The Internationals lead after two days at the Presidents Cup for the first time since 2005


USA Fight Back To Keep Presidents Cup Alive At Halfway Mark

The USA came back from 6-1 down to get within three points of the International team after two days at the Presidents Cup.

Tiger Woods‘ team began the day 4-1 down after the day one fourballs and went 5-1 down after Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott beat Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar 3&2 in the foursomes.

Ernie Els’ Internationals were ahead in all five games at one point but the session was eventually levelled 2.5-2.5 to take the score to 6.5-3.5 after two days.

Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer beat Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed 3&2 to get their second point of the day, with the USA’s first point coming from Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who beat Adam Hadwin and Joaquin Niemann 1up.

Watch: Cantlay holes winning putt

Related: WATCH – Reed makes shovel gesture at crowd after fan shouts “miss”

USA player-captain Tiger Woods got his second point of the week with Justin Thomas after they beat Ben An and Hideki Matsuyama 1up, before the final match between Sungjae Im/Cameron Smith and Gary Woodland/Rickie Fowler was halved.

Watch – Thomas holes match-winning putt

That was Woods’ 26th victory in the competition, moving him level with Phil Mickelson for most in Presidents Cup history.

The International’s halfway lead is the first time they’ve led at this stage since 2005.

They’ve not led after the third round in the Presidents Cup since 1998 – at Royal Melbourne when they won their first and only Presidents Cup.

“At one point it looked pretty bleak, but the guys turned it around,” said Woods.

“They played phenomenal coming in.

“It was important for us to end the way we did and it totally changed the last hour.

“The energy has been there. These guys are all young and extremely excited about being part of this team.

“I think more than anything, it’s just getting a feel for this golf course. It is fast.”

“They played good at the end there,” said International captain Ernie Els.

“But hey, look at the record we’ve had in the foursomes the last 25 years and for us to come out 2½-2½ in the session is like a win for us.

“We would have taken that at the start of the day.”

Second Round (Friday) – Foursomes – International 2.5, United States 2.5

Match 6 – Louis Oosthuizen/Adam Scott (INT) def. Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 3 and 2
Match 7 – Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Adam Hadwin/Joaquin Niemann (INT), 1-up
Match 8 – Marc Leishman/Abraham Ancer (INT) def. Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed (U.S.), 3 and 2
Match 9 – Justin Thomas/Tiger Woods (U.S.)  def. Byeong Hun An/Hideki Matsuyama (INT), 1-up
Match 10 – Sungjae Im/Cameron Smith (INT) vs. Gary Woodland/Rickie Fowler (U.S.), tied

Day three sees eight matches with four fourball games in the morning and four foursomes matches in the afternoon.

Third Round (Saturday) – Pairings – Fourball

Match 11 (8.02pm) – Marc Leishman/Haotong Li (INT) vs. Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (U.S.)
Match 12 (8.16pm) – Sungjae Im/Abraham Ancer (INT) vs. Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.)
Match 13 (8.30pm) – Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (INT) vs. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (U.S.)
Match 14 (8.44pm) – Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An (INT) vs. Matt Kuchar/Tony Finau (U.S.)

Note: Followed by four Foursomes matches in the afternoon. Pairings will be made approximately 11pm UK time.