VILAMOURA, Portugal – Ricardo Gonzalez and Angel Cabrera played as if they were in a world of their own.

Coming from last place after the first round, the Argentine pair beat wind, light rain and chilly weather to shoot a 61 Friday, a World Cup record in foursomes.

“I don’t know if they played a different set of tees than we did, or what,” U.S. team member Stewart Cink said. “But they made it look easy.”

Argentina’s 11-under round – six shots better than anyone else – left it at 129, one shot behind leaders England, Sweden and Wales.

“I thought somebody had made a mistake. It’s incredible,” Ireland’s Padraig Harrington said after his team’s 69.

The Swedish pair of Henrik Stenson and Niclas Fasth shot 67, as did the Welsh team of Bradley Dredge and Stephen Dodd.

The previous low-round in foursomes, or alternate shot, in the World Cup was 62, set by Vijay Singh and Dinesh Chand of Fiji in 2002.

England’s Luke Donald and David Howell, who led after the first round with a 59 on Thursday in fourball – or better ball – managed only a 69 at the Victoria Clube de Golfe on Portugal’s southern Algarve coast.

“Quite unbelievable,” Fasth said of Argentina’s round. “I guess this tournament has never seen a foursomes like that before.”

Howell compared Argentina’s score to England’s round in light winds and sunshine on Thursday.

“Well that’s a miraculous round, it outdoes our 59 for sure,” he said.

With only one ball in play, foursomes is more difficult than fourball, in which each golfer plays his own ball.

Though the World Cup is a stroke-play event, rounds are played alternating between the match-play format of fourball and foursomes. The event completes the World Golf Championships season.

The American team of Zach Johnson and Cink shot 70 for a 135.

Asked to explain the turnaround, both Argentines called on golf axioms – good putting and hitting fairways.

“We played exactly the same as we did yesterday, but today the ball went in and it didn’t yesterday,” Gonzalez said.

Cabrera said being calm didn’t hurt.

“We were hitting the ball very close today,” he said. “Yesterday, I think we got a bit desperate when we saw that things didn’t go our way.”

Argentina also shares the World Cup record for the lowest round in fourball, shooting 57 in the 2000 World Cup in Buenos Aires.

Gonzalez and Cabrera picked up nine birdies, and added an eagle on the 588-yard 17th hole. They played with Portugal, and completed their round several hours before the leaders finished.

Cabrera’s 14-year-old son – a 5-handicap golfer, also named Angel – caddied for his father.

“My boy gives me a few tips from time to time, but I don’t listen to him,” the elder Cabrera said. “He asked me if he could caddie for me at some tournament, and I thought maybe the World Cup would be the best day to do that.”

The rain Friday was welcome to everyone but the golfers as parts of Portugal are facing water shortages from a long drought. Tournament officials moved up Saturday’s starting time several hours, hoping to beat rain and high winds predicted for the afternoon. The forecast is similar for Sunday.

AP-ES-11-18-05 1454EST

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