Oct
5
2013
Americans start to pull away…wait! Internationals fight back…wait, never mind (*Update)
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Please see the very bottom for updates…

Totally normal

Totally normal

Well, the Internationals held on longer than the majority expected at the historically U.S.-dominated Presidents Cup. [*Wait, they’re making a charge as I type in Saturday afternoon foursomes! It’s getting interesting again!]

With the weather-delayed week dominating the matches, the second session wasn’t completed on Friday and the teams returned at the crack of dawn (literally, warming up in the dark) to finish that foursome session before the quick turnaround for Saturday morning’s five four-ball matches. Which, of course, fell victim to yet another suspension in play due to the monsoon that swept through the area causing Muirfield Village to become unplayable (as you can see above).  

Some highlights/notes from the morning four-balls…

*Everyone is tired and exhausted, which is amplified by all the starting and stopping and dealing with the awful weather. The players. The caddies. The captains. (And the media.)

“I think you can tell it from the tone of our voice,” said Couples when asked about the situation for him as a captain. “It’s stressful now; it’s stressful last night. We enjoy watching the guys play. It’s such great golf…it’s harder on the players. They are working their tails off but for us last night and then these pairings today, while they are still playing…”

*Tiger played his butt off this morning even though he’s exhausted, so they switched the original draw to accommodate him, but they also did the same for Jason Day and Graham DeLaet. Makes sense.

“I think Tiger is on the 14th hole and it would be nice to maybe put him last, because, you know, he needs a little rest,” said Couples. “It’s a tough deal for everybody. The fans are getting soaked; the carts are getting muddy.”

We get some more truth from Freddie on Tiger’s stamina.

“You know, Tiger is honestly beat up,” he said. “But he’s playing his tail off. You know, he’s probably like some of Nick’s team; he’s a little sore and a little battered, and this course is playing — the ball is not rolling… it’s playing much harder and much longer, so it’s tougher on everybody.”

Truth. You’d think the soft conditions make it easier, but not when they’re *this* soft.

Hats off to Tiger for grinding out there all day and continuing to do so. It’s cliche, but Tiger and Matt Kuchar did a good job ham-and-egging it in the four-balls. Tiger carried Kuchar most of the day, but Kooch came up huge on the 18th when he rolled in the birdie putt on 18 to clinch the well-fought match against Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott.

Q.  You were standing over that putt, that’s the first time you’ve played 18 all week, how tough was that match? 

MATT KUCHAR:  Really tough match.  This guy is a horse, Holy Cow.  He played some incredible golf today.  I was along for the ride for most of it.  Let him down a couple times, missed a few putts, but boy, that sure was a fun way to end it.

Q.  You told us Thursday you were ham-and-egging it, what did you do this time? 

TIGER WOODS:  Same thing.  It was one of those matches where we were down two early and could have got up on that front nine, could have gone 1up and all of a sudden we are down again.  Then we made a little bit of a run and then Hideki made a bomb on 16 and just made it a little bit more interesting coming down the last couple holes.

But Kuch, man, what a birdie on 18.

Oh, here are some GIFs of the awesome second shot Woods hit into the par-5 15th earlier today…

tigershot_medium

And the appropriate reaction!tigeryesss_medium

Q.  Whether you were standing over that putt, that’s the first time you’ve played 18 all week, how tough was that match? 

MATT KUCHAR:  Really tough match.  This guy is a horse, Holy Cow.  He played some incredible golf today.  I was along for the ride for most of it.  Let him down a couple times, missed a few putts, but boy, that sure was a fun way to end it.

 

Q.  You told us Thursday you were hamandegging it, what did you do this time? 

TIGER WOODS:  Same thing.  It was one of those matches where we were down two early and could have got up on that front nine, could have gone 1up and all of a sudden we are down again.  Then we made a little bit of a run and then Hideki made a bomb on 16 and just made it a little bit more interesting coming down the last couple holes.

But Kuch, man, what a birdie on 18.

 

*Meanwhile, the 43-year-old Phil Mickelson was very energetic. He was supposed to go out first and he was probably disappointed when things were changed up because DeLaet and Day finished later than guys who sat out in the morning session.

