on Argentina?” Uihlein said. “They are a good team. It shows how hard a four-man competition is.”

Story written by Pete Kowalski, manager of championship communications for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at pkowalski@usga.org


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