Ireland taking no one for granted

Ireland say they will not make the mistake of underestimating anyone during the final two rounds of the World Cup.

Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell say they will not make the mistake of underestimating anyone during the final two rounds of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.

They made this clear after reeling in and tying overnight leaders Australia for the 36-hole lead in Friday’s second round alternative-shot foursomes.

Richard Green and Brendan Jones had taken Australia into the second round with a two-shot lead, but two bogeys over the final four holes left them with a 70 and tied on 13-under with Ireland, who carded a highly creditable four-under 68 in overcast conditions on the Blackstone course at the Mission Hills Resort in China

“I’m not surprised to see Australia sharing the lead with us because every nation in this field has the chance of victory, so we will not be treating the Australians any less different to any of the other 26 nations,” McIlroy said.

McDowell said he had great respect for the two men who are representing Australia, even though they are not as highly ranked as compatriots like Adam Scott and Jason Day who preferred to play in the Australian PGA this week

“Richard Green is a multiple winner on tour and we’ve played with Brendan many times. He has a lot of Majors and World Golf Championship experience,” McDowell added.

“He plays most of his golf in Japan and has won many times over there so like Rory said, we will be showing the Aussies every respect and there is also Scotland just one behind and looking at the board, and with two rounds to play, there’s 18 nations separated by just five shots,” he added.

“Among those are the United States, Spain and New Zealand who just three behind and at nine under there’s England and Holland, with Joost (Luiten) in the team, who is in good form after winning last week.

“Today, I struggled somewhat on the greens but overall I am happy with the way I am swinging the club in general and Rory is still playing lovely.”

Ireland is looking to win the World Cup for only a second time in the 55 editions of this $7.5 million event, whereas Australia have had success four times, with the last being in 1989.