- Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell shoot 64 to Ireland a two-stroke lead
- They finished second at the last World Cup in 2009 despite leading after 54 holes
- Germany, the United States and South Africa tied for second at Mission Hills
- Hennie Otto takes a three-shot lead into final round of his home South African Open
Ireland will seek to win the World Cup of Golf for the first time since 1997 on Sunday after Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell earned a two-shot lead in China.
The Northern Irish duo, ranked second and 14th in the world, shot eight-under-par 64 in Saturday's third-round fourballs to be ahead of Germany, the United States and South Africa at Mission Hills on 21 under.
Two years ago they led by one shot after 54 holes, but ended up tied for second behind Italy's Edoardo and Francesco Molinari.
"We are right where we want to be going into tomorrow," McDowell told reporters. "There are some great teams up there, some great players.
"We are going to have to go and play well tomorrow but this is where we want to be. We are both playing lovely. I managed to heat my putter up today and make a few, and we are very excited looking forward to tomorrow."
McIlroy, who succeeded McDowell as U.S. Open champion this year, credited his teammate for giving Ireland the chance for a third victory at the event.
"We thought something similar to the first day was going to be a solid score and we ended up sort of coming one short of that," he said.
"But anything around eight, nine, 10 under par is a good score in that format, and I was just lucky enough that Graeme played very, very well today and holed a lot of great putts. I was a spectator for the majority of the round, but it was good."
Germany's former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer and Alex Cjeka matched the 61 carded by South Africa's 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen to also be on 19-under 197.
Kaymer is seeking to become the third player after Tiger Woods and Ernie Els to win a World Golf Championships individual event, a major championship and the World Cup.
The South Africans are bidding to win for a sixth time overall, and the first since 2003.
U.S. debutants Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland carded 63 to give the Americans hope of a first victory since 2000 and a record-extending 24th overall.
The Molinari brothers were tied for seventh with Mexico on 200 after a 64.
Meanwhile, Hennie Otto will take a three-shot lead into Sunday's final round of his home South African Open.
The 35-year-old, seeking his second European Tour victory, carded seven-under 65 on Saturday to be 14 under overall.
He is being chased by compatriots Retief Goosen (71), Garth Mulroy (70) and Thomas Aiken (68), who were tied for second with Sweden's Magnus A. Carlsson (66).