Playing foursomes (alternate shot), the home team carded one eagle and five birdies to offset a double-bogey at the first. For the second straight day, the Argentines matched the Kiwis score; Thursday it was a 57, this time both teams posted a 5-under-par 67.
At 20-under through two rounds at the Buenos Aires Golf Club, Argentina and New Zealand lead the American duo of Tiger Woods and David Duval by two shots.
Once again, Duval did the yeoman's work. As he did on Day 1, Duval carried Woods to a 7-under-par 65. With a putter hotter than the South American sun, the world's fourth-ranked player rolled in putt after putt on the back nine to keep the defending champions in contention for a repeat.
Thursday, the Argentines birdied their first six holes using the better-ball format. Friday, playing alternate shot, Romero and Cabrera were 1-over over that same stretch.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Argentines silenced their fans with a double-bogey 6 on the first hole. Following four consecutive pars, Romero and Cabrera picked up their first birdie of the day at the par-5 6th, and then added another birdie at the 7th.
The host country closed their front nine with a Romero chip-in for eagle at the par-5 9th. Cabrera then followed suit with a chip-in of his own at the par-4 12th. The unexpected birdie gave the Argentines their first solo-lead of the day at 19-under-par.
A birdie at the par-5 14th moved the Argentines to 20-under, where they finished after carding four straight pars to end the round.
While Romero and Cabrera weren't able to post a red number down the stretch, they did manage a spectacular par at the 17th. Hitting his second shot to the par-5 penultimate hole, Cabrera hooked his approach into the water left of the green. In danger of dropping at least one shot, Romero calmly pitched to within four feet of the cup, a distance from which Cabrera easily coaxed in the par save.
'We got off to a dreadful start,' Romero said, 'but we got better and better and we finished the day in good position. The eagle at the 9th was what got us going.'
New Zealand was in charge throughout most of the second round. Nobilo and Turner birdied the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 9th holes for a front-nine 32. A bogey at the par-4 10th was their lone blemish, as the Kiwis recorded six pars and a pair of birdies over their final eight holes.
Following a sluggish start, the Americans heated up once Duval's flatstick caught fire. Duval recorded a tremendous par save at the 11th, and then rolled in birdie putts at the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th holes.
'I just had to get the ball on the flat surface and he would make the putts,' Woods said. 'It was that easy.'
The format will revert back to four-ball for Saturday's play. Argentina and New Zealand will play in the final group, while the Americans will be paired with a disappointed Australian team of Lucas Parsons and Peter O'Malley.
The Aussies were tied with the Yanks at 18-under entering the home hole, where Parsons hit his tee shot into the drink. A double-bogey ensued, dropping the Australians, who shot 70, four off the mid-way lead at 16-under.