University of Colorado junior Jeremy Paul improved upon his first round score and in the process helped his native Germany move up in the standings as the World Amateur Team Championships in Cancun reached the midway point here Thursday.

Australia assumed the team lead with a 267 (or minus-19) team score, using a pair of 66s to zoom into the lead by eight strokes over the United States (275, -11). Germany moved up 15 spots from 38th to 23rd in the event that features 71 competing countries

Paul fired a 2-under 69 for a 36-hole total of 141 (also 2-under), with teammate Hurly Long shooting a 68 to give Germany a 5-under 137 for the day and a 284 (2-under) for the event. He is tied for 37th individually, as Australia's Cameron Davis is the individual leader at 10-under 133.

Paul had four birdies and 12 pars against just two bogeys, which he scored back-to-back on Nos. 5 and 6; but he began his back nine with a 2 on a 200-yard par 3, and then closed with two birdies on his final three holes on the 6,988-yard, par-71 Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club course layout.