GOLF : Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell maintained Ireland’s lead at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at three shots after carding a battling four-under-par 68 in Friday’s foursomes.
Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell maintained Ireland’s lead at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at three shots after carding a battling four-under-par 68 in Friday’s foursomes.
Ireland lit the course up in Thursday’s fourballs and looked on course for a commanding lead after moving five shots clear of the field at the turn, picking up two birdies and an eagle in the testing alternate shot format.
But the duo failed to add to their total on the way home with a late brace of birdies needed to wipe out an ugly double-bogey to progress to 18-under-par overall and maintain their strong position.
Defending champions Sweden, meanwhile, charged ominously into contention.
Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson combined to shoot the only bogey-free round as a seven-under-par 65 moved last year’s winners into second place following late back-to-back birdies.
Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari sit third a further shot off the pace after a 66 with Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita and Ryuji Imada (71) fourth at 11 under and Wales (68) and Venezuela (67) a further shot adrift.
England’s Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher sit tied for ninth alongside South Africa, India and New Zealand after a 70 but are nine shots off the pace with Martin Kaymer’s Germany (71) a further two back and a Sergio Garcia led Spain (71) languishing at four under par ahead of only Scotland, Brazil and Pakistan.