JERSEY CITY, New Jersey, Saturday: The International team’s Presidents Cup hopes were hanging by the slimmest of threads after the United States claimed six of eight matches in a cut-throat display on Saturday to sit on the brink of a seventh successive title.
Only a one-up victory by India’s Anirban Lahiri and South Korea’s Kim Si-woo over Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman denied the United States a sweep of the afternoon four-balls to put celebrations at a breezy Liberty National on hold.
It also kept the Internationals of suffering the ultimate embarrassment of watching the trophy claimed on a Saturday for the first time.
The United States have a commanding 14-1/2 to 3-1/2 lead and need just one point from Sunday’s 12 singles matches.
”We’ve just come up against a juggernaut of an American team that has not put a foot wrong,“ said International captain Nick Price. ”They have had all the momentum and we’ve had nothing. ”There’s an outside shot tomorrow and the guys all know that.
”They are going to go play for their pride, they are going to play for themselves, they are going to play for the team and they are going to play for us.
“You’re not going to be able to take the spirit away out from our team, that’s for sure.”
Despite failing to clinch, it was another ruthless performance from the U.S., who won three of four foursomes matches and halved the other then followed up by prevailing in three of the four-ball contests. The U.S. had looked poised to run the table on Saturday after Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed claimed a 2&1 decision over Australian Jason Day and South African Louis Oosthuizen, before Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas beat Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama 3&2. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka then secured a 3&2 victory over Australian Marc Leishman and South African Branden Grace before the spotlight fell on Chappell and Hoffman in the last match of the day. – Agencies