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Three-way showdown for World Cup title

Henrik Stenson, left, and Robert Karlsson are seeking to defend their World Cup title for Sweden.
Henrik Stenson, left, and Robert Karlsson are seeking to defend their World Cup title for Sweden.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defending champions Sweden and Italy cut Ireland's lead to one shot at World Cup
  • Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell card a eight-under-par 64 in the third round
  • Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari fire a flawless, 11-birdie 61 to be 25-under
  • Defending champions Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson of Sweden shoot 62
RELATED TOPICS
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Graeme McDowell
  • Ireland
  • Henrik Stenson
  • Robert Karlsson
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Golf

(CNN) -- Defending champions Sweden and Italy have trimmed Ireland's lead to just one shot going into Sunday's final round of golf's World Cup teams event in China.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have been at the top of the leaderboard since the end of the first round, but saw their halfway lead cut from three strokes after Saturday's fourballs.

The Irish duo carded a bogey-free, eight-under-par 64 to be at 26-under after 54 holes, but the Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari fired a flawless, 11-birdie 61 to cut the deficit.

And Swedes Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, who have yet to drop a shot this week, shot 62 to set up a three-way final-day showdown at the Mission Hills club.

Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita and Ryuji Imada (64) and South Africa's Rory Sabbatini and Richard Sterne (62) are tied for fourth, six shots behind the leaders ahead of the alternate shot foursomes.

McIlroy, who has taken the chance to bounce back after his disappointment of losing the Race To Dubai title in the final week of the European Tour season, was confident that Ireland could complete a wire-to-wire victory.

"It was still a productive day. We had a three-shot lead going out and it is now down to a one-shot lead, but we still very positive going into tomorrow," the world No. 10 told reporters.

"The holes that we played well, we both seemed to play well, and that doesn't work very well in fourball, but we both played well.

Barring any disasters in the foursomes, I can't see anyone but the top three teams winning
--Graeme McDowell

"We probably left a few shots out there, but we are still in a great position going into tomorrow and we are still very positive."

McDowell ruled out a charge from other nations outside the top three, even with the strong English pairing of Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher lurking on 18-under tied for sixth with Wales.

"It seems to be a three-horse race, so barring any disasters in the foursomes, I can't see anyone but the top three teams winning," said McDowell, who finished 16th last year with Paul McGinley.

"We are both playing well and both playing with a lot of confidence, but we just didn't get the ball on the green today.

"We both played well on the same holes and didn't help each other out as we did on Thursday, but generally we both put the ball in play and both played well and we are both looking forward to tomorrow."