Irish dynamos Rory McIlroy and  Graeme McDowell carded a second-round four-under 68 at the $7.5-million World Cup to ease into tied first place with pace-setters Australia yesterday.

Rory McIlroy

World No 2 McIlroy and 2010 US Open champion McDowell shot six birdies and two bogeys during the challenging foursomes alternate shot format on the muggy southern Chinese island of Hainan. "We struggled to find our rhythm a little bit on the front nine. Rory putted really well today, which kept things together," said McDowell.

Current US Open champion McIlroy added: "I think both of us are very pleased about the score today. Anything in the 60s in the foursomes format is a very reasonable score."