ST. JAMES, Barbados – Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry have dined at some great restaurants on this trip to Barbados, gotten some relaxation time in with their wives, even have enjoyed a few stretches of balmy tropical weather.

It’s the golf that hasn’t been to their liking.

Cink and Henry face a big weekend challenge if they’re to claim the 24th World Cup title for the United States. The American duo shot a 2-over 73 on Friday, falling to 3-under for the tournament – eight shots behind Argentina’s team of Andres Romero and Angel Cabrera. The U.S. capped the foursomes, or alternate shot, round by making four bogeys in the final seven holes, including consecutive ones on Nos. 17 and 18.

“We didn’t really make any putts on the front nine and I don’t think either of us felt that good over any of our putts,” Cink said. “So we started pressing a little bit. … It just wasn’t that good of a day overall. I feel like we shot about as bad as we could have shot.”

Romero and Cabrera have a much different feeling.

Seeking their nation’s first win in the event since its start in 1953, Romero and Cabrera extended their streak of bogey-free holes to 35. They made bogey on the first hole Thursday, then have put together 12 birdies and 23 pars since to draw clear of the field in the final World Golf Championships event of the season.

“We are very happy,” Cabrera said. “We played very solid and without mistakes. We’re very happy and we want to keep it like this.”

Scotland’s team of Colin Montgomerie – playing World Cup for the first time since 1999 – and Marc Warren had four birdies in a five-hole span on the front to move up, before closing with a bogey at the par-3 18th and settling for a second straight 67, putting the Scots in a three-way tie for second with Sweden (70) and Germany (69).

Spain’s team of Gonzalo Fernandez and Miguel Angel Jimenez shot the round of the day, a 5-under 66 to move to 7-under and take a share of fifth place with South Africa (71). England birdied four of its final five holes to get to 6-under, one shot ahead of Mexico and two up on Italy and South Korea.

“It was a good finish,” England’s Luke Donald said. “And that at least got us thinking about winning again.”

The U.S. is still thinking about winning, too – but knows its move almost certainly must come Saturday in fourball. The teams from 24 nations finish with another foursomes round Sunday when the $1.4 million winner’s share will be awarded.

“If both of us play up to the way we expect to play, we’re going to sprinkle some birdies around the golf course,” Cink said.

Lonard takes lead at Australian PGA

COOLUM, Australia – Peter Lonard shot a 7-under-par 65 Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Australian PGA golf championship.

The Australian, who won the tournament in 2002 and 2004, stormed to the lead with a faultless second round which included seven birdies and was at 11-under 133.

Lonard’s run up the leaderboard included four straight birdies on the back nine, as he took the lead ahead of countrymen Nathan Green, Wade Ormsby, Paul Gow and Rod Pampling – all at 10-under.

“I was struggling a bit early,” Lonard said. “It wasn’t the same contact as I had yesterday but toward the end I started to feel comfortable over the ball again.

“That chip-in (on 11) helped and I made a good putt on the next. After that they kept going in thankfully.”

Green, who tied for third at last year’s tournament, had nine birdies in an 8-under 64, the best round of the day. The winner of last week’s New Zealand Open said his stroke play remained strong.

Gow also had a 65 one day after opening with a 69. Ormsby carded a 66 with five straight birdies between the second and sixth holes.

Australia’s Peter O’Malley (69), the early second-round leader, finished the day tied for sixth place with Nick O’Hern (69) at 9 under.

Adam Scott, ranked No. 4 in the world, had a 67 and was in tied for 21st place at 5 under.

AP-ES-12-08-06 0451EST


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