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Cabrera-Bello delighted with start to World Cup

(Photo by Mark Runnacles / Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Runnacles / Getty Images)

Rafael Cabrera-Bello was pleased with the performance on day one of the ISPS Handa World Cup as Spain opened up a one-shot lead.

Cabrera-Bello has teamed up with Jon Rahm, who only turned professional this year, for the European Tour event taking place at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne.

The duo gelled nicely together across the first day and managed to post an impressive three-under-par 69 in tricky conditions to build a slender one-stroke advantage.

A bogey at the fourth didn’t help the two Spaniard’s in the early stages but an eagle at the eighth – the only one recorded out of all the groups – followed by birdies at the 12th and 18th got them back on track.

Cabrera-Bello, who was one of Europe’s rare positives at the 2016 Ryder Cup, was delighted with how the team played and says they are rightfully sitting top of the pile.

“It was tough and tricky with the wind but Jon played great, I rolled some putts and hit some good shots as well,” he said. “It’s a score we’re proud of and also a score we deserve.

“Obviously we planned a strategy which had me hitting more tee-shots. He hit a couple of great shots, rolled some putts in and that’s pretty much what we needed.

“It wasn’t so much about hitting great shots, it was about avoiding mistakes and we did that perfectly.”

American duo Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker are in a three-way tie for second alongside China and France on -2 after all three pairings carded rounds of 70.

Englishmen Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan are then joined on -1 by the Italian duo of Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero whilst Ireland, Sweden and Denmark are a further stroke back on level-par.

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