Australia out in front

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Australia have upstaged the stars heading down the closing stretch of Thursday’s first round of the Omega World Cup.

Australia have upstaged the stars heading down the closing stretch of Thursday’s first round of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.

Journeymen Richard Green and Brendan Jones had rocketed Australia into the lead at 8-under after 15 holes with only Sweden’s Robert Karlson and Alexander Noren of the top pre-tournament favourites, on their heels.

Sweden, after 16 holes, were a shot behind second-placed Denmark, two shots off the pace at 2-under.

Thailand, best of the Asians, were a further shot back at 5-under after 16 holes in a tie with Wales, Colombia and France, but World No 2 Rory McIlroy and fellow US Open winner Graeme McDowell of Ireland were way back at 4-under after eight holes and South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, the reigning Masters champion, and Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, were tied with big guns USA, England and Spain at 3-under after 12 holes.

Germany’s 2010 PGA Champion, Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka, were even lower down the leaderboard at 1-under after seven holes.

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