Behind McCloskey (67), Lee (70), Americans now tied for fifth after 54 holes September 28, 2012 By Pete Kowalski

Erynne Lee helped lead a USA surge in the third round of the Women's World Amateur Team Championship with a 2-under 70 on Gloria Golf Club's Old Course. (Steve Gibbons/IGF)

Antalya, Turkey – On moving day at the 2012 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship, the USA surged.

The Americans, who started the third round in a tie for 16th, moved into a share of fifth place after playing the Old Course at Gloria Golf Club.

With a 5-under-par 67 from Lisa McCloskey and a 2-under 70 from Erynne Lee, the USA shot a 137 – the second-lowest third-round score in Espirito Santo history – in the three-count-two format.

McCloskey, who completed her eligibility at the University of Southern California last spring, had six birdies against one bogey, Lee, a sophomore at UCLA and a semifinalist at this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur, made four birdies and two bogeys. Austin Ernst, the third USA golfer, shot a non-counting 76 with what she called some “putting troubles.” Ernst said: “I hit 16 greens and four-putted once.”

Going into Sunday’s final round, the USA trails the Republic of Korea (11-under 421) by seven strokes. Korea is looking to become the first back-to-back Espirito Santo Trophy winner since the USA accomplished the feat in 1988 and 1990.

New Zealand, behind world No. 1-ranked amateur Lydia Ko, sits in second position at 6-under 426. Canada and Australia sit another stroke back in a tie for third, followed by the USA and Spain at 428.

“I am quite thrilled we are getting to the form that I expected from them earlier in the week,” said USA captain Carol Semple Thompson. “Fortunately, they came crashing through today.”

Added McCloskey: “Everything went well. I only missed two greens and my putting was good. I made every putt from about 10 feet.”

After beginning the day 11 strokes behind 36-hole leader Korea, the USA made arguably the strongest move of the day. The USA will be vying for its 20th medal in the 25 playings of the Espirito Santo competition.

“They all are well experienced and they know their games so I am not to tell them how to play,” Semple Thompson added.

Ernst said nothing will change in the team’s preparation for the final 18 holes.

“You can’t change because you are in contention you still have to go out and play well,” she said. “The New Course is more scoreable, so there will be some low scores.”

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