#TeamCHN fights back to stay in hunt #WorldCupofGolf

Sat 26 Nov 2016

#TeamCHN fights back to stay in hunt #WorldCupofGolf

  • SHARE
Melbourne, Australia, November 26: Team China overcame a disastrous start to salvage a level par 72 in the third round’s foursomes session at the US$8 million ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf and stayed within striking touch of leader Denmark on Saturday.
Wu Ashun and Li Haotong stumbled with a double bogey and bogey in their opening two holes at Kingston Heath Golf Club before recovering courageously with birdies on four, five and 11 to end the day in third place on nine-under-par 207, some five shots behind the dynamic Danish duo of Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen who returned a 70.
The United States pairing of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler carded a solid 69 to force their way into Sunday’s final pairing but trail by four shots in their bid to deliver a 25th World Cup of Golf victory for their country.
Thorbjorn Olesen. Thorbjorn Olesen.
Japan’s rising son Hideki Matsuyama, the world number six, produced a 71 alongside partner Ryo Ishikawa in the more difficult alternate shot format to share fourth position with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Jon Rahm, and French duo Victor Dubuisson and Romain Langasque.
The 31-year-old Wu, a double winner on the European Tour, was delighted he and Li fought back following their stuttering start in the final match of the day with Denmark.
“We had some trouble from the beginning but we played very good after that,” Wu said. “We talked a bit and said ‘let's go, new tournament right now, new hole right now.’ Nothing can be worse after two holes. We still had a lot of holes, a lot of chances and we played simple golf and made some birdies.”
Li, winner of his national Open this season, added: “It was very good to recover like that.  We had a horrible start. I had so many bad shots and I’m glad my partner played very well and very stable. That's why we still shot even par. We need to do some work (tomorrow).”
With Kjeldsen and Olesen dovetailing superbly all week, the Chinese duo know they face an uphill task in their bid to make World Cup of Golf history as China has never won the prestigious team event. Li was born in 1995, the year China hosted its first World Cup of Golf.
“For sure it's attack in our mind (tomorrow) because there’s nothing to lose. We’re already behind by a lot shots, so we just play and make birdies. I think we can do that,” said Wu.
"We talked a bit and said ‘let's go, new tournament right now, new hole right now.’ Nothing can be worse after two holes. We still had a lot of holes, a lot of chances and we played simple golf and made some birdies.” - Wu Ashun

The slender Li reckons being in the penultimate group on Sunday would ease the pressure on them as they seek to reel in Team Denmark. “It's going to be way less pressure. I’ve already played six weeks in a row and my body is real tired. I’ll just keep it simple and try my best,” he said.
“I think it's a really big lead actually, especially for fourball because everybody is going to shoot low. We will try.”
Kjeldsen, with five international victories under his belt, was pleased with his team’s solid play which saw them register five birdies against two dropped shots. “I think we played really well for three days, with today no exception. Obviously it's a different format and I think the quality of play again was very high and we need to keep that going. As Thorbjorn says, a lot of birdies will be made tomorrow so we've got to try and make those birdies,” said the 41-year-old.
Rickie Fowler. Rickie Fowler.
On the back of a recent win at the Turkish Airlines Open, 27-year-old Olesen was hopeful of hoisting the World Cup. He said: “We showed yesterday that a really low score is possible out there in the fourball.  I had a seven-shot lead in Turkey and it got down to one very quickly, so I know how quick this game can go sometimes. It's definitely not going to be easy tomorrow.  There’re a lot of great players here and a lot of birdies out there.  It's a four-shot lead, which is really nice, but it's not going to be easy.
Walker, who lifted his first Major title at the PGA Championship this year, was delighted he and Fowler produced the joint low round of the day with five birdies against two bogeys at Kingston Heath.
“Seemed like Rickie hit pretty much every approach shot and I had all the putts and I got some putts to go in in the middle of the round and we just kept playing solid with some really good pars and it was a nice finish,” said the 37-year-old Walker, who holds six wins on the PGA Tour.
Fowler added: “We gave ourselves a chance. It's going to take some good golf and some birdies obviously, but it will be nice being in that final group to know exactly where we stand.”
Leading third round scores
202: Denmark (Søren KJELDSEN/Thorbjørn OLESEN) 72-60-70
206: USA (Rickie FOWLER/Jimmy WALKER) 70-67-69
207: China (WU Ashun/LI Haotong) 70-65-72
209: France (Victor DUBUISSON/Romain LANGASQUE) 70-67-72, Spain (Rafa CABRERA BELLO/Jon RAHM) 69-67-73, Japan (Hideki MATSUYAMA/Ryo ISHIKAWA) 73-65-71
210: Italy (Francesco MOLINARI/Matteo MANASSERO) 71-66-73
211: Sweden (Alex NOREN/David LINGMERTH) 72-66-73, Ireland (Shane LOWRY/Graeme MCDOWELL) 72-69-70, New Zealand (Danny LEE/Ryan FOX) 75-64-72
About ISPS HANDA
ISPS, the International Sports Promotion Society, is a charitable organization that promotes sports, such as golf, polo and rowing, in a belief that sports and sporting platforms can help achieve world peace. It also supports blind golf as its founder and chairman Haruhisa Handa, dubbed the father of blind golf in Japan, is the first person in Japan to establish a blind golf club, which is now called the Japan Blind Golf Association.
Dr Handa also serves as founder and chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, or IFAC, a nonprofit organization established to promote social welfare activities through music and art events. IFAC is title sponsor to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour, one of the most celebrated events in the arts calendar in Australia and internationally, which takes place between the end of March and the end of April every year.
About Melbourne, Victoria
Voted the world’s most livable city for the past six years, Melbourne is a leader in staging international sporting and cultural events, with its super-friendly people ready to welcome World Cup of Golf visitors. The city is famed for its laneways and cafe culture, known as Australia's coffee capital, and is home to vibrant arts, music and fashion scenes. Melbourne's food credentials are attracting global attention and the city is the gateway to Victoria, including 21 wine regions, the stunning Great Ocean Road scenic drive and abundant native Australian wildlife. Victoria's landscapes offer everything from international surf beaches, islands and coastal experiences to Alpine mountain ranges and inland lakes. Victoria is also a popular destination for domestic and international golfing.
Media assistance is available for World Cup media wishing to develop destination related content, research locations for outside broadcasts, interview local personalities and access rights free footage. Please contact destinationpr@tourism.vic.gov.au with any requests. Destination information is also available at www.visitmelbourne.com
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its six-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2016 return of the World Cup of Golf to Melbourne and a new Sandbelt region course in historic Kingston Heath Golf Club.