Americans seize lead in Presidents Cup
The United States opened up a potentially decisive four-point lead on day three of the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
The home side led the International Team 10.5-6.5 following the completion of the four remaining foursomes matches which had been carried over from Friday and Saturday’s five fourballs matches.
The American charge had been delayed due to yet more bad weather midway through the fourballs, but upon the resumption they soon wrapped up wins in four of the five matches to seize control of the contest ahead of Saturday’s foursomes.
With the hosts 6.5-5.5 in front going into the fourballs, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson completed a 4&3 win over Angel Cabrera and Branden Grace.
Birdies from Haas at the sixth and ninth and Simpson at the seventh and 10th did most of the damage to put the hosts two points ahead.
Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson earned a 2&1 win over Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge, who had been two up at one stage.
The American pair went from two shots down to three in front from the eighth to the 15th.
Jason Day and Graham DeLaet reduced the deficit thanks to a two-up success over Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth, a birdie apiece over the last three holes earning the win, but it was a rare cause for cheer for the international team.
Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan swifty restored the hosts’ three-point lead with a two-up triumph over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
And that became four points when Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar beat Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott two up, having taken three straight holes from 13 to turn the match around.
Earlier four of the six matches carried over from Friday due to a long rain delay were completed and the teams won two apiece.
Stricker and Spieth extended the hosts’ lead with a 2&1 win over Grace and Richard Sterne, having held the advantage since the third hole.
Cabrera and Marc Leishman responded straight away for the international team with a 2&1 success over Simpson and Snedeker.
Birdies on the 15th and 17th did the trick after the international pair had gone from two up after 12 to all square after 14.
Woods and Kuchar convincingly beat Oosthuizen and Schwartzel 4&2 to give the Americans a two-point cushion again, but that was reduced to one when Matsuyama and Scott survived losing three straight holes from 13 to beat Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson 2&1.