A 68 from Rory McIlroy and a 68 from Graeme McDowell lifted Ireland to rank alongside Australia at the head of the World Cup leaderboard on Day Two of play.
The Northern Irishman opened the day two shots behind Australia, producing six birdies and two bogeys in the alternate shot format at the Mission Hills Resort on Hainan Island in China, to move level with Richard Green and Brendon Jones, who posted a 70.
"Today was good," McIlroy said. "Both of us are very pleased about the score that we ended up shooting today. Anything in the 60s in the foursomes format is a very reasonable score out there. There is still a lot of golf to be played this week so it will be nice to get out there tomorrow again and enjoy the fourballs and be aggressive and make a few more birdies. We are very pleased with how today went and we are looking forward to the weekend."
"Alternate shot is a very difficult format. Rory really putted well today, which kept things together," said McDowell. "I've struggled a little bit on the greens the last couple of days but I was happy the way I swung the club in general today again and Rory is playing lovely. We are very, very happy with that performance today, four under par in this format is a pretty good effort."
Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher for Scotland, missed their share of the lead by one shot, while New Zealand, Spain and the United States are tied for fourth on 10 under following rounds of 68, 69 and 70. England are on nine under following a 69.