On­slaught puts Den­mark in World Cup driv­ing seat

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


A sur­prise on­slaught from Den­mark odd cou­ple Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen and Soren Kjeld­sen blew the World Cup of Golf wide open yes­ter­day dur­ing a high­scor­ing se­cond round of four­ball play in Mel­bourne. Sev­eral teams made sig­nif­i­cant moves at Kingston Heath, but none big­ger than the Dan­ish duo, who pro­duced a sen­sa­tional 12-un­der par 60 to rocket to the top of the leader­board at 12-un­der over­all-three clear of China and four ahead of Spain. Ole­sen ad­mit­ted he thought about the pos­si­bil­ity of scor­ing an elu­sive 59 as the pair drilled eight birdies and two ea­gles to stun the gal­leries, a blitz that in­cluded a 139-me­tre hole out from Kjeld­sen on the par four third.

The younger Ole­sen was the star, con­tribut­ing six birdies and an ea­gle, but the ac­cu­rate ball strik­ing of world No.45 Kjeld­sen play­ing first al­lowed his part­ner, ranked 67, the free­dom to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties in cold and windy con­di­tions. Kjeld­sen said the pair com­ple­mented each other. “Thor­b­jorn’s very flashy, he hits very far off the tee and over­all he’s just got an amaz­ing game,” the 41-year-old said of his 26-year-old coun­try­man. “Whereas my­self, I’m sort of like a train-I just arrive on time but with­out too much of the flashy stuff.” Kjeld­sen added that he could play around Kingston Heath for the “rest of his life”, por­tray­ing the in­fin­ity he has quickly de­vel­oped with the course.

“This is my kind of golf,” the four-time Euro­pean Tour win­ner said. “You don’t just get up and whack it as hard as you can. You have to think your way around.” As the for­mat switches back to the more dif­fi­cult “four­somes” (where play­ers hit the same ball tak­ing al­ter­nate shots) to­day, Den­mark will be joined in the last group out by the event’s other sur­prise pack­age-China duo Li Hao­tong and Wu Ashun. The Chi­nese have be­come fan fa­vorites this week cour­tesy of their en­er­getic “ch­est-bump­ing” cel­e­bra­tions, and there was plenty to be ex­cited about as they fol­lowed up their im­pres­sive 70 on Thurs­day with a seven-un­der 65.

Overnight lead­ers Spain kept their ti­tle pur­suit on track with Rafa Cabr­era Bello and Jon Rahm pro­duc­ing a five­un­der round of 67, while Amer­i­can pre-tour­na­ment fa­vorites Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker en­sured they would be a fac­tor over the week­end by card­ing their own 67. Eng­land and Italy were the other big movers on day two, each post­ing rounds of 66 to move to seven-un­der and equal with the US and France, who con­jured a five­un­der round of 65. New Zealand (64), Nether­lands (64) Ja­pan (65), Tai­wan (65) Scot­land (65), Swe­den (66), In­dia (66), Thai­land (66), Wales (66) and South Africa (66) all had rounds of six-un­der or bet­ter to ei­ther cat­a­pult up the leader­board, or make amends for a poor show­ing in the four­somes. — AFP

MEL­BOURNE: Den­mark’s Thor­b­jorn Ole­sen plays from a fair­way bunker dur­ing his match at the World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia yes­ter­day. — AP

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