Americans Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley made their Thanksgiving Day celebrations taste that little bit sweeter by capturing the first round lead in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup with an 11 under par 61 in the opening series of fourballs at Mission Hills Golf Club.
There wasn’t any turkey in sight to make the occasion more memorable, but the United States pair served up a feast of outstanding golf over the Olazábal course to take a one stroke lead over defending champions Germany and no fewer than six nations.
It all makes for an exciting and invigorating concoction at the top of the leaderboard going into the second round foursomes, when the alternate shot format tends to separate the men from the boys.
A month ago, Weekley was hunting for deer when he received the call to represent his country and in turn placed the phone call to invite long-time buddy, Slocum, to be his running mate at Mission Hills.
In the first round, the Americans went hunting for creatures of a different variety and were amply rewarded with seven birdies and two eagles on a day when the fourball format and glorious weather conspired to produce some breathtaking shot-making.
England’s Ian Poulter certainly underlined the point when he chipped in for an eagle at the ninth and holed a short putt for another eagle at he 11th as he and Justin Rose shot an opening 63 to join Finland, Wales, South Africa, Scotland and Thailand on 63, one behind Germany.
The defending champions, represented this time by the experienced Alex Cejka and 2007 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, Martin Kaymer, carried on where Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem left off in Barbados in 2006.
Meanwhile Weekley and Slocum shot down the myth that the United States are fielding a weakened side this week in China. Slocum said: “It was fun out there watching Boo play very well. I hit a few good shots but to be honest I was cheering him a lot.”
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