Advantage U.S.: 4-point lead could sap drama
DUBLIN, Ohio The afternoon foursomes matches won’t end Saturday, but the Presidents Cup could be all but over anyway.
That is, if the Internationals don’t suddenly reverse their traditional misfortune in the alternate-shot format.
The heavily favored Americans won Saturday four-ball by 4-1, giving them a 10.5 - 6.5 advantage entering a weather-delayed afternoon session that began at 3:52 p.m. before yet more rain.
The Internationals entered that late competition with a 28.5-10.5 deficit in foursomes since the start of 2007. That includes a 3-3 record in the second round here that began Friday and ended Saturday morning.
They’ll need to go better than .500 this time, though. If they break even again, they would trail by four points, 13-9, entering the 12 singles matches, which, weather permitting, are supposed to end Sunday. In such a case, the U.S. would need to get only four points in singles to reach 17.5 and retain the cup.
“So, this afternoon (and Sunday’s continuation of foursomes) is really important,” said Nick Price, captain of an International side that trails 7-1-1 in the series, including losses by at least four points in the last three meetings.
Those matches will be this important: They could decide whether there’s singles drama or whether there’s virtually no chance of catching up.
“The Internationals just don’t match up (if) you look at world rankings,” said candid NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller, a winner of two major championships in the 1970s.
Or if you look at the scoreboard at this point.
Price, though, was hardly waving any white flags.
“We’re only halfway through the competition,” he said after the four-ball. “We have 17 points left. That’s what I’ve been telling the guys, trying to get their spirits up. They're obviously down after what happened this morning."
If the early part of foursomes was any indication, they took it to heart. The Internationals led 2 up in the first three alternate-shot matchups through 3-6 holes.