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At one point in the Saturday morning session of the President’s Cup, Team USA was leading all four games – but the Internationals fought back to earn a split in the morning after being put to flight on the first two days.
In the afternoon session, the internationals turned it into a ball game.
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The Internationals fought back and gained three points over the USA in the afternoon, giving them at least a shot at winning their first Presidents Cup since 1998. Team USA now leads 11-7.
Tom Kim is only 20 years old, but he’s glowing and loves the limelight. The Presidents Cup rookie hit big putts all day but none bigger than his 10-foot birdie putt at 18 to give him and Si Woo Kim a 1-win over Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who were in their first 2-0 went two days in a dominating manner.
Kim told the media he wanted that putt to go in “more than anything else in the world.”
It was the first game to start in the afternoon but the last to finish. Sam Burns and Billy Horschel did not come back 15 holes against Adam Scott and Cam Davis. But with a 1 to 16 lead, they lost two holes in a row.
All four golfers drilled iron shots on 18s within 10 feet of the hole – Burns was within 3 feet but Davis’ birdie won them the match, leaving the Internationals just four points behind the US by the end of the day.
Scott went 2-0-0 down the day after losing his first two games of the tournament – a much-needed comeback from one of the veterans in the roster.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth continued their dominance, winning their two Saturday matches, 4 & 3. Thomas is 10-0-2 in team play at the Presidents Cup and 14-2-3 in team play, including Ryder Cup games. Spieth is 20-6-3 in team play and 12-2-1 in the Presidents Cup. He and Spieth improved as partners to 8-2 and 4-0-0 in this tournament.
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Team USA needs 4.5 points to retain the trophy they have won eight times in a row – the two teams who tied on points in 2003. The Internationals need an 8.5 to win it.
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But with 12 Sunday singles, anything is possible and the momentum is on the road team’s side despite a healthy mountain – so much so that international captain Trevor Immelman said he was on the verge of tears.
Shades of 2012 in Medinah, anyone?