US snatch World Cup lead

The USA have reeled in and overtaken overnight leaders Ireland midway through Sunday’s final round of the World Cup.

The United States had reeled in and overtaken overnight leaders Ireland midway through Sunday’s final round of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.

Playing faultless golf, Matt Kuchar, one of his country’s highest ranked golfers, and fast-rising rookie Gary Woodland, his partner, had birdied four of the first nine holes and moved into a two- shot lead at the turn after Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, this year’s and last year’s US Open champions, had matched their two birdies with two bogies in a spluttering, see-saw front nine.

The Irish team, who led by two after moving Saturday’s betterball fourballs, never looked as comfortable as the Americans in Sunday’s final round of alternative-shot foursomes, but they did manage to grab back a share of the lead when they birdied the 10th and the Americans made their first mistake of the day when they found sand at the 11th and failed to get up and down for par.

But Ireland didn’t stay on top for long.

The tournament favourites and runners up to Italy last year, made a third bogey at 12 while the US made their 5th birdie there and the two-shot swing saw the Americans edge clear again.

At 23-under Kuchar and Woodland were now a shot clear of Ireland and two in front of Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka and a charging Ian Poulter and Justin Rose of England who had moved up into contention with a spectacular run of eight birdies.

South Africa, on the other hand, were having an unhappy day of foursome and after moving into second place on Saturday with an 11-under 61, had inexplicably taken a tumble and at one-over for the day, were floundering in 9th place at 18-under with little chance of adding to South Africa’s haul of half a dozen World Cup titles.

Also on the move at this stage were Wales who were 5-under for the day after 14 holes and had moved into joint 5th place with Australia at 20-under.

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