Norman looking for miracle

2011-11-19 12:26
Greg Norman (AP)

Melbourne - The Internationals face a Herculean task to prevent the United States from sealing their fourth successive Presidents Cup but captain Greg Norman backed his team to tear up the script in Sunday's singles.

The hosts must win nine of their 12 matches on Sunday after they finished Saturday's play trailing 13-9 after a wet and windy day at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

The Internationals edged the tourists in Saturday's final four-ball matches 3-2 but the damage was done earlier as their traditional Achilles heel in the foursomes came back to haunt them on a wet and windy day at Royal Melbourne.

"It could have been really close today, but you know, right now, we have got our backs against the wall, no question about it," Norman told reporters.

"You've got to believe that you can come back, win nine matches out of 12 to win this.

"I believe the guys can. I have not heard any grumblings or rumblings in the camp. All of the guys want to do is get warm, eat and go back to bed."

Norman's team trailed 12.5 to 9.5 going into the final day of the 2009 tournament in San Francisco but went down 19.5-14.5 as the U.S. took their sixth Cup from eight tournaments.

The Internationals would have to beat the United States's 1994 Cup effort when the Americans won the last day's singles 8-4 to clinch the inaugural trophy 20-12.

Norman has turned to Saturday's hero Kim Kyung-tae to get the Internationals off to a winning start against Webb Simpson after the South Korean calmly rolled in a six-foot putt on the 18th to upset Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson 1-up in their four-ball match.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel takes on Bubba Watson in the following match-up, while Australia's Aaron Baddeley will have the task of beating Tiger Woods in the second-last clash if the tournament comes down to the wire.

Fred Couples stands on the brink of a second straight Cup win and paid tribute to Nick Watney and Jim Furyk who withstood a late challenge from Adam Scott and Ernie Els to seal the final point in the four-ball matches, a dagger blow in the context of the tournament.

"We just finished an hour ago with Nick Watney and Furyk winning a huge point and we have not even had time to really sit down with them and tell them, you know, like Greg used the word 'proud'," Couples said.

"If I was a basketball coach and they played like this, I would probably get used to it. But when you only do this every two years and you watch them play in a downpour in 50-degree weather, and we needed those two points really bad and they got them for us.

"When we get back there, we will get the old guys, as we did get a couple of guys on the team bus to tell them, this isn't far from over, and you need to go out and everyone needs to win a point. That's kind of the game plan."

Sunday's singles:

Webb Simpson (USA) v Kim Kyung-Tae (KOR)
Dustin Johnson (USA) v Charl Schwartzel (RSA)
Bubba Watson (USA) v Ryo Ishikawa (JPN)
Bill Haas (USA) v Geoff Ogilvy (AUS)
Hunter Mahan (USA) v Jason Day (AUS)
Nick Watney (USA) v K.J. Choi (KOR)
Phil Mickelson (USA) v Adam Scott (AUS)
Matt Kuchar (USA) v Retief Goosen (RSA)
Jim Furyk (USA) v Ernie Els (RSA)
David Toms (USA) v Robert Allenby (AUS)
Tiger Woods (USA) v Aaron Baddeley (AUS)
Steve Stricker (USA) v Y.E. Yang (KOR)

Read more on:    presidents cup  |  greg norman

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