Cup alive, but contest is done

Louis Oosthuizen
Louis Oosthuizen's frustration at missing a putt typifies the International team's angst. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The United States is on the verge of a thumping Presidents Cup victory after three days against the International team.

The Americans once again dominated the third day at Liberty National, coming within a single point of completing victory with a day to spare.

It was only an out-of-the-blue International win in the final four-ball match by South Korea’s Si Woo Kim and India’s Anirban Lahiri – the only outright win by their team all day – that prolonged the agony for everyone.

Had that match gone the way of Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell, who were one up through 14 holes, the USA would have secured the 15 ½ points it needed to win the trophy. But Kim and Lahiri made an eagle and a birdie at the 15th and 16th holes and held on to secure a point.

There are 12 singles matches tomorrow but no hope for Nick Price’s Internationals, who trail 14.5 points to 3.5.

The result is a blow for the credibility of the Presidents Cup, which has been won only once in 12 editions by the International team, made up of players from all parts of the world bar Europe and America.

The number of matches was reduced at the behest of Price, who argued that American depth was making it impossible for the Internationals. Price’s team came within a point in South Korea two years ago but have been smashed in New Jersey this week.

The cup comes to Royal Melbourne in 2019, where the International team celebrated its only win in 1998 but lost to the Americans in 2011.

Australians Marc Leishman and Jason Day lost both their matches today and Adam Scott, who has been used by Price as a veteran player to shield the rookies, lost his only match with Canadian Adam Hadwin.

SATURDAY FOURSOMES

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Red d Marc Leishman/Jason Day 4 and 3

Matt Kuchar/Dustin Johnson d  Adam Hadwin/Adam Scott 4 and 3.

Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson d Emiliano Grillo/Jhonattan Vegas 2 and 1

Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas v  Branden Grace/Louis Oosthuizen halved.

 

SATURDAY FOURBALL

Patrick Reed/Jordan Spieth d Louis Oosthuizen/Jason Day  2 and 1.

Daniel Berger/Justin Thomas d  Jhonattan Vegas/Hideki Matsuyama 3 and 2.

Kevin Chappell/Charley Hoffman lost to Si Woo Kim/Anirban Lahiri 1 down

Brooks Koepka/Dustin Johnson d Marc Leishman/Branden Grace 3 and 2.

 

USA leads 14.5 to 3.5

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