Presidents Cup: U.S. adds to lead in Saturday foursomes

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Presidents Cup: U.S. adds to lead in Saturday foursomes

PGA Tour

Presidents Cup: U.S. adds to lead in Saturday foursomes

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Fat Lady is warming up her vocals and boarding the next ferry to Liberty National.

Yes, it’s nearly over for the Internationals at this 12th Presidents Cup.

The Americans won Saturday’s foursomes session, 3.5-0.5, to stretch their lead to 11.5-2.5. The U.S. can actually clinch the Cup by sweeping the four four-ball matches on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s very hard,” a visibly dejected International captain Nick Price said. “These guys are trying. It doesn’t look like we are trying, but we are trying very hard. The guys obviously are a little down, but like I said yesterday, there’s still a long way to go but it’s tough. The momentum is swung against us. … We’re not going to lay down. These guys are great competitors and we’re not laying down.”

Said Jason Day: “You know, it sucks.”

The mood on the red, white and blue side is starkly different.

“Team USA is playing really well and they have all year, and they came into this event riding a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence, and they really get excited to play these team events and it’s showing,” U.S. captain Steve Stricker said. “They love being together and competing.”

Here’s a recap of each of the four foursomes matches from Saturday morning:

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. Jason Day/Marc Leishman (International), 4 and 3

Spieth and Day moved to 2-0-1 together this week by winning the final four holes of this match. The Internationals got off to a rough start as Leishman hit his tee ball in the water at the opening hole. But the Internationals battled back and took a 1-up lead after Day chipped in from 56 feet at the par-3 seventh. The lead wouldn’t last long. The Americans squared the match back up with birdie at the par-5 ninth, and then one Nos. 12-15 to close out the match. Three of those holes were won with birdies, all of which came on putts from 7 feet or less. Spieth had two nice approaches at Nos. 13 and 15.

Matt Kuchar/Dustin Johnson (U.S.) def. Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin (International), 4 and 3

Scott hit his opening approach shot at the par-4 first hole in the water to give the Americans the early lead. While Hadwin made two birdie putts, at Nos. 2 and 4, to keep things all square after four holes, the Internationals struggled off the tee for the rest of the front nine as the Americans built a 4-up lead at the turn. Hadwin hit tee shots in the water at the par-4 fifth and par-3 seventh. The Internationals battled back to 2 down with five to play, but Kuchar made a 6-footer for par at the par-4 14th and then sunk a 16-footer at the par-4 15th to close out the match.

Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner (U.S.) def. Emiliano Grillo/Jhonattan Vegas (International), 2 and 1

Like the first two matches Saturday morning, the Americans took a 1-up lead after the first hole, as Kisner made a birdie putt. The International rookies took a lead, 1 up after seven holes, but that was short-lived as the Americans won the next hole on a Mickelson birdie putt. The U.S. re-took a 1-up lead with par on 14, then Mickelson wedged to 2 feet to set up a tap-in birdie by Kisner at 15. Two holes later, Kisner drained a 7-footer for birdie at the par-4 17th to close out the match.

Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (U.S.) halved with Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace (International)

The only not won by the Americans on Saturday morning. The Internationals went out early and built 2-up leads through three and six holes. But the Americans won Nos. 7 and 8 with pars, and then took their first lead with birdie at the par-5 ninth hole. Eight of the final nine holes were halved as each side played even par on the back nine. Oosthuizen did nearly hole his approach at the par-4 12th for eagle, but in the end the two sides each settled for a half point.

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