Date: November 24, 2007

Aussies off the pace

The Australian pairing of Nick O&aposHern and Nathan Green carded an even-par 72 to remain in the middle of the pack at the World Cup in China. They trail outright leaders Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum from the United States, who shot a three-under 69 to retain their lead at the halfway mark of the tournament. After a superb 61 on Thursday, the duo kept their noses in front with a solid performance on the Olazabal course at Mission Hills Golf Club in the more difficult foursomes round with five birdies and two bogeys. The USA, looking for a 24th World Cup victory, is a stroke ahead of England and Scotland while South Africa is a shot further behind on 12-under. “I thought we played solid today,” Weekley said. “We were not hitting it our best and we sure were not putting our best but other than that, we did keep it in front of us.” “We got it around the golf course at three under which was pretty impressive.” “Maybe we can excel tomorrow and play a little better than we did today and carry it on into Sunday&aposs final round.” Slocum echoed his team-mate&aposs sentiments, adding: “This is a hard format to play and I think we did a good job.” “We would have loved to have gone out and shot something really nice but at the same time we started the day ahead and finished the day ahead.” England&aposs Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had dislodged the USA at the top of the leaderboard midway through their round after an impressive run on the front nine, carding four birdies before adding another on the 10th. But they slipped to joint second after bogeying the 17th and ultimately end up with a respectable four-under 68. “I think the back nine just came down to missed opportunities around the par-fives,” said Rose. “Probably the nine, 11 and 15 we didn&apost get the ball up-and-down from around the green and that was probably the key to the round.” “Saying that, we did make a couple of nice saves on 12 and 13 to keep the momentum going at the time and I think all in all I am pretty happy.” Just three strokes behind the USA are defending champions Germany, Italy and Denmark. New Zealand&aposs Richard Lee and Stephen Scahill had a shocking five-over 77 to slip back to second-last in the 28-team field, just ahead of Colombia. Omega Mission Hills World Cup -14 United States 61 69 -13 England 63 68, Scotland 63 68 -12 South Africa 63 69 -11 Denmark 65 68, Italy 65 68, Germany 62 71 -10 Netherlands 65 69, Korea 65 69 -9 Argentina 65 70, France 64 71 -8 Sweden 66 70, China 65 71 -7 Finland 63 74 -6 Spain 67 71, Ireland 66 72, Australia (Australia) 66 72, Canada 66 72 -5 Paraguay 66 73, Austria 64 75, Thailand 63 76, Wales 63 76 -4 Japan 67 73, Philippines 67 73, India 65 75 -3 Puerto Rico 68 73 E New Zealand (New Zealand) 67 77 3 Colombia 68 79