Unknown Australian pair ready to shock the World
Sunday 30 November 2008
Brendan Jones is hoping victory in the World Cup with his team-mate Richard Green here today might bring the pair some attention back home in Australia. The unheralded partnership shot a nine-under-par 63 yesterday to draw level with Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal, four shots clear of the rest of the 28-team field.
With the Australian Masters also taking place in Melbourne this weekend, Jones and Green's impressive performance has passed almost unnoticed in their home country. "I saw an article that had 'Green and James' coming second in the World Cup, so they don't even know who I am," Jones laughed.
"We have got something to prove to the press back home, that we might not be the most famous of the Australian players but we are backing our ability. We are in a good position, and who knows, we might get a line on the fifth-back page in the papers."
Jones has played mostly in Japan in recent years and the left-hander Green on the European Tour, so their relative anonymity is not entirely surprising. If they manage to win the $5.5 million (£3.6m) tournament today, however, they would join the likes of Peter Thomson and Wayne Grady in claiming the trophy for Australia.
"We both go out there and play our own games and do as good as we can for Australia, and that's what it's all about," said Green. "We both feel very proud to represent Australia."
They will again be playing with the higher-profile Spaniards in the last grouping in the final-round foursomes, and will be hoping Jimenez and Larrazabal are unable to get anywhere near the superb 63 they cardedin Friday's alternate-shot play.
"In regards to Spain replicating that round of golf, I personally doubt it," said Green, twice a winner on the European Tour. "It's going to be a bit tougher, a lot more pressure to win the tournament, and a good score is going to be anything in the 60s."
Ross Fisher hailed his World Cup debut as "fantastic" despite seeing England's challenge dissipate after disappointing performances over the first two rounds. Fisher and his team-mate Ian Poulter arrived in Shenzhen in buoyant mood last week, confident they could mastermind a first World Cup win for England since 2004, when Paul Casey and Luke Donald took home the trophy.
That started to look a tall task when they stuttered to a two-over 74 in the foursomes that left England way off the pace. However, Fisher and Poulter were in fine form yesterday as they shot a nine-under-par 63, combining for 10 birdies, with Fisher weighing in with seven. England are 12 shots behind Spain and Australia but Fisher,28, insisted he was pleased with his maiden World Cup appearance, stressing he is keen to end it on a high with another good performance in the final round. "It's been absolutely fantastic," he said. "It's been an absolute pleasure playing with Poulter and I thank him a lot for choosing me. It's just been great fun.
"We have obviously come out here with high expectations, and obviouslywe came out to win. Maybe we came out with too strong a goal. Maybe we just should have come out to enjoy the week, because it kind of felt like we suffered the first two days."
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