McIlroy and McDowell two behind Australia in World Cup golf
Haikou (China): Hot favourites and Major champions, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell of Ireland were two shots behind the Australian pair of Brendan Jones and Richard Green at the end of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup`s first round on Thursday.
McIlroy and McDowell are tied for second alongside Scotland represented by Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird.
Jones and Green combined superbly to sign for an opening 11-under 61 to take the first round lead. The Irish duo posted a 63 to stay two back.
Americans Matt Kucher and Gary Woodland returned with a 64 to share the fourth place with the Dutch pair of Robert-Jan Derksen and Joost Luiten at the biennial event held at the magnificent Mission Hills Resort in Hainan Island.
Thailand together with Japan and Korea emerged as the leading Asian countries by taking a share of 10th place with six other countries on 66.
The Australians made a strong start when they birdied two of their opening three holes before adding another two on the seventh and eighth holes to turn in 32.
The duo then eagled the par-five 12th before storming ahead with a flurry of birdies on the 14th, 15th and 17th holes and posting another eagle-two on the par-four 16th to set themselves up well for the second round.