Belgium take lead on third day of World Cup of Golf

Lahiri, Bhullar Slip on Third Day at World Cup

Lahiri, Bhullar Slip on Third Day at World Cup

Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry helped Belgium open up a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf.

A modest Detry had to be reminded by childhood friend Pieters that he led going into the final round at the 2016 Bridgestone event on the European Tour's secondary Challenge circuit. It was a light moment from Pieters and perhaps highlighted the ham and egg personalities of the two players and just why they are combining so well this week.

"We got off to a great start obviously and cooled off a bit on the back-9", Leishman said. "When I have played with him this week he seems to be a very enjoyable playing partner although I guess not much has gone wrong", referring to the fact that earlier this year Pieters had broken a club around his neck at the BMW PGA Championship.

"Belgium was clearly the best team all week".

Belgium shot 71 on Friday, tied for the low score of the day and one of only four scores under par, and shared the lead going into the third round.

But the South Korean partnership could only manage a four-under 68 on moving day, dropping them back into a three-way tie for second place at 14 under, alongside Italy's Andrea Pavan and Renato Paratore and Mexicans Abraham Ancer and Roberto Diaz.

Overnight co-leaders South Korea were nearly as impressive, with Kim Si Woo and An Byeong Hun combining for a 72, as only four teams in the 28-nation field scored under par. "We were superb on the second day and we'll do the same tomorrow".

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When bogeys are a fourball "no-no", the double-bogey threatened to derail the Italians, especially when they followed up with a closing bogey five on the 18. Their opening ten holes and that they were able to bounce back from that gut-wrenching disaster at 14 however will provide hope for tomorrow.

Australia, regarded as the strongest team in the competition, let a chance to move up the leaderboard slip after they shot six-under 30 on the front nine but had six pars to start the front nine before a birdie on 16. They were six strokes behind. "To be honest, I didn't think we would finish today. And we made some really good recovery shots out of bunkers to save par". But the back nine was set up extremely tough.

"It's not really something you put on the list, but when it happens, you qualify for it, you play for it, you play with your best mate and it's kind of a dream come true".

" We saw them at 19, 20 (under)".

"I thought it was just absolutely [going to be] probably unplayable, but it was good", Ancer said.

Australia's Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith pulled to within two strokes late in the round, thanks to holing out from the bunker for a birdie by Smith and a 12-foot par save on the next hole by Leishman.

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