Every time it looks like the International Team is going to make a turnaround run at the 2013 President's Cup, it seems that Team USA has an answer.
During a marathon day that began at 7:30 AM with four matches from Friday's Foursomes still to be completed, Team USA extended it's one point lead at the end of that session to four points by the end of the Saturday Four-Ball Session. It did so by dominating that Four-Ball round by winning four of five matches.
Four of the five afternoon Foursome matches weren't completed because of darkness, but not before Team USA added another point in the only match that was.
Zach Johnson holed out his approach shot from the 15th fairway for an unlikely birdie, to complete a remarkable comeback. He and Jason Dufner birdied six of eight holes and came from two down to win 4-3. Johnson atoned for a poor tee shot on 15 that forced Dufner to play a recovery shot back into the fairway that set up the heroics in the alternate shot format.
The difference maker during Four-Ball play were the comeback victories by Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley over Ernie Els and Brendon De Jonge, and Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar over Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama. Mickelson and Bradley were two down on the front nine before rallying to win 2-1 with a barrage of birdies starting on the eighth hole. Woods and Kuchar traded birdies on the 13th, 14th, and 15th holes to go from one down to two up heading into the final three holes.
Woods and Kuchar showed some fatigue in foursomes and are down by two holes to Els and de Jonge entering this morning's completion of that match. Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are up three over Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. Jason Day and Graham DeLaet are all square against Mickelson and Bradley through the 13th, and Steve Stricker and Bill Haas are two up on a weary Scott and Matsuyama through ten.
For the Internationals to have much hope of making a game of this, they'll have to hold on to win the two matches they're ahead in and somehow pull out the other two as well. Otherwise, Sunday's singles matches could be a coronation for Team USA, who have never lost the President's Cup on American soil, and have only lost once in the history of the event.
"The U.S. has really been unrelenting," International Captain Nick Price said. "They have just played superbly the last three days. Any slip from us and we find ourselves one or two down very quickly."
Singles matches are scheduled to begin at approximately 9 AM. Price and U.S. Captain Fred Couples will announce their singles matchups at around 8 AM this morning.
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