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Internationals battling at Presidents Cup

01 October 2017

That would put the Internationals 1-up with six holes to go and while this Presidents Cup is not in doubt, the unstoppable United States of America pair obviously wanted their damn point (they would comeback and get it over the final six holes).

Then the Americans came back, as they have around the turn all week. Day drove into a video board tower complex on the 12th. Barely. Of course, none of this wound up mattering because Spieth and Reed are on Team USA and Team USA has basically won every match this week.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka beat Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas 3&2 after trailing through the first six holes. "It doesn't look like we are trying but we are trying very hard". But Kim won that hole with a birdie.

Despite failing to clinch, it was another ruthless performance from the US, who won three of four foursomes matches and halved the other then followed up by prevailing in three of the four-ball contests.

Taking an 8-2 lead into Saturday morning, the United States quickly moved nine points clear after winning the Saturday morning foursomes session 3.5-1.5, before winning the afternoon session 3-1 to stretch into a comfortable 11-point cushion.

Oosthuizen and Day thought the ruling made no sense and didn't want to win the hole that way.

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Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, who impressed in their first Presidents Cup outing together Thursday (Friday in Manila), will face a tough challenge on Friday against global super-duo Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace. He and most others knew going in that the USA was heavily favored, but no one predicted that the match might be decided on Saturday. They couldn't hold it. The putt did not matter at that point - he'd missed the hole and Day was already in for birdie.

Make that putt, and the chances were that the Presidents Cup would be alive going into the final day's singles.

The most exciting episode on another disappointing day for the global team came thanks to a mid-round rules controversy in the match featuring Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth.

Players are allowed to practice putting after the holes have been determined, but can not practice shots from anywhere else on the course. Spieth had 12 feet. There was just one problem: He stopped the ball before it stopped moving.

Spieth and Reed recovered and went on to win, 2 & 1. Lahiri followed with a 16-foot birdie putt to claim the 16th.

The International duo went 1-up at the hole and stayed in front through the 14th. The Americans won with a par on the 16th, and Berger had his first point of the matches.

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United States 3 1/2, global 1/2.

The Americans were one match away from reaching the 15 1/2 points required to win.

MATCH OF THE DAY: Lahiri birdied the 16th and 17th holes to lead his team to a 1-up victory.

Four hours after the fourball frame began, the day's final match reached the 18th tee and Fowler, who'd sat out the afternoon session, wandered up with a cup of coffee. And it was odd timing after everyone watched Chappell grind out that seven-footer for a par.

This was the only fourballs match in which the global team never led.

Our scribes at Liberty National Golf Club share which of Saturday morning's foursomes matches are most intriguing to them.

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Internationals battling at Presidents Cup