“We have a great team room, but I pull these guys aside, my top guys, and we sit in there,” said Couples. “And Phil tells me when he wants to go and he’s going to go first. He’s ready to play five matches. I look to he and Tiger and said, ‘Look, you know, just tell me what you’d like to do, and both of them said, ‘Oh, there’s no question, we are playing every match.'”

I think Phil and Keegan may have used up a bit too much energy in the previous matches. They’re currently two down to Day and DeLaet through eight holes, but…let’s everybody say it at once…THERE’S A LOT OF GOLF LEFT.

*Hideki Matsuyama is my new hero. Okay, slight exaggeration, but Adam Scott didn’t exactly contribute much to their effort against Woods and Kuchar. It was basically Hideki and Woods taking each other on one-on-one.

The phrase “he has no fear” is overused and hackneyed when it comes to describing young golfers, but those look in his eyes when Matsuyama follows a shot — he just looks fierce and so focused (which is something I never saw in Ryo Ishikawa). Matsuyama swings as hard as he can on every shot and attacks every pin and it’s worked pretty well this year, hasn’t it? T19 or better in the three majors he played this season, including T6 at the Open Championship (with a one-shot slow play penalty) and T10 at the U.S. Open.

*Brendan Grace and Angel Cabrera, who was playing slightly injured in four-balls, lost 4&3 to Bill Haas and Webb Simpson, but that’s not a great reflection of the International duo’s performance. Grace and Cabrera were 6-under, but Haas and Simpson were nine-under — sometimes you just run into guys who have the hot hands and lose despite playing decently.

*In the Saturday afternoon foursomes, the Internationals got off to a hot start, but the Americans are fighting back. Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman were 2 up through five, but the Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson have won three of the last four holes to take the 1 up lead through 11 holes.

*Day and DeLaet are 2 up through nine against Mickelson and Bradley.

*Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are 3 up against Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.

*Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama are also running a bit out of gas against Bill Haas and Steve Stricker — which has been a tight match, with the Americans taking a 1up lead through 6 for now.

*Woods and Kuchar look like they wouldn’t mind the horn blowing any second. Like now. The dynamic duo are 2 down through six to Ernie Els and the impressive Presidents Cup rookie Brendon de Jonge.

*Alright, now the scoring summary and some match-up stats and updated individual/head-to-head records…

TOTAL SCORE AFTER ROUND THREE
United States 10.5, Internationals 6.5
Third Round
Four-Ball – United States 4, Internationals 1
Match 13  Keegan Bradley/Phil Mickelson (U.S.) defeated Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (International), 2 and 1
Match 14  Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (International) defeated Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (U.S.), 2 up
Match 15  Bill Haas/Webb Simpson (U.S.) defeated  Angel Cabrera/Branden Grace (International) , 4 and 3
Match 16  Brandt Snedeker/Hunter Mahan (U.S.) defeated Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (International), 2 up
Match 17  Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar (U.S.) defeated Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (International), 1 up
Note: Presidents Cup rookies are in bold
Second Round
Foursomes – United States 3, Internationals 3
Match 7     Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (U.S.) defeated  Jason Day/Graham DeLaet (International), 4 and 3
Match 8     Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (International) defeated Bill Haas/Hunter Mahan (U.S.), 4 and 3
Match 9     Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) defeated Branden Grace/Richard Sterne (International), 2 and 1
Match 10 Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (International) defeated Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (U.S.), 2 and 1
Match 11 Matt Kuchar/Tiger Woods (U.S.) defeated Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (International), 4 and 2
Match 12  Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (International) defeated Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner (U.S.), 2 and 1
Note: Presidents Cup rookies (11) are in bold

