ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf: Key Takeaways From Day 2
With day two of the action all wrapped up at the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf, what are the key storylines so far?
After tough conditions made for a tough day’s scoring to open up the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf in the foursomes format on Thursday, the Friday fourballs would have left many in the field eager to go low.
As with all four day, no-cut events, if ever there was a sense of everyone still being in contention after day one, the Australian Open’s second round proved it.
While those who had previously sat towards the very end of the field like the Scottish team of Russell Knox and Duncan Stewart shot an impressive 65 to get themselves back into red numbers, the real low scores were still reserved for those at the top of the leaderboard.
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Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen played a stunning round of golf that’s unlikely to be matched for the rest of the tournament, helping them to emerge as the 36 hole leaders by a three-shot margin.
Solid play from the Chinese, Spanish, English, Italians, Swedes and more lying just behind means that the outcome of the World Cup remains wide open heading into the weekend too.
What were the key takeaways from the second day’s play at Kingston Heath, though? Let’s take a closer look.
Danes Seize Control With Outstanding 60
Although fourballs provide a much better opportunity for scoring than foursomes in team golf, I’m not quite convinced that anyone believed a round as low as the one achieved by the Danish team on Friday was truly in play in Melbourne this week.
After a steady level par 72 in tough conditions on Thursday, Thorbjorn Olesen and Soren Kjeldsen wasted no time in making up ground on the leaders when they returned to action on Friday.
A round that included two eagles and eight birdies, including five straight to start the back nine, saw the Danish pair coast around the course in 60 strokes. If not for a few average approach shots down the stretch, it could very easily have been a 59 too.
Chinese Well Placed
While Kjeldsen and Olesen were grabbing headlines with the flashier golf at the top of the leaderboard, the Chinese team of Li Haotong and Wu Ashun built steadily on their opening round’s play.
A two-under 70 had left the Chinese in good position to begin with entering the second round, but with some steady, error-free golf they were able to kick on with one of the better rounds of the day on Friday too.
Seven birdies and no bogeys amounted to a 65 for Li and Wu on day two, and now heading into the weekend in Melbourne they will have to be feeling pretty confident about their place on the leaderboard.
Japanese Make Their Move
One of the pre-tournament favorites heading into this week, it was a surprise to many when Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa opened up their week with a one-over par round of 73. Luckily for that Japanese duo, they bounced back in a big way on Friday.
Matsuyama has been in excellent form in Asia of late, and although Ishikawa has struggled to live up to the potential he once promised, as a duo they played some great golf on Friday to pull themselves back into contention.
The Japanese duo rolled off seven birdies with no bogeys to work against them, en route to a 65 that catapulted them back into the top-10.
ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf – Day 2 Leaderboard
1 – Olesen/Kjeldsen – 60 (-12)
2 – Li/Wu – 65 (-9)
3 – Cabrera Bello/Rahm – 67 (-8)
T4 – Wood/Sullivan – 66 (-7)
T4 – Manassero/Molinari – 66 (-7)
T4 – Fowler/Walker – 67 (-7)
T4 – Dubuisson/Langasque – 67 (-7)
T8 – Matsuyama/Ishikawa – 65 (-6)
T8 – Noren/Lingmerth – 66 (-6)
Check back with us tomorrow as we’ll have all the key takeaways heading into the final round of the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf.
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