PGA Tour

US on brink of crushing Presidents Cup victory

2017-10-01 02:04
Si Woo Kim and Anirban Lahiri (AP)

Jersey City - The United States are one match win away from an epic Presidents Cup triumph, with only Internationals Anirban Lahiri and Kim Si-Woo preventing them from an unprecedented on Saturday celebration.

Lahiri and Kim's 1-up win over Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell was the only thing stopping the mighty Americans from becoming the first team to clinch the Cup before Sunday's 12 singles matches even start.

It was a small consolation for an International team battered into submission by the United States, who won six of eight matches on Saturday, halved another and lost just their second match of the week.

When the dust settled at Liberty National Golf Club, the United States led 14.5 to 3.5 points.

They can secure their 10th Presidents Cup crown with just one point on Sunday.

US captain Steve Stricker said his message to his team was simple.

"It's not over yet," he said. "We have to go out and still take care of business."

But the Internationals will be hard-pressed to prevent the USA from notching the biggest win since the biennial match play competition was launched in 1994.

"I think all of us are going to go out there and try and play our best," Lahiri said. "We have to play for our pride."

"We've just come up against a juggernaut of an American team that has not put a foot wrong it seems like in three days," International captain Nick Price said. "They have had all the momentum and we've had nothing."

Phil Mickelson, the only man to play in all 12 Presidents Cups - and a veteran of 23 US match play teams - nabbed a record-setting 25th victory in the morning foursomes, teaming with Kevin Kisner in a 2 & 1 victory over Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo.

Jordan Spieth shook off a rules controversy to grab a third win this week with Patrick Reed - a 2 & 1 fourball victory over Australian Jason Day and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

The International team's failure to fire - they trailed by a record six points after the first two days - had robbed the tournament of suspense.

The US push to clinch the Cup on Saturday lent drama to the afternoon, but Presidents Cup rookie Kim and captain's pick Lahiri came through.

Hoffman and Chappell were 1-up through 14, but Kim squared the match with a seven-foot birdie.

Lahiri followed with a 16-foot birdie putt to claim the 16th.

At 17, Hoffman chipped in from in front of the green before Lahiri poured in a 19-foot birdie putt to halve the hole.

After making their par at the last, the Americans conceded Lahiri's four-footer for par and the Internationals at last had another win on the board.

"Obviously it's been a tough week for the team, so we were trying our hearts out," Lahiri said.

By then, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger had rallied for a 3 & 2 win over Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Vegas.

Matsuyama and Vegas were 3-up through four, but wouldn't win another hole.

World number one Dustin Johnson and US Open champion Brooks Koepka never trailed in their 3 & 2 fourball win over South African Branden Grace and Aussie Marc Leishman.

Spieth and Reed, fresh off a 4 & 3 foursomes win over Day and Leishman, triumphed again in the afternoon despite Spieth's hotly debated disqualification from the 12th hole.

Day had birdied the hole and when Oosthuizen's eagle attempt from off the green raced past the cup, Spieth used his putter to pick up the still rolling ball.

That was a rules infraction and Spieth was denied a chance to attempt his own 12-foot birdie putt to halve.

Day and Oosthuizen maintained their 1-up lead through the 14th, but the Americans won three straight holes to close out the victory.

"I don't think any of us have really focused much on the scoreboard until this afternoon, when we actually had a chance to finish it off," Spieth said. "For the most part we've been very focused on our own matches, trying to win and we're just playing better golf."

Results on Saturday in the 12th Presidents Cup match-play tournament between the United States and the International team at Liberty National Golf Club:

United States 14.5 International team 3.5


USA 3 Internationals 1

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) bt Jason Day/Louis Oosthuizen (AUS/RSA) 2 & 1

Justin Thomas/Daniel Berger (USA) bt Hideki Matsuyama/Jhonattan Vegas (JPN/VEN) 3 & 2

Anirban Lahiri/Kim Si-Woo (IND/KOR) bt Charley Hoffman/Kevin Chappell (USA) 1-up

Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka (USA) bt Branden Grace/Marc Leishman (RSA/AUS) 3 & 2


USA 3.5 Internationals 0.5

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) bt Jason Day/Marc Leishman (AUS) 4 & 3

Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (USA) bt Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin (AUS/CAN) 4 & 3

Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner (USA) bt Jhonattan Vegas/Emiliano Grillo (VEN/ARG) 2 & 1

Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (USA) v Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace (RSA) halved

Friday, Fourball

United States 4.5 International team 0.5

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) v Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Hadwin (JPN/CAN) halved

Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace (RSA) 3 & 2

Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner (USA) bt Jason Day/Marc Leishman (AUS) 1-up

Kevin Chappell/Charley Hoffman (USA) bt Charl Schwartzel/Anirban Lahiri (RSA/IND) 6 & 5

Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka (USA) bt Adam Scott/Jhonattan Vegas (AUS/VEN) 3 & 2

Thursday, Foursomes

United States 3.5 International team 1.5

Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas (USA) bt Hideki Matsuyama/Charl Schwartzel (JPN/RSA) 6 & 4

Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (USA) bt Adam Scott/Jhonattan Vegas (AUS/VEN) 1-up

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (USA) bt Kim Si-Woo/Emiliano Grillo (KOR/ARG) 5 & 4

Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace (RSA) bt Brooks Koepka/Daniel Berger (USA) 3 & 1

Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson (USA) v Jason Day/Marc Leishman (AUS) halved

Read more on:    presidents cup  |  golf

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