Great Danes extend World Cup lead as McDowell and Lowry finish strong

Irish duo birdied four of their last eight holes to get five under, nine shots off the leaders

Denmark remained on course for a first ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf title as Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen extended their lead to four shots on day three in Melbourne.

The pair had fired a brilliant 60 in the fourballs on Friday and while they were 10 shots worse than that in the round-three foursomes, they were still able to get to 14 under and open up a commanding advantage over the United States.

Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker equalled the low round of the day with a 69 containing five birdies and two bogeys and they will head out in the final group on Sunday looking to win a 25th title for their country.

Ashun Wu and Li Haotong of China recovered from three dropped shots in their opening two holes to sign for a 72 and sit at nine under, two clear of France, Japan and Spain.

Denmark dropped their first shot in 25 holes as they failed to get up and down from a bunker on the third but they bounced back straight back with birdies on the fourth and fifth, and further gains on the eighth and 10th had them six shots ahead.

A ragged Olesen tee shot on the 11th led to a dropped shot but a birdie followed on the 13th before a three-putt bogey on the 17th gave the rest of the field a glimmer of hope going into the final fourballs.

“We showed yesterday that a really low score is possible out there in the fourballs,” Olesen told a press conference.

“It’s definitely not going to be easy tomorrow. There are a lot of great players here and a lot of birdies out there. It’s a four-shot lead, which is really nice, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Kjeldsen added: “I think the quality of play again today was very high and we need to keep that going. As Thorbjorn says, a lot of birdies will be made tomorrow so we’ve got to try and make those birdies.”

Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell birdied four of their last eight holes to get five under for Ireland, three shots clear of the English pair of Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan, who dropped six shots from the 11th in a 77.

Russell Knox and Duncan Stewart of Scotland were then a further shot back after a 72.

Leaderboard:

1. (Denmark) - S. Kjeldsen / T. Olesen -14

2. (United States) R. Fowler / J. Walker -10

3. (China) Wu A. / Li H. -9

T4. (Japan) H. Matsuyama / R. Ishikawa -7

T4. (France) V. Dubuisson / R. Langasque -7

T4. (Spain) R. Cabrera Bello / J. Rahm -7

7. (Italy) F. Molinari / M. Manassero -6

T8. (Ireland) S. Lowry / G. McDowell -5

T8. (New Zealand) D. Lee / R. Fox -5

T8. (Sweden) A. Noren / D. Lingmerth -5

T11. (Canada) D. Hearn / A. Hadwin -4

T11. (Belgium) T. Pieters / N. Colsaerts -4

T11. (Australia) A. Scott / M. Leishman -4

T11. (Austria) B. Wiesberger / M. Wiegele -4

T15. (South Africa) J. Van Zyl / G. Coetzee -3

T15. (Chinese Taipei) C. Pan / Chan S. -3

T15. (Portugal) R. Gouveia / J. Lima -2

T15. (Netherlands) J. Luiten / D. van Driel -2

T15. (England) C. Wood / A. Sullivan -2

T20. (Germany) A. Cejka / S. Jaeger -1

T20. (Scotland) R. Knox / D. Stewart -1

T20. (India) S. Chawrasia / S. Chikkarangappa -1

23. (Thailand) T. Jaidee / K. Aphibarnrat E

24. (Malaysia) D. Chia / N. Fung 1

25. (Colombia) J. Vegas / J. Vegas 2

26. (South Korea ) B. An / K. Kim 3

27. (Wales) B. Dredge / S. Manley 4

28. (Philippines) M. Tabuena / A. Que 5