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At one point in the Saturday morning session of the President Cup, Team USA led all four games, but the Internationals fought back to earn a split in the morning after being eliminated for 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 took three points more than the US in the afternoon, giving themselves 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 definitely shines and loves the spotlight. 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 win over Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who went 2-0 in their first two days in a dominant fashion.
Kim told the media he wanted that putt to go in “more than anything in the world”.
It was the first game to start in the afternoon, but the last to finish. Sam Burns and Billy Horschel didn’t make it through the 15 holes against Adam Scott and Cam Davis. But with a 1 in 16 lead, they lost back-to-back holes.
All four golfers fired iron shots at 18 within 10 feet of the hole – Burns was within 3 feet, but Davis’ birdie won them the game, putting the Internationals within four points of the US to end the day.
Scott went 2-0-0 on the day after losing his first two games of the tournament – a much-needed comeback from one of the veterans on the squad.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth continued their dominance, winning both Saturday matches, 4 & 3. Thomas is 10-0-2 in team match play at the Presidents Cup and 14-2-3 in team match play including Ryder Cup matches. Spieth is 20-6-3 in team match play and 12-2-1 in the Presidents Cup. He and Spieth improved to 8-2 as partners and 4-0-0 this tournament.
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Team USA needs 4.5 points to retain the cup it has won eight times in a row – the two teams were tied in 2003. The Internationals need 8.5 to win it.
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But with 12 Sunday singles anything is possible, and momentum, despite a healthy mountain to climb, is on the road team’s side – so much so that International captain Trevor Immelman said he was close to tears.
Shades of 2012 in Medinah, anyone?
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