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Australia, England and Korea Early Leaders at World Cup

Smith's excellent putting played a key role in Australia's fine play
That the three sides tied for the lead on day one of the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf in Melbourne came from the afternoon group of tee times tells the story of a Metropolitan Golf Club that played fair to all throughout the day.

Coolish temperatures, relatively gentle breezes, soft underfoot conditions and a beautifully presented layout all played their role in allowing not only the leaders to record rounds of 10 under par 62 but for another 16 of the 28 sides in the field to produce rounds of 66 or lower in the better-ball format.

Australia kept their fans waiting until the very end before they drew level with South Korea and England who had finished in the previous two groups.

Cameron Smith holed a 9 foot birdie putt at the 18th to complete a round of 62 for he and Marc Leishman and tomorrow they will get the chance in the alternate shot format (foursomes) to advance their cause.

"I mean it's day one,"said Leishman attempting to put a lid on expectation. "I think it was important for us to get off to a good start. You don't want to be fighting back the whole tournament and even though the scores were good out there today it wasn't that easy. 

"Cam had his putter going today which was great and we combined pretty well and that's what you have to do in that format."

Si Woo Kim

In this event the leaders after day one play in the last few groups on day two and so the leading sides will again have to face the afternoon conditions but if today was anything to go by then it should be no real disadvantage.

The Korean side of Ben An and Si Woo Kim looked a formidable one before the event and so it proved while the English pairing of Ryder Cuppers Ian Poulter and Tyrell Tratton will have their fans over the final 54 holes.  

Ian Poulter

Malaysia had set the early lead today with Ben Leong and the long hitting Gavin Green taking the lead when they finished their rounds more than three hours ahead of the leaders. They had been out in the first group of the day and when they walked from the course it appeared their effort would be a hard one to emulate, never mind beat.

Also at 9 under and one off the pace as play would up were the defending champions Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark, who two years ago won the event at nearby Kingston Heath, along with the Belgium side of Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters.

The American side of Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley are tied for 13th at 6 under and their capacity to dovetail successfully in tomorrow's foursomes will be of interest.

 

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