Belgium, Korea survive wild weather at ISPS Handa World Cup
November 23, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Teams Belgium and Korea share two-shot lead at ISPS Handa
MELBOURNE, Australia – Notes and observations from the second round of the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf where teams played the Foursomes format in wet and windy conditions.
WEATHER A PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: The temperature dropped, the winds lifted and the rain came down but while most teams went backward in Round 2 it was Belgium and Korea who withstood the tough test.
Foursomes, or alternate shot, is hard enough but when the Melbourne weather turned wild it became a beast at Metropolitan Golf Club.
Temperatures hovered around 56 degrees with cold winds at a steady 20 miles per hour with heavier gusts.
Only four of the 28 teams even managed an under-par round, with Greece showing how bad it could get after a 15-over 87.
The Belgium team of Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry held firm with a 1-under 71 to move to 10 under for the tournament where they are joined by Korea.
Former PLAYERS champion Si Woo Kim and Byeong Hun An shot even-par 72.
“It was really fricking tough out there,” Pieters said.
His partner was expecting to be called off the course early.
“To be honest, I didn't think we would finish today. Waking up this morning and getting here, it was just like horizontal rain,” Detry said.
“So wind got up, wind didn't drop, so it was just a tough day all around.”
Korea were able to offset three bogeys with three birdies.
“It was chaos,” An admitted.
“It was a cold day, so it was like just trying to hold on.”
Italy (71) shares third at 8 under alongside India (72), Malaysia (73) and England (74).
Poulter's bunker water save & Si Woo's woes
Shot of the Day
Ian Poulter's bunker shot for Shot of the Day
USA: Hopes of adding to the USA’s stellar World Cup record might be over after Matt Kuchar and Kyle Stanley struggled to a 7-over 79 to be 1 over and tied 21st -- some 11 shots back.
AUSTRALIA: The home nation looked set to be heading toward an uphill battle before a late rally saved some face. A 4-over 76 dropped them to 6 under overall but close enough with 36 holes still to play. At one stage they sat seven shots back thanks to a pair of costly double bogeys before a run of three straight birdies resurrected their hopes.
“It was pretty brutal. You know when it's like this in Melbourne it's going to be tough, especially on a golf course like this,” Marc Leishman said.
“Obviously not the start we were after, but I think to put a positive light on the day, we kind of fought back there at the end.”
ENGLAND: Overnight co-leaders Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton scratched out a 2-over 74 to move to 8 under and into a tie for third. Both vented some frustrations as Hatton smashed a tee box marker at the 10th with his driver after a wild shot while Poulter believed conditions were borderline and made it known post round.
"The (tee markers) are very fragile, obviously that wasn't a great moment," Hatton said of his outburst.
“We all got finished, so I guess it was playable. We didn't have any balls blow on the green, which I think if you look at it was a good thing, otherwise we probably would have stopped,” Poulter added.
QUOTABLESThere's a phrase I would use, but I probably wouldn't use it on camera.It's fun, it's fun. That's why we're here, for this kind of experience.The drainage is phenomenal. I thought it was going to be just absolutely unplayable and it was good. There's a little bit of puddles here and there, but the fairways are phenomenal. The golf course can take a lot of rain.We never say sorry when we hit a bad shot and I think that helps.