Fowler, Walker in mix without their best golf

For Jimmy Walker, following Friday’s second round at Kingston Heath, the conclusion was simple.

“We just didn’t make enough birdies today,” the reigning PGA champion said after he and partner Rickie Fowler posted a best-ball 67 at the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf.

As difficult as it was to score during Day 1’s alternate-shot format, the second round’s switch to best ball provided a valuable opportunity, and the U.S. failed to take full advantage.

While other teams went low, Walker and Fowler proved unable to beat the day’s scoring average of 66.6. As a result, they find themselves five shots behind Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen, who lead the World Cup by three after a second-round 60.

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While the American duo would have liked to go lower on Friday, Fowler seemed optimistic after the round about his and Walker’s place on the leaderboard through two days.

“A few more [birdies] would have been nice to go into the weekend with, but we’ve done a good job with what we’ve had,” he said. “We haven’t had any of our best golf yet, or anything close to it, so we’ll get our run here very soon.”

Saturday’s return to the alternate-shot format might very well provide the U.S. an opportunity to get back in the hunt ahead of Sunday’s final round. Fowler and Walker were one of only six duos to break par amidst windy conditions on Thursday.

Asked if the return to foursomes would give the U.S. a chance to make a move, Fowler agreed that it could, before adding, “But as you can see, you can also make a move in best ball as well, shooting 12 under.

“But yeah, tomorrow can definitely separate some guys at the top and a few shots back. If we go out and play a solid round of golf, it can do us a lot of good heading into Sunday.”