Presidents Cup
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Internationals make a clean sweep of Saturday

The Internationals, inspired by Australia's Adam Scott and South Korea's K.J. Choi, completed an unprecedented clean sweep against the U.S. in the Presidents Cup fourballs on Saturday.

Scott and Choi beat Kenny Perry and Jerry Kelly 5 and 4 to secure the first points of the day, setting the tone as the Internationals overhauled the U.S. by sweeping to victory in all six better-ball matches at a sun-drenched Links course.

The Internationals started the penultimate day three points behind the holders, but they ended it leading by 12-1/2 points to 9-1/2.

The trophy will be decided over the closing 12 singles matches on Sunday with both sides chasing a minimum of 17-1/2 points for victory.

Clean sweeps have been achieved only twice before in Presidents Cup history. The U.S. won all five first-day fourballs at the inaugural event in 1994 and all five first-day foursomes in 2000.

"We got our butts kicked today," said non-playing U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus, after a day of stiff winds at Fancourt.

"The International team fed off the momentum and did very well. They were terrific.

"They played great golf and I didn't really see our guys play golf frankly."

Scott and Choi birdied five of the first nine holes to go five up at the turn and, despite a chip-in for birdie by Perry at the par-four 10th, maintained their grip until sealing the win at the par-four 14th.

Australians Peter Lonard and Stephen Leaney came back from two down to beat Fred Funk and Phil Mickelson 2 and 1 before South Africans Ernie Els and Tim Clark collected the third point of the afternoon with a 3 and 2 win over Jim Furyk and Jay Haas.

Clark hit his approach to within a foot of the pin at the 385-yard first to set up the first of three birdies in the opening eight holes.

But he and his partner lost momentum on the back nine before world number three Els finished the match in style, holing a 20-foot eagle putt at the 584-yard 16th.

"That was pretty nice," said the three-times major champion after preserving his unbeaten record in four outings this week.

"These matches really get the nerves going, but I got a good read from Jim (Furyk) on that putt.

"We let some shots go again on the back nine, but today we've made a great comeback as a team," Els added.

Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen won a tight battle with world number one Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III 2 and 1 after finishing with five consecutive birdies, Singh coaxing in a 25-footer at the par-three 17th to clinch victory.

Defeat left Woods winless after six fourball appearances at the Presidents Cup, while he has won only twice in six fourball matches in the Ryder Cup.

U.S. Masters champion Mike Weir and Australia's Robert Allenby produced flawless golf to go four up on Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard with six to play, but had to survive a strong finish by their opponents before winning by a hole.

In the final match, Zimbabwe's Nick Price and Stuart Appleby of Australia birdied three of the last five holes to beat Davis Love III and David Toms 2 and 1.

Appleby had put the Internationals one up by holing a bunker shot for eagle at the par-four 14th, and made the match safe by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-five 16th.

The Americans, bidding to win the Presidents Cup for the fourth time in five editions, had begun the day three points clear after winning seven of the 10 matches played on Friday.

 

 

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