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American's looking for Melbourne revenge

Holders the United States are determined to win this week's Presidents Cup team competition against the Internationals on behalf of their non-playing captain Jack Nicklaus.

Although the U.S. have won three of the four editions of the Ryder Cup-style event, they were crushed by the Internationals in Australia five years ago when Nicklaus made his debut as skipper.

"We want to make up for that," Davis Love III told a news conference on Tuesday after the first official practice rounds by both teams at Fancourt's Links course.

"We felt like we left something on the table there (in Melbourne). It is disappointing for Jack to not have gotten a win in this event."

The U.S. have won on all the three occasions that the Presidents Cup has been held on American soil, but the Internationals tasted victory the first time the event was moved abroad --- to Australia, in December 1998.

With Australian Peter Thomson back at the helm as non-playing captain for the Internationals, the host team hammered the Nicklaus-led Americans by 20-1/2 points to 11-1/2, giving the competition a much-needed shot in the arm.

However Love, the 1997 U.S. PGA champion, believes the American cause was not helped at Royal Melbourne Golf Club by the timing of the 1998 showdown.

"This time it's closer to our golfing season," he said. "(In 1998) we were a little removed from our golf season in Australia (that year's Presidents Cup took place from December 11-13).

"But here in South Africa we're only a week away from the (season-ending) Tour Championship. Hopefully we can do a lot better here at Fancourt -- we owe it to Jack."

The 2003 Presidents Cup, which will comprise 34 matches, starts on Thursday with the opening six foursomes encounters. Friday will feature five fourball matches in the morning, followed by five foursome matches in the afternoon.

Six fourball matches will be played on Saturday before the trophy is decided over the closing 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The U.S. won the 2000 Presidents Cup with a commanding 21-1/2 to 10-1/2 victory at Lake Manassas, Virginia.

The Presidents Cup, created in 1994 to give the world's best non-European players the chance to take part in international team match-play competition, pits a 12-man team from the United States against international players from outside Europe.

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