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Americans Take Charge of Presidents Cup
After completing Friday's weather-delayed six foursome matches Saturday morning, with each team earning three points to make the score 6½ to 5½ in favor of the Americans, team USA racked up four wins in Saturday morning's five four-ball matches to take a 10½ to 6½ lead heading into the afternoon foursomes.
In the four-ball session, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson continued their fine play, beating Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge 2 and 1. After Jason Day and Graham DeLaet beat Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth 2-up for the Internationals only four-ball point, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson vanquished Angel Cabrera and Branden Grace 4 and 3; Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan beat Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel 2-up; and Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar edged Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama 1-up.
The pairing of the No. 1-ranked Woods and Kuchar has been magical for the Americans as the duo is 3-0. Their third win came when Kuchar sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to match Scott's birdie for the narrowest of victories. "Boy, that sure was a fun way to end it," Kuchar said of putt.
For Woods, it was his eighth straight win in the Presidents Cup when the competition is played in the U.S.
Before the start of the afternoon foursomes, International captain Nick Price still had hopes for his squad. "We had close games that went the U.S. way," Price said. "We've still got another 17 points left. That's what I keep telling the guys. They're a little down after what happened this morning."
For the five afternoon foursome matches, Spieth and Mahan sat out, while Grace and Cabrera didn't play for the Internationals. "Jordan has played some phenomenal golf right now," USA captain Fred Couples said of his decision to sit the 20-year-old Texan, one of Couples' two captain's choices. ". . . He's done great for us, but we just felt like sitting Hunter and Jordan."
As for the possibility of giving the 43-year-old Mickelson a break, Couples said, "Phil tells me when he wants to go and he's going to go first. He's ready to play five matches."
Because of Friday's two-and-a-half-hour rain delay and another stoppage of another hour due to bad weather Saturday, four of the five foursomes will be completed Sunday morning before the start of the 12 singles matches.
The only foursome match that was completed was the Jason Dufner-Zach Johnson vs. Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman bout. After going 1-down through eight holes, Dufner and Johnson - who sat out the morning four-balls - got hot, reeling off five birdies in the next seven holes.
Johnson, who was sick with the flu entering the Presidents Cup, ended the match when his 70-yard third shot found the hole on the par-5 15th for an eagle, leading to a 4 and 3 win for the Americans and giving them an overnight lead of 11½ to 6½.
In the other incomplete foursomes, Mickelson and Bradley are all-square through 13 holes against Day and DeLaet; Haas and Stricker are 2-up through 10 on Scott and Matsuyama; Els and de Jonge are 2-up through nine over Woods and Kuchar; and Oosthuizen and Schwartzel lead Simpson and Snedeker by three through 12 holes.
The first team to total 17½ points wins the 2013 Presidents Cup, the 10th in the biennial event. The Americans lead the series 7-1-1, and have won the previous four matches.
For all the scores, visit http://www.presidentscup.com/scoring/2013.html.