Ireland moves 2 clear at World Cup of Golf
Haikou, China – The Irish team of Rory McIlroy and Graeme under 64 Saturday as they took a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the World Cup of Golf.
McIlroy and McDowell completed 54 holes at 21-under-par 195. The duo will look to give Ireland its first World Cup title since 1997, when Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington won the title over Scotland.
Germany's Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka fired an 11-under 61 to jump into a share of second place at minus-19. They were joined there by South Africa and the United States.
Major champions Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel also had a 61 for South Africa, while Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland shot nine-under 63 for the U.S.
Australia, which had at least a piece of the lead after the first two rounds, slipped into fifth place. Brendon Jones and Richard Green managed a five-under 67 to end three rounds at 18-under-par 198 at Mission Hills Golf Club.
Saturday's action was fourballs, while Sunday's final round will switch back to foursomes play, which was also used in round two.
The Irish duo did most of their damage in the first 11 holes. They birdied the second and third to join Australia in the lead at 15-under.
McDowell birdied the par-three fifth and he followed with birdies on six and seven to give Ireland a one-stroke lead over the Germans at 18-under.
After the German team moved in front, McIlroy birdied the 10th to forge a tie and McDowell followed with a birdie on No. 11 to give Ireland the lead back.
They parred the next four holes before a birdie on 16 moved Ireland two clear of the field at 21-under. The duo parred the final two holes.
The Germans opened with back-to-back pars, which was the only time they went more than two holes without a birdie. They birdied the third and fourth, then ran off four consecutive birdies from the sixth to briefly grab a share of the lead at 14-under.
Cejka birdied the 11th before Kaymer birdied 12 and 13 to push Germany to minus-16. After a birdie on 14, Kaymer birdied the 16th from four feet out. Cejka chipped in for birdie on 17 to get the Germans to 19-under. They closed with a par.
The South Africans were just two-under after six holes, but they posted nine birdies over the last 12 holes.
The Americans birdied the first, but gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the second. They birdied five in a row from the fourth. The duo slowed with birdies at 10 and 13, before back-to-back birdies from the 16th gave them a share of second place.
NOTES: Italy's Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, the defending champions, combined for an eight-under 64, which left them tied for seventh at minus-16...The United States was the last country to repeat as Tiger Woods paired with Mark O'Meara to win in 1999 and David Duval to win the 2000 title...Scotland's Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher carded a three-under 69 Saturday, which was the worst round of the day...There are 28 teams competing this week.