Spain leads World Cup of Golf as Aussies struggle at blustery Kingston Heath

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Australia’s Marc Leishman and Adam Scott struggled to click on the opening day of the 2016 World Cup of Golf.

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Swirling winds and firm greens saw Kingston Heath bare its teeth on day one of the World Cup of Golf.

The Australian team of Marc Leishman and Adam Scott only managed to make one birdie to sit five shots behind Spain, who jumped into the lead courtesy of a dramatic birdie from Rafa Cabrero-Bello on the 18th hole.

“That was a fun putt because when I was seeing it, it looked like I couldn’t miss and then all of a sudden it could really miss and I don’t know how it came back,” said Cabrera-Bello after the round.

After five-time Open Championship winner and two-time World Cup of Golf champion Peter Thomson was honoured on the first tee, the Australians struggled to find their rhythm in the testing conditions.

Adam Scott and Marc Leishman didn’t manage to make a birdie in the alternate shot format for the opening day, until Adam Scott finally canned a birdie at Kingston Heat’s famous par-3 15th hole.

The American pairing of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler took their time to also adjust to the alternate shot format.

After a rocky start that saw Team USA card a three-putt bogey on the opening hole, Walker got things going by holing out from the green-side bunker at the par-4 13th hole.

When the 2016 US PGA winner followed it up by holing a slippery putt at the 14th, and giving Fowler a great look at birdie at the 15th, the Americans had three-consecutive birdies on the card and found themselves in the outright lead.

But a bogey at the 16th dropped them back to 2-under par, and finish in a tie for second place alongside teams France and China.