Thursday, November 22, 2018

England joint leaders, Scots T20 after first 

day of Melbourne World Cup

Melbourne, November 22: Ben Leong and Gavin Green flew the Malaysian flag high at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf as they signed for an opening nine-under-par 63 to trail by one shot after the first round’s four-ball format on Thursday.
The duo, playing in the World Cup of Golf for the first time, credited their strong teamwork for a strong start as they combined for two eagles and five birdies at The Metropolitan Golf Club in the 28-nation team competition.
Green, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, took advantage of his booming drives to nail an eagle on the par-five seventh hole before adding three birdies on holes 10, 13 and 18.
Leong, a one-time Asian Tour winner, overcame a nervy start by contributing an eagle on the par five ninth hole, as well as two birdies on the sixth and 14th holes. He had opened with a double-bogey and a bogey while Green made pars to steady the Malaysian team.
Byeonghun An and Siwoo Kim of South Korea emerged as the highest-ranked Asian team after signing for a 62 to share the lead with Team England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter, as well as Team Australia of Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith.
Green and Leong sit in fourth place alongside Team Belgium (Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry) and Team Denmark (Thorbjørn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen), who won the first World Cup of Golf for their country, also in Melbourne, two years ago.
The Malaysian duo is part of the six Asian nations in the field hoping to hoist the famous trophy at the US$7 million event, won previously by many legends of the games. They will play alongside Team Australia in the Foursomes (alternate shot) format on Friday.

Scots Martin Laird and Russell Knox ended the first day in a share of 20th place after shooting a 67.

Players’ quotes:
It was great, besides the first hole. Having Gavin beside me really calmed me down definitely. It's been great. I guess we did really well today, we timed it really well. The holes he made par, I made birdie. The holes I made bogey, he made par. It's been a great day.
It’s not going to change much for the foursomes tomorrow, I think. Gavin's going to go odd, so we'll see how it goes.  It depends on the weather as well.  
I've played in Perth earlier this year. It's similar, but not quite. I mean, it's great over here. It's great coming back to Australia.
I made an eagle on the par-five nine. I had about 230 yards into the green and I hit a three‑wood there and managed to put it on the green and I made the putt from about 20 feet.
Another highlight of our round was on the eighth hole when Gavin made that 25‑footer for par. That helped to keep the momentum going. Par's a very good score out there really, given the windy conditions today.
We just try to make things easy for each other out there.
Gavin Green (Malaysia)
It was good team golf really. I think it was just solid all around. Started off strong, gave ourselves a couple of looks but didn't drop. Obviously, it started to drop in the middle of the round, so we just kind of stayed patient really. 
The wind was just all over the place, that was the tough part of it today. The last hole I changed clubs because Ben said, you know what, it's a little too much. I clubbed down and it came out perfectly. 
It's a great team golf.  Like he said, the holes I birdied, he didn't birdie, so we always had alternate holes, which we did well on and it is a good thing especially in this format.  We just kind of kept it going, kept it rolling. 
Hit a bunch of fairways, hit a bunch of greens and made some putts, some pretty big putts, so it was huge. I think we both hit fades, so it's easy to see the kind of shots we see.  We got along well and I think it was good. 
He's a little shorter than me and I'm a little longer, so it's always nice to have that little combination on some holes.  I hit 2‑iron, driver or 3‑wood.  I think it's a good thing.  We're looking forward to the next few days. We just want to have fun and do the best we can.
It’s my first time playing a sandbelt course. It's like a mixture of inland golf and links golf. It's a bit of everything in one, which is kind of cool, I think.  I've never seen a golf course like this with that shape of bunkers and how firm it is on the greens but not so much on the fairways. 
If you're in some of those bunkers, you're dead, you have no chance. You kind of have to really, really think that first bounce is kind of big and make sure you're not reaching the other bunker. There are so many bunkers around that you kind of have to be careful. 
The eagle I made on the seventh hole, I hit a big drive and only need a 54-degree for my second shot, hit it to about three feet and made the putt.
We just kept the round going. Some par-threes are just so tough. They're all into the wind and you can't control it. It's all over the place and you just don't know what to do sometimes. Walking away with par, we'll take it every day. Overall, it was a fun day

FIRST ROUND SCOREBOARD

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