Spain duo lead World Cup of Golf with opening round of 69

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The Spain team of Rafael Cabrera Bello and Jon Rahim hold a one-shot lead after the opening round of the World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath on Thursday.

Bello birdied the final hole to secure a 69 and move one clear of Americans Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker, French duo Victor Dubuisson and Romain Langasque and China pair Wu Ashun and Li Haotong.

The Spaniards carded three birdies and one eagle in total despite the difficult windy conditions in Melbourne, with Bello's final putt hovering over the hole for what seemed an eternity before the ball dropped in to put them three-under-par.

Fowler and Walker recovered from slow starts to hit three straight birdies on the back nine and stay in touching distance, while the Chinese duo also finished on 70 thanks to a spectacular birdie on the 18th.

Home favourites Adam Scott and Marc Leishman could only manage a two-over-par 74, however, as the wind played havoc with their attempts to find the green in the early stages.

Watched on by Socceroos great Tim Cahill, the Australian pair missed a par putt on the 18th to fall five shots off the pace.

The tournament is a 72-hole stroke-play event, with the 28 two-man teams playing alternate-shot foursomes on Thursday and Saturday and best-ball fourballs on Friday and Sunday.