Star-spangled buckles inspire American duo

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2007, 12:00am

They play as a team but they don't wear the same kit or colours. It may be the World Cup, but sponsor agreements come first for all the players.

England's Ian Poulter and Justin Rose may be the closest to a colour co-ordinated team, but the American pairing of Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum have an accessory which binds them - their belts in red, white and blue with USA buckles.

The pair belted up again yesterday to keep their one-stroke lead at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup as the men were sorted from the boys after a day of foursomes (alternate shot).

The US take the slender lead into today's third-round fourballs from England and Scotland (Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren), with South Africa (Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman) one stroke back in fourth at 12 under.

Weekley and Slocum showed off their matching belts - given to them by a friend and inscribed with their names. 'We both like wearing our own things, but we've got the belts, they match,' said Weekley.

They already have ties that bind - being good friends and the most famous sons of Milton, a redneck town of 25,000 people in Florida. The pair were not overly impressed with their three-under 69, which bodes badly for any team outside the top six.

'We weren't as crisp as we would like to have been,' said Slocum. 'This format is tough. It's hard to keep your rhythm.

'I think with us being friends we both know we are trying our hardest and you're not going to get upset with one another. But it's a fun format and we get to do it again on Sunday.'

It wasn't fun for the large galleries and the China team yesterday - one shot off the lead one minute and then gone the next, thanks to a triple bogey seven at the routine 12th hole which dropped them back to eight under.

Zhang Lianwei and Liang Wenchong preferred not to dwell on the disaster, hoping they can repair some of the damage today.

Leaders of the pack

Americans Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum lead by this many shots going into the third round: 1