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At one point in the President Cup’s Saturday morning session, Team USA led all four matches – but the Internationals fought back to earn a split in the morning after getting routed the first two days.
In the afternoon session, the Internationals made it a ballgame.
The Internationals battled back and gained three points to the US’ one in the afternoon, giving themselves at least a shot to win their first Presidents Cup since 1998. Team USA now leads 11-7.
Tom Kim is just 20 years old, but he certainly shines in, and loves, the spotlight. The Presidents Cup rookie knocked down big putts all day long, but none bigger than his 10-foot birdie putt on 18 to give him and Si Woo Kim a 1 up win over Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who went 2-0 in their first two days in dominating fashion.
Kim told the media he wanted that putt to go in “more than anything in the world.”
It was the first match to begin in the afternoon, but the final one to end. Sam Burns and Billy Horschel didn’t trail through 15 holes against Adam Scott and Cam Davis. But with a 1 up lead entering 16, they lost back-to-back holes.
All four golfers drilled iron shots on 18 within 10 feet of the hole – Burns was inside 3 feet, but Davis’ birdie won them the match, putting the Internationals within four points of the US to end the day.
Scott went 2-0-0 on the day after losing his first two matches of the tournament – a much-needed comeback from one of the veterans on the squad.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth continued their dominance, winning both of their Saturday matches, 4 & 3. Thomas is 10-0-2 in team match play at the Presidents Cup and 14-2-3 in team match play including Ryder Cup matches. Spieth is 20-6-3 in team match play and 12-2-1 in the Presidents Cup. He and Spieth improved to 8-2 as partners, and 4-0-0 this tournament.
Team USA needs 4.5 points to retain the cup it has won eight straight times – the two teams tied in 2003. The Internationals need 8.5 to win it.
But with 12 Sunday singles, anything is possible, and the momentum, despite a healthy mountain to climb, is on the road team’s side – so much so to the point that International captain Trevor Immelman said he was almost in tears.
Shades of 2012 at Medinah, anyone?
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