Cameron Smith birdied the 18th to give Australia a share of the lead with England and South Korea on the opening day of the Golf World cup on Thursday.
They conquered the Metropolitan Golf Clun in Melbourne with 10-under par 62s in opening fourball action, which Malaysia, Belgium and defending champions Denmark a stroke further back.
The American pairing of Kyle Stanley and Matt Kuchar are four off the pace in a group of seven nations, including France and Japan.
Smith and partner Mark Leishman were among the favorites coming into the U$7 million tournament and they lived up to expectations in blustery conditions, although forecast storms held off.
“I think we just combined really well,” Smith said at the 28-team tournament.
“Leish was saying once one of us was in trouble, the other just had to hit the center of the green and give ourselves a birdie opportunity from 20 or 30 feet. we both played really well all day and just kept being smart.”
Nothing would make English Ryder Cup teammates Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton happier than spoiling the Australian party.
It looked like the rival sporting nations would be playing together in the second-round foursomes, but a late charge by the impressive South Korean team of An Byeong-hun and Kim Si-woo vaulted them into a share of the lead.
Australia will instead tee-off on Friday with Malaysian duo Gavin Green and Ben Leong, who combined for two needles and five birdies.
“It was good team golf really. I think it was just solid all around,” said Green.
“The holes I birdied, he didn’t birdie, so we always had alternate holes, which we did well on and it is a good thing, especially in this format.”
England sunk 10 birdies, and Poulter, a team event veteran, said it was crucial to do so in the fourball format to get into a good position.