*****

Adam Scott and Tiger Woods have now faced each other five times in Presidents Cup play.
Event         US Players                                       INT players                                   Result                          Match type          
2005           Tiger Woods/Fred Couples            Adam Scott/Retief Goosen         INT 4 and 3                Foursomes
2007           Tiger Woods/Jim Furyk                  Ernie Els/Adam Scott                   US 4 and 3                  Foursomes
2011           Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker           KJ Choi/Adam Scott                     INT 7 and 6                Foursomes                     
2011           Tiger Woods/Dustin Johnson        KJ Choi/Adam Scott                     US 3 and 2                  Foursomes
2013           Tiger Woods/Matt Kuchar             Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama                                      US 1 up  Four-ball
Tiger Woods is 3-0 through three rounds at the Presidents Cup for just the second time in his career in either the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. The other year that Woods started 3-0 was The Presidents Cup 2009 when he finished 5-0 for the tournament.
Updated individual player records
International Team
Angel Cabrera – 2013 – 1-3-0
Overall
5-8-3 (The Presidents Cup: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013)
1-5-2 (Four-Ball)
2-3-0 (Foursomes)
2-0-1 (Singles)
Jason Day – 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
3-4-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)
3-1-0 (Four-Ball)
0-2-1 (Foursomes)
0-1-0 (Singles)
Brendon de Jonge – 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
1-2-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
0-2-0 (Four-Ball)
1-0-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Graham DeLaet– 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
2-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
2-0-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Ernie Els– 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
18-18-2 (The Presidents Cup: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
8-7-1 (Four-Ball)
7-7-1 (Foursomes)
3-4-0 (Singles)
Branden Grace– 2013 – 0-3-0
Overall
0-3-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
0-2-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Marc Leishman– 2013 – 1-1-0
Overall
1-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
0-1-0 (Four-Ball)
1-0-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Hideki Matsuyama– 2013 – 1-0-1
Overall
1-1-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
0-1-1 (Four-Ball)
1-0-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Louis Oosthuizen– 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
1-2-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
1-1-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Charl Schwartzel – 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
4-3-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)
3-1-0 (Four-Ball)
0-2-1 (Foursomes)
1-0-0 (Singles)
Adam Scott – 2013 – 1-1-1
Overall
11-14-3 (The Presidents Cup: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
5-5-2 (Four-Ball)
4-6-1 (Foursomes)
2-3-0 (Singles)
Richard Sterne – 2013 – 0-2-0
Overall
0-2-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
0-1-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
United States Team
Keegan Bradley – 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
2-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
1-1-0 (Four-Ball)
1-0-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Jason Dufner– 2013 – 1-1-0
Overall
1-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
1-0-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Bill Haas – 2013 – 1-1-1
Overall
2-4-2 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)
1-1-1 (Four-Ball)
0-2-1 (Foursomes)
0-1-0 (Singles)
Zach Johnson – 2013 – 1-1-0
Overall
5-6-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2007, 2009, 2013)
2-2-0 (Four-Ball)
3-2-0 (Foursomes)
0-2-0 (Singles)
Matt Kuchar – 2013 – 3-0-0
Overall
4-3-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)
3-1-0 (Four-Ball)
1-1-1 (Foursomes)
0-1-0 (Singles)
Hunter Mahan – 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
9-7-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
3-4-0 (Four-Ball)
4-2-1 (Foursomes)
2-1-0 (Singles)
Phil Mickelson – 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
20-15-10 (The Presidents Cup: 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
8-5-5 (Four-Ball)
10-6-2 (Foursomes)
2-4-3 (Singles)
Webb Simpson – 2013 – 1-1-1
Overall
4-3-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011)
2-1-1 (Four-Ball)
2-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-1-0 (Singles)
Brandt Snedeker – 2013 – 1-2-0
Overall
1-2-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
1-1-0 (Four-Ball)
0-1-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Jordan Spieth – 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
2-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)
1-1-0 (Four-Ball)
1-0-0 (Foursomes)
0-0-0 (Singles)
Steve Stricker – 2013 – 2-1-0
Overall
13-9-0 (The Presidents Cup: 1996, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
6-4-0 (Four-Ball)
5-3-0 (Foursomes)
2-2-0 (Singles)
Tiger Woods – 2013 – 3-0-0
Overall
23-14-1 (The Presidents Cup: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
7-9-0 (Four-Ball)
11-3-1 (Foursomes)
5-2-0 (Singles)

******

*Update 6:30pm, Saturday: A few announcements for fans re: Sunday. Play has yet to be called, but it gets dark around 7pm, so not much daylight left. The fourth round matches will resume Sunday morning at 7:35am. The captains will gather in the war room interview room to draw the singles matches at 8am 8:30am.

The expected finish time of fourth round is 9am, which is also the same time the singles are supposed to start.

*Update 7pm: Zach Johnson holes out from the fairway for eagle on no. 15 to close out Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman 4&3.

The Internationals lead in two matches, AS in one, and the Americans are up in the other. Enjoy the football tonight and tomorrow.