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Host Country Shares World Cup Lead

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Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera gave the Argentine fans plenty to cheer about Thursday afternoon. The tandem combined to shoot a 15-under-par 57 in the better-ball format to tie New Zealand for the lead after Day 1 of the WGC-EMC World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
 
Playing alongside the heavily favored American team of Tiger Woods and David Duval, Romero and Cabrera recorded 15 birdies at the Buenos Aires Golf Club. Meanwhile, the U.S. struggled early, before rallying for an 11-under-par 61.
 
The team of Greg Turner and Frank Nobilo was the first to post 15-under. One-under through their first three holes, the Kiwis played holes four through 17 in 14-under. Nobilo and Turner teamed for 13 birdies and an eagle at the par-5 14th, courtesy Nobilo.
 
Nobilo and Turner are no strangers to each other. According to the latter, the two have played competitively together since 'the mid-80s.'
 
Two years ago, Turner and Nobilo teamed on three occasions for the victorious International squad at the Presidents Cup. The two recorded a pair of victories, both coming in the alternate-shot format, which will be on tap for Friday's play.
 
'I haven't shot 57 very often,' Turner said with a smile. 'It's the perfect start.'
 
Added Nobilo: 'It was fun out there - for a change.'
 
Nobilo is certainly due for happier times. Since winning his only PGA Tour event, the 1997 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic, the 40-year-old Nobilo has finished the last three seasons 108th, 155th and 152nd on the money list.
 
Though he was forced to make the trip to the PGA Tour Q-School - which concluded this Monday, Nobilo passed the test, finishing tied for 18th, thus reclaiming his 2001 Tour card.
 
Aside from the Venezuelan team of Miguel Martinez and Cipriano Castro, who played in the same group with the Kiwis, less than a handful of people witnessed New Zealand's remarkable 57.
 
That's because everyone was watching the day's final foursome.
 
An exuberant throng of Argentines followed their countrymen throughout their 18 holes of competition with the vaunted Americans.
 
While the U.S. got off to a frosty start, the Argentines birdied each of their first six holes, and ten of their first 11. Following a par at the 12th, Romero and Cabrera combined for five straight birdies beginning at the 13th to tie New Zealand at the top.
 
'We were very nervous on the first tee with all the cameras and all the noise, but we made a birdie there and others followed and that really calmed us down,' Romero said.
 
'But this was just the first round and I do not think the tournament has really started yet.'
 
The U.S. relied heavily on the play of David Duval on Thursday. The fourth-ranked player in the world kick-started the American's round with an eagle at the par-5 6th, and then added another eagle at the par-5 14th.
 
Following a disappointing par 5 at the 17th, a hole where Tiger hit his tee shot out of bounds, Duval dropped in a 30-foot birdie from off the green at the par-4 18th to close to within four of the first-round lead.
 
'I only helped David out on about one hole today and that was about it,' said a frustrated Woods.
 
Australia stands in third place entering Day-Two foursomes. The duo of Peter O'Malley and Lucas Parsons recorded nine birdies, three eagles and a lone bogey. That bogey came at the 18th.
 
All three eagles came on par 5s. For the day, the Awesome Aussies played the four par 5s in 7-under-par.
 
'You have to score well on the par 5s and we did that,' said O'Malley with an air of understatement.
 
This is the second time Buenos Aires has hosted a World Cup. The first time came in 1970. The winner? The Australian team of David Graham and Bruce Devlin.
 
Argentina won the first World Cup in 1953.

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