Prez Cup: Predictions for Day 4 singles matches

International captain Greg Norman shakes hands with U.S. captain Fred Couples after the Day Three afternoon four-ball matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

International captain Greg Norman shakes hands with U.S. captain Fred Couples after the Day Three afternoon four-ball matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup.

MELBOURNE, Australia - It seems that Down Under is not as safe of a haven for the Internationals as it was in 1998. With the U.S. holding a 13-9 lead, the Internationals will have to create history if they want to win the Presidents Cup on Sunday.

In the eight previous singles sessions, the Internationals have won one. The most points the Internationals have won in the singles was seven; they will need 8.5 to claim the Cup on Sunday.

“We have to do a Brookline," said International elder statesman Ernie Els, referring to the 1999 Ryder Cup, when the U.S. rallied from a 10-6 deficit entering the final day to win. "We have to do a miracle tomorrow. It can be done. The guys are in there, and they are ready to go. It's going to be a once‑in‑a‑lifetime deal if we pull it off, but it can be done.”

• • •

MATCH 23 – 6:30 p.m. EST; 10:30 a.m. local time

K.T. Kim (rookie) vs. Webb Simpson (rookie)

Analysis: Simpson suffered his first loss in the Presidents Cup in Saturday's four-balls, but with a 3-1 record, he has been one of the stars of the tournament thus far.

Kim struggled in his first two days of competition, but after taking the morning off, the South Korean took down Americans Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson with some clutch putting down the stretch. Will the victory give Kim enough confidence and momentum against Simpson?

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 24 – 6:42 p.m. EST; 10:42 a.m. local time

Charl Schwartzel (rookie) vs. Dustin Johnson (rookie)

Analysis: Johnson has struggled in the team format. His career record in Ryder and Presidents cups is 1-5-1 in four-balls and foursomes. Now, after going 1-2-1 this week, Johnson must summon the energy to take down a hot Schwartzel (2-1-1 this week), the reigning Masters champion.

Johnson did exactly that in the Ryder Cup in Wales and defeated Martin Kaymer, 6 and 4.

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 25 – 6:54 p.m. EST; 10:54 a.m. local time

Ryo Ishikawa (rookie) vs. Bubba Watson (rookie)

Analysis: Like Simpson, Watson has been a surprise thus far, but his security blanket is gone and the big left-hander will be on his own. Ishikawa has improved as the matches have progressed and has become an asset to the International team.

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 26 – 7:06 p.m. EST; 11:06 a.m. local time

Geoff Ogilvy (singles record 2-0) vs. Bill Haas (rookie)

Analysis: This is the moment for which Ogilvy, an Australian, has lived since he made this team: to gain a key point for his team. The points will never get any bigger than in Sunday singles.

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 27 – 7:18 p.m. EST; 11:18 a.m. local time

Jason Day (rookie) vs. Hunter Mahan (singles record 1-1-0)

Analysis: Mahan had played as well as any of the Americans, and his game likely is the best among the visitors. Day, another Australian, has struggled with every aspect of his game. Without partner Baddeley for support, Day likely will struggle.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 28 – 7:30 p.m. EST; 11:30 a.m. local time

K.J. Choi (singles record 2-0-0) vs. Nick Watney (rookie)

Analysis: Choi has played well at times and struggled others, mainly on the greens. Watney did not bring his A game to Melbourne and sat on Saturday morning because of it. Choi has played in all four matches, while Watney did score a point after his early rest on Saturday. This could be the closest match in singles.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 29 – 7:42 p.m. EST; 11:42 a.m. local time

Adam Scott (singles record 1-3-0) vs. Phil Mickelson (2-3-3)

Analysis: Scott’s long putter has not converted as many putts as he would have liked over the past two days, and his confidence must be a little shaken at this point.

Mickelson took a pass on the afternoon matches and is rested for singles. He's 3-0 this week and riding an 11-match winning streak. Enough said.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 30 – 7:54 p.m. EST; 11:54 a.m. local time

Retief Goosen (singles record 3-2-0) vs. Matt Kuchar (rookie)

Analysis: Both players have been solid this week, but Goosen is on a run with a victory in Saturday afternoon four-balls. Is that enough for the South African?

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 31 – 8:06 p.m. EST; 12:06 p.m. local time

Ernie Els (singles record 3-3-0) vs. Jim Furyk (4-2-0)

Analysis: One of the best matchups of the week, with Els understanding the circumstances and Furyk riding a 4-0 record entering singles. Els has missed the putts that Furyk has made.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 32 – 8:18 p.m. EST; 12:18 p.m. local time

Robert Allenby (1-3-1) vs. David Toms (2-1-0)

Analysis: Robert Allenby may know Royal Melbourne better than anyone, but he hasn’t shown it. The Aussie has gone 0-3, and he sat out Saturday afternoon. Toms sat out as well, but he is 2-1.

Prediction: United States

• • •

MATCH 33 – 8:30 p.m. EST; 12:30 p.m. local time

Aaron Baddeley (rookie) vs. Tiger Woods (4-2-0)

Analysis: Baddeley, an Aussie, has been hot and cold during the matches, showing some flashes of brilliance and sometimes struggling. Woods has exhibited improved ball striking, but he is putting below average.

Prediction: International

• • •

MATCH 34 – 8: 42 p.m. EST; 12:42 p.m. local time

Y.E. Yang (0-1-0) vs. Steve Stricker (1-2-0)

Analysis: Y.E. Yang, with South Korean compatriot Kim, took down Woods on Saturday afternoon but has played poorly in the rest of his matches. Stricker has shown signs of his game returning and looks to be the fresher of the two after sitting out on Saturday morning.

Prediction: United States

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