Belgium take charge at World Cup of Golf

The Belgian duo of Thomas Pieters and Thomas Detry will hold a commanding five-shot lead going into the final round of the World Cup of Golf after a dominant performance in Melbourne on Saturday.

Three birdies and an eagle three at nine saw them reach the turn in 31 during the four-ball (better ball) format, and they remained blemish-free on the way back in, four more birdies following as the pair posted a nine-under 63 to reach 19 under for the event.

Pieters and Detry had shared the half-way lead at the Metropolitan Golf Club on Friday, together with An Byeong-hun and Kim Si-woo.

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.

Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, representing the event’s hosts Australia, carded a seven-under 65 to share fifth with Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren and Alexander Bjork, as well as English pair Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter, all at 13 under.

They are followed by another three-way tie for eighth place at 11 under, consisting of Canada’s Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, Irish pair Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne and Scotland’s Russell Knox and Martin Laird.

The defending champions, Danes Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen, are well off the pace at 10 under, and will join the rest of the field in hoping for significant slip ups from Belgium to avoid Sunday’s final round becoming a procession.