Ireland start well at World Cup; Dunne and Lowry two back

Ireland start well at World Cup; Dunne and Lowry two back
Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry with their caddies and The Coronas in Melbourne

Paul Dunne and Shane Lowry with their caddies and The Coronas in Melbourne

Shane Lowry once said he'd love to be a rock star — like Danny from The Script.

But he's also a fan Danny and Conor from The Coronas and he was beaming from ear to ear as he lined up alongside the band after they had watched him and Paul Dunne open with an eight under 64 to lie just two shots off the pace in the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf.

"Good start here in Melbourne for myself and @pauldunne11 Great to have @dannythecoronas and @conorthecoronas out watching. #paddiesontour 🇮🇪☘️"

Lowry and Dunne share seventh place alongside India's Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar heading into today's foursomes after they made birdies on the second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, ninth, 13th and 17th at The Metropolitan Golf Club.

England's Ryder Cup duo of Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton shot a bogey-free 62 to match Australia's Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith and South Koreans Byeong-hun An and Si Woo Kim at the top of the leaderboard.

Defending champions Søren Kjeldsen and Thorbjørn Olesen were a shot off the lead for Denmark alongside Belgian pair Thomas Detry and Thomas Pieters, and the Malaysian team of Gavin Green and Ben Leong.

Poulter has five wins from his six Ryder Cup appearances but he is still looking for a victory in his seventh World Cup, with Hatton making his debut.

"I think we're quite happy with that," said Poulter. "On a day like today you have to make some birdies. We made enough to get on the top of the board which is the main goal. We dovetailed nicely.

"Foursomes is a completely different game. This golf course will be a lot more difficult tomorrow."

Hatton added: "I was hitting the ball nicely, I just didn't seem to kind of get a rhythm today. So tomorrow's a new day and I can't really play much worse than I did the back nine, so hopefully I do a better job tomorrow. I need to do a better job tomorrow."

Ireland and India are a shot clear of Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and Venezuela.

Malaysia hit the first tee-shots of the day and made a slow start with five opening pars but they birdied the sixth and Green eagled the seventh from five feet before Leong holed a 15-footer for eagle on the ninth.

Another gain on the tenth then moved them to six under and they were in a three-way tie for the lead. Back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th moved them two shots ahead and when Green put his approach to the last to eight feet for a closing birdie, they were the team to catch.

It looked for a long time that they would hold the first-round lead alone but the later starters began to reel them in and it was Belgium who were first to share the lead.

They parred their first six holes but a hat-trick of birdies took them to the turn and another three in row from the 12th moved them further up the leaderboard. Another gain followed on the 16th and a Pieters gain on the 17th was backed up by Detry holing from ten feet on the last.

England would then be the first team into double-figures thanks to a remarkable back nine of their own.

They birdied the second and made the most of the par-five fourth, seventh and ninth - with the last birdie before the turn being the first of seven in eight holes as Poulter went on a birdie blitz.

He made a remarkable gain from the trees on the tenth and Hatton made an excellent gain of his own from the trees on the next.

Poulter holed a ten-footer on the 12th before the 13th was parred and the Ryder Cup talisman then put his third to tap-in range on the 14th and made putts of around ten feet on the 15th and 16th to edge his team ahead.

South Korea birdied the first and Kim chipped in at the fifth as his team picked up five shots in four holes with the help of an eagle on the seventh.

A bogey came on the ninth but was followed by birdies on the 11th, 13th, 14th and 16th, and Kim picked up another shot on the last to get into a share.

Australia were in the last group of the day and they birdied the third before Smith hit a stunning second into the fourth for an eagle.

More birdies followed on the sixth, seventh and ninth as the duo spread the workload and shots were picked up on the 13th and 14th before Smith finished with a flourish on the 16th and last.

The Danes birdied the first, third, fourth, fifth and seventh and Olesen spun his third to the ninth to close range to turn in 30. Kjeldsen then holed from eight feet on the 12th and 13th and Olesen made the most of the par-five 14th before the 16th was bogeyed and they finished with a birdie.

ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, The Metropolitan Golf Club (Par 72)

Detailed scores

62 AUSTRALIA (Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith), KOREA (Byeong Hun An, Si Woo Kim), ENGLAND (Tyrrell Hatton, Ian Poulter)

63 MALAYSIA (Gavin Kyle Green, Ben Leong), BELGIUM (Thomas Pieters, Thomas Detry), DENMARK (Thorbjorn Olesen, Soren Kjeldsen) -9

64 IRELAND (Shane Lowry, Paul Dunne), INDIA (Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar)

67 ITALY (Andrea Pavan, Renato Paratore), SWEDEN (Alexander Bjork, Joakim Lagergren), NEW ZEALAND (Ryan Fox, Mark Brown), VENEZUELA (Jhonattan Vegas, Joseph Naffah)

66 USA (Kyle Stanley, Matt Kuchar)…


10:35am Scott VINCENT / Benjamin FOLLETT-SMITH Zimbabwe; Stuart MANLEY / Bradley DREDGE Wales

10:45am Joost LUITEN / Daan HUIZING Netherlands; Martin KAYMER / Maximilian KIEFFER Germany

10:55am Adam HADWIN / Nick A TAYLOR Canada; Adrian OTAEGUI / Jorge CAMPILLO Spain

11:05am Kiradech APHIBARNRAT / Prom MEESAWAT Thailand; Abraham ANCER / Roberto DIAZ Mexico

11:15am Russell KNOX / Martin LAIRD Scotland; Kyle STANLEY / Matt KUCHAR USA

11:25am Haotong LI / Ashun WU China; Satoshi KODAIRA / Hideto TANIHARA Japan

11:35am Peter KARMIS / Alexander TRANACHER Greece; Dylan FRITTELLI / Erik VAN ROOYEN South Africa

11:45am Alexander LEVY / Mike LORENZO-VERA France; Mikko KORHONEN / Mikko ILONEN Finland

11:55am Jhonattan VEGAS / Joseph NAFFAH Venezuela; Ryan FOX / Mark BROWN New Zealand

12:05pm Alexander BJÖRK / Joakim LAGERGREN Sweden; Andrea PAVAN / Renato PARATORE Italy

12:15pm Anirban LAHIRI / Gaganjeet BHULLAR India; Shane LOWRY / Paul DUNNE Ireland

12:25pm Thorbjørn OLESEN / Søren KJELDSEN Denmark; Thomas PIETERS / Thomas DETRY Belgium

12:35pm Gavin GREEN / Ben LEONG Malaysia; Marc LEISHMAN / Cameron SMITH Australia

12:45pm 1 Tyrrell HATTON / Ian POULTER England; Byeong Hun AN / Si Woo KIM Korea