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Presidents Cup: USA in control against Internationals

01 October, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Anirban Lahiri of India and the International Team plays a shot during practice rounds prior to the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City New Jersey

The United States Team continued to plow forward to victory with all the subtlety of a freight train, winning of three of the four foursome (alternate shot) matches Saturday over the International Team during the morning session of Day 3 at the 12th Presidents Cup, being contested at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. The Internationals attempted to rally, cutting the lead to 2 up through 13, but Johnson and Kuchar won the next two holes to win, 4 and 3, and give the USA a 10-2 lead.

"I'm pumped that we took that team down", Thomas said of Grace and Oosthuizen, who were undefeated in five team matches dating to the '15 Presidents Cup. On Day 1, Thomas - a five-time victor on the PGA Tour this season and the FedExCup champion - admitted to being nervous, but by the time he and partner Rickie Fowler wrapped up their match he'd emerged as the team's emotional spark.

The writing appeared to be on the wall when Australian Marc Leishman splashed the Internationals' first tee shot of the day into the water.

There are three things in this life that are certain: death, taxes, and the American team dominating the Presidents Cup.

Their match was all square on the 18th hole Friday.

Even on a day when Spieth and Reed weren't Spieth and Reed - with the US pair halving their match with Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin - the American team's commanding performance had some observers whispering about a potential 10-point rule.

In the fourth match of the day, rookies Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell - a captain's pick and the last automatic qualifier, respectively - put the first American flag on the scoreboard when they boat-raced Charl Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri, 6 and 5.

The Internationals were able to avoid a clean sweep, but they trail by nine points heading into the afternoon four-ball session, where they will likely need a clean sweep themselves to have a chance in Sunday's singles matches.

And world number one Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka pulled away on the back nine to beat Aussie Adam Scott and Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas 3 & 2. Stricker's dozen may not live up to that billing just yet, but they are closing in on something truly special.

The latter duo were ahead through two holes thanks to a birdie at the par-five second, but their opponents won five of the next seven to lead four-up at the turn.

FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas made a fine debut in the event as he and Rickie Fowler ran riot against Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama.

- Justin Thomas, on being the first US team to beat Oosthuizen and Grace.

The American pairing claimed their second victory in successive days in New Jersey to overcome the previously undefeated global duo.

But Reed then birdied the 15th, before Spieth birdied the following hole to bring the match all level.

Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, International, def. Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, United States, 3 and 1.

Saturday will see four foursomes matches and four four-ball clashes as the International Team look to begin their comeback.

A series of errors left the match all square going into the 18th hole, where Mickelson missed a short putt, leaving both teams with half a point.

The host nation now has an 11.5-2.5 lead with the afternoon four-ball matches scheduled to get underway shortly.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Thomas holed out from a bunker on No. 14 and wound up halving the hole when it looked as though the lead would be cut to 1 up. "It was one of those: 'Keep it in play and let's try and give ourselves close to up-and-down par or birdie putts, and the rest is just fight, fight till the end.' We knew it was crucial to get this one".

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