Rain, but a parade

Updated: 2011-11-20 09:20

(China Daily)

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US stays hot on blustery day, building nearly insurmountable 13-9 lead at Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia - On a wild day of weather on Saturday, the Americans stayed in control at the Presidents Cup.

 Rain, but a parade

South Korea's Y.E. Yang tees off in the rain on the 18th hole during the third round of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Royal Melbourne on Saturday. [Photo/Agencies]  

Tiger Woods finally won a point on Saturday morning, then couldn't buy a putt in the afternoon. Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson finally lost a match. And just when the International team was on the verge of keeping it close, the Americans won the last two matches.

A long, wet day at Royal Melbourne finally ended when Jim Furyk won his fourth straight match, teaming with Nick Watney for a 1-up win over Adam Scott and Ernie Els.

That gave the Americans a 13-9 lead, putting them in position to win the Presidents Cup for the fourth straight time ahead of Sunday's 12 singles matches.

The biggest comeback in this event was three points in 2003 by the United States, and that was for a tie in South Africa. The greatest rally in any cup competition was at Brookline in 1999 at the Ryder Cup, when the Americans overcame a four-point deficit.

The Americans were assured of leading the Presidents Cup after a 4-1 decision in foursomes on Saturday morning, when Woods and Dustin Johnson won a match and two American teams remained perfect.

Hopeful of building the lead in the fourball matches in the afternoon, the International team fought back.

K.T. Kim holed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole to give him and Y.E. Yang a 1-up win over Woods and Johnson. Woods missed nine putts from about the 15-foot range or closer, including one on the last hole that would have earned a halve. Woods was assured of his first losing record in the Presidents Cup since 1998, which also was at Royal Melbourne.

The International team picked up two more wins to capture a session for the first time since singles in 2007.

Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel handed Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson their first loss of the week. The Americans made only one birdie, a poor effort in fourballs even in a cold, steady rain as the wind picked up. Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi hung on for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.

As the temperatures kept plunging - some 25 degrees by the end of the day - the Americans heated up, along with the emotions.

Jason Day celebrated a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th to seemingly stay in the match, only for Hunter Mahan to bury his birdie putt from just outside 20 feet for a 2-and-1 win over Day and Aaron Baddeley.

Mahan flung his putter to the ground when it dropped and let out a roar.

"This is an Australian team we were playing here," Mahan said. "You heard the crowd, so to win like that, it feels good."

Associated Press