Presidents Cup day three action

How day three of the Presidents Cup has played out at Royal Melbourne between the Internationals and USA.

14-Dec-2019 By Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press

HOW DAY THREE OF THE PRESIDENTS CUP UNFOLDED ON SATURDAY:

FOURBALLS:

* Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas (USA) bt Haotong Li and Marc Leishman (Internationals) 3 and 2. Internationals lead USA 6.5 to 4.5.

- After wins with US captain Tiger Woods on the opening two days, Thomas maintained his perfect record with another imperious display. With Leishman and Li unable to buy a putt, Thomas and Fowler were never headed after making birdie on the second hole. Thomas slammed the door with his fourth birdie of the morning on 16.

* Abraham Ancer and Sungjae Im (Internationals) bt Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (USA) 3 and 2. Internationals lead 7.5 to 4.5.

- Ancer by name and the answer by nature, the American-born Mexican won his third-successive match to join Thomas with a 3-0 record for the week. After squaring the first seven holes, the Internationals put their foot down on the back nine to restore their team's three-point buffer.

* CT Pan and Hideki Matsuyama (Internationals) bt Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed (USA) 5 and 3. Internationals lead 8.5 to 4.5.

- Pan and Matsuyama won the opening hole and never looked back as Simpson and Reed lost for the third-successive day together. The hapless Americans managed only two birdies between them before the Internationals ended the misery on the 15th.

* Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An (Internationals) tied Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau (USA). Internationals lead 9-5.

- Scott will rue missing a three-metre putt at the last that allowed Finau to salvage a half point for the Americans with an ice-cool birdie of his own. Still unbeaten after winning his first two matches, Scott again holed a series of clutch putts to keep the Internationals ahead for most of the round, only for Kuchar to repeatedly respond from distance.

FOURSOMES:

* Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland (USA) beat Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen (Internationals) 2 and 1. Internationals lead 9-6.

- Ordered by Internationals captain Ernie Els to back up from the final morning match and open the afternoon action after just a 40-minute breather, Scott performed admirably but it was always going to be a tough ask beating a long-time world No.1 and reigning US Open champion under such trying circumstances. The Internationals led until the sixth hole but a mid-round burst between the 10th and 12th turned the tide the Americans' way.

* Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (USA) beat Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im (Internationals) 2 and 1. Internationals lead 9-7.

- Smith and Im were three up through five holes and seemingly on their way to a comprehensive win. But three-straight birdies on six, seven and eight dragged the Americans back into the match as Schauffele found his groove on the greens. The Internationals regained the lead on the 10th before USA rallied to claim another crucial point.

* Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler (USA) tied Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer (Internationals). Internationals lead 9.5 to 7.5.

- Thomas seemed certain to improve his perfect record for the week to four and zero with a dominant performance when the Americans led by five holes after seven and still by five with eight to play. But in one of the most amazing recoveries in Presidents Cup history, Leishman and Ancer rallied from dormie three to steal half a point to ensure the Internationals their first lead into a Sunday's singles session since 1998.

* Byeong An and Joaquin Niemann (Internationals) tied Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau (USA). Internationals lead 10-8.

- After opening with a birdie to take the first hole, Kuchar and Finau led all afternoon until the Internationals' pair of Cup rookies won successive holes on 14 and 15 to set the stage for a grandstand finish on Sunday.


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