Prez Cup: Predictions for Day 3 four-ball matches

Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates his birdie putt to win the match on the 16th hole alongside teammate Dustin Johnson during the Day Three morning foursome matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods of the U.S. celebrates his birdie putt to win the match on the 16th hole alongside teammate Dustin Johnson during the Day Three morning foursome matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

The Saturday four-balls at the Presidents Cup will be crucial for the Internationals after the host team lost ground with a 4-1 setback in Saturday foursomes and find themselves trailing the Americans, 11-6. A rout could be in the works.

In Friday's four-balls, the teams halved the six matches, despite windy conditions that might have favored the Internationals. The afternoon four-balls on Saturday will be played in light wind and wet conditions, with intermittent rain slowing down the golf course and the greens, seemingly to the Americans' advantage.

U.S. captain Fred Couples will sit Phil Mickelson and David Toms, and International captain Greg Norman will rest Robert Allenby and Ryo Ishikawa.

• • •

MATCH 18 (7:50 p.m. EST; 11:50 a.m. local time)

WEBB SIMPSON / BUBBA WATSON (-130) vs. RETIEF GOOSEN / CHARL SCHWARTZEL (+110)

Analysis: The hottest American pair in this Presidents Cup has been Simpson and Watson, who have compiled a 3-0 record, with an average margin of victory of three holes after Saturday's 3-and-2 verdict in morning foursomes.

Goosen/Schwartzel have lost 5 and 4 in morning foursomes, but had success in winning against Mahan/Toms, 2 and 1, in Friday’s four-ball. After the U.S. onslaught Saturday morning and the success of Simpson and Watson, the Internationals face a difficult task.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 19 (8:04 p.m. EST; 12:04 p.m. local time)

TIGER WOODS / DUSTIN JOHNSON (-140) vs. KYUNG-TAE KIM / Y.E. YANG (+120)

Analysis: Woods/Johnson finally gained point with a 3-and-2 victory against Adam Scott and K.J. Choi in the morning foursomes. Their next match is against two Internationals who sat in the morning, Kim/Yang. Neither of the Koreans has played well, and when they played together in Thursday foursomes, they were never in the match, losing 6 and 5. It's hard to believe the Koreans will be able to muster the energy needed to beat the U.S. pair.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 20 (8:18 p.m. EST; 12:18 p.m. local time)

STEVE STRICKER / MATT KUCHAR (-110) vs. GEOFF OGILVY / K.J. CHOI (-110)

Analysis: Stricker/Kuchar played the ultimate “ham-and-egg” match in Friday's four-ball, winning 4 and 3. Stricker sat on Saturday morning as Kuchar lost to Els/Ishikawa. Can a rested Stricker provide the necessary pick-me-up for Kuchar?

Ogilvy/Choi has been a successful pairing, but they were paired only once in four-balls. This is the best chance for the Internationals to get a point, but the edge goes to a fresh Stricker.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 21 (8:32 p.m. EST; 12:32 p,m. local time)

HUNTER MAHAN / BILL HAAS (EVEN) vs. AARON BADDELEY / JASON DAY (-120)

Analysis: Hunter Mahan played with David Toms for the first three sessions, but Haas will provide relief in the afternoon. Mahan has played well the first three days, winning two points, but lost in four-balls Friday. It's possible that Haas may add a little more firepower to the team.

Baddeley/Day had another stunning defeat at the hands of Mickelson/Furyk on Saturday morning. The same thing happened Thursday, and the Australian duo came back and won their Friday four-balls.

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 22 (8:42 p.m. EST; 12:42 p.m. local time)

JIM FURYK / NICK WATNEY (-110) vs. ADAM SCOTT / ERNIE ELS (-110)

Analysis: After going 3-0, Furyk is playing with a different partner. Watney sat in the morning and will be much fresher than a tired 41-year-old Furyk.

The dream pairing for the International team should bring a point, with Scott and Els having historical success at Royal Melbourne. Now that they are unshackled with teammates who needed mentoring over the first three sessions, expect the Internationals to get a big win.

Prediction: International

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