Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry are well off the pace at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne today after rounds of one-over and four-over respectively. The Ireland pairing ended up in 16th place in the team standings after the first round. McDowell had enjoyed one of the shots of the day, holing a long-range chip for an eagle on the par-four ninth, but stumbled with double-bogeys on the sixth and 18th. Meanwhile, American Kevin Streelman bogeyed two of his last three holes to fall back into a share of a one-stroke lead on five under with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn after the first round of the $8m tournament. Streelman, a late choice to represent the defending champion United States team, had torn up Royal Melbourne's back nine with five birdies in six holes but dropped shots on the tricky 16th and 18th to card a 66 and join Bjorn on five-under. The pair finished a stroke ahead of Welshman Stuart Manley, South Korea's K.J. Choi and Scotland's Martin Laird.
The tournament's format has been changed from being solely a team event to primarily an individual one with a team component. Sixty players are competing for individual honours while 26 two-player teams are competing for the team prize. Having given themselves every chance of winning the individual trophy, Streelman and European Tour journeyman Bjorn also put their nations in the box seat for team honours. Streelman and Kuchar's combined score of five-under left the United States level with Denmark's Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen (71), three strokes ahead of Portugal's Jose-Filipa Lima (71) and Ricardo Santos (69).