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Spain blazes way to commanding four-shot lead

Posted by aguntuk On November - 28 - 2008   
Spanish matchplay superstar Miguel Angel Jimenez found some chemistry with World Cup rookie Pablo Larrazabal in the second round.

Spanish matchplay superstar Miguel Angel Jimenez found some chemistry with World Cup rookie Pablo Larrazabal in the second round.

Superb Spain take World Cup lead.

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal gave Spain a four-shot lead after day two at the World Cup of Golf, shooting a surprising 9-under 63 on Friday in the difficult foursomes (alternate-shot) format.

Hitting alternate shots in the foursomes in China, the duo carded a superb nine-under round of 63 to haul themselves above Germany and Australia.

Spain has shot a 17-under 127 through 36 holes. Australia (68) and Germany (69) were in second place behind Spain, which opened on Thursday with a 64, playing the easier fourball (best-ball) format.

Sweden (67), was five back, and the United States (69) and Ireland (68) were six off the pace.

The sensational round should give the Spanish a strong chance to win the event, which usually goes to the team that plays best in foursomes, where scores are typically higher. Saturday returns to fourball with foursomes on Sunday.

Scotland’s title defence faltered after a 73 that leaves them 17th. England are tied for 19th and Wales in last place.

“That’s a great round for foursomes, but tomorrow will be another day,” said 25-year-old Larrazabal, the 2008 European Tour Rookie of the Year.

The Spanish picked up seven strokes on the front nine with five birdies and an eagle. They were 8-under after 10 holes and 9-under after 11. Jimenez had the hot hand early, making a 15-foot birdie on No. 2, and a 17-footer for eagle on No. 3.

Jimenez and Larrazabal seemed relaxed throughout the round, with Jimenez at times smoking his trademark cigar. “Foursomes, you know — it’s the kind of thing that is very sensitive,” Jimenez said. “You need to be nice and not competitive with your partner. That is what happened today. He hit it very nice from the tee, I put it in close and he holed the putt and vice versa.”

Spain has won the event four times, twice in 1976 and ’77 with Seve Ballesteros. Spain last won in 1984 with Jose Maria Canizares and Jose Rivero.

The German team, which led after the first round, only managed a 3-under 69 Friday to fall four shots back into a tie for second place.

The German team, which led after the first round, only managed a 3-under 69 Friday to fall four shots back into a tie for second place.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka, who were the overnight leaders after Thursday’s fourballs, carded a 68 to share second with Australia.

Scotland were 14 shots off the pace after Colin Montgomerie and Alastair Forsyth signed for a one-over-par 73.

England’s Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher combined for a 74, while Bradley Dredge and Richard Johnson stuttered to a five-over 77 to leave Wales propping up the leaderboard.

It’s been a great year for Spain. Its football team won the European championship, and, in tennis, Spain just won the Davis Cup — without the world’s No. 1 player Rafael Nadal.

Americans Ben Curtis and Brandt Snedeker got themselves back in the tournament with birdies on the last four holes.

“It was a great way to finish, otherwise it could have been an ugly day and it wasn’t,” Snedeker said. “We have a chance going into the weekend.”

International Federation of PGA Tours | Omega Mission Hills World Cup 2008

ROUND 2 Leaderboard
Leading Players
Friday, 28 November 2008

Round: 2Fri Nov 28

Pos.TeamTodayThruTo ParR1R2R3R4Total
1Spain-918-176463127
T2Germany-318-136269131
T2Australia-418-136368131
4Sweden-518-126567132
T5USA-318-116469133
T5Ireland-418-116568133
7Japan-418-106668134
8Canada-118-96471135
9Korea-218-66870138
T10PhilippinesE18-56772139
T10IndiaE18-56772139
T10Finland-218-56970139
T13Denmark318-46575140
T13New Zealand318-46575140
T13Portugal118-46773140
T13South Africa-218-47070140
17Scotland118-36873141
18Thailand118-26973142
T19Mexico518-16677143
T19Chile418-16776143
T19Chinese Taipei318-16875143
T19France318-16875143
T19England218-16974143
T19Italy118-17073143
25China318Par6975144
T26Guatemala418+16976145
T26Venezuela218+17174145
T28Wales518+26977146

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