Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 11th 2015 Contents A49
October 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
INCHEON---Whether it was the South African jug-
gernaut of Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen,
the inspired play of Bae Sang-moon in front of his
home crowd or a format change that reduced the
number of matches, the Presidents Cup is truly up
for grabs for the first time in 10 years.
That s all the International team ever wanted.
And it s what this event sorely needed.
Grace delivered two big shots in the gathering dark-
ness, and the South African duo went 4-0 in team
matches. Bae and Hideki Matsuyama teamed for nine
birdies in 11 holes for the biggest rout of the week.
Presidents Cup finally has some drama
And the International team
played the Americans to a draw
in a double session yesterday
to stay just one point behind.
Considering how lopsided
the Presidents Cup has been,
it felt like a lead.
"We need to win this," Oost-
huizen said. "This is huge for
us. We believe we can do it."
The Americans had a 9 1/2-
8 1/2 lead. They also have Jor-
dan Spieth, the No 1 player in
the world. He made two clutch
putts in morning foursomes to
cap off the biggest comeback
at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club
Korea, and he made eight
birdies in 14 holes in a fourballs
victory in the afternoon.
Not since the matches were
tied going into Sunday in 2005
has the Presidents Cup featured
a final day of drama.
"This is what we all came
here for---for it to be exciting
tomorrow," International captain
Nick Price said.
The South Africans have cer-
tainly done their part, with
Grace producing two critical
Grace and Oosthuizen were
all square with Bubba Watson
and JB Holmes, and it was clear
their fourballs match would set
the tone for the final round. Grace chipped in for birdie from left of the 16th
green, raising his arm before the ball reached the cup and sharing a bear hug with
his childhood friend.
The darkness was getting so thick that Grace had no idea Oosthuizen s second
shot into the par-5 18th hole had gone into the water. Grace could barely see the
green from 263 yards away with a chilly wind in his face. No matter. He smashed
his 3-wood, watched it disappear into the gloaming and had no idea what happened
until he heard a burst of cheers coming from the grandstands.
The ball narrowly cleared the bunker and settled oan the edge of the green.
"I don t know where it finished or how it got to where it did," Grace said. "Just
remarkable to pull a shot off like that."
Watson and Holmes both missed the green, and when neither chipped in for
eagle, Grace rolled his putt close enough to be conceded the birdie and a crucial
"No moment is too big for him," Oosthuizen said.
The only other team to go 4-0 in the Presidents Cup was Tiger Woods and
Steve Stricker in 2009. The South Africans knew they were playing well, and
they suggested to Price on Thursday after their opening match to split them up
so they could help lift other teammates. Price stuck with them, and it paid off.
"He just said, There s no chance we re splitting you. He s the captain, and he
got that right," Oosthuizen said.
Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson rested in the morning and came out firing
in the afternoon, winning the first hole with a Mickelson birdie and never giving
it up in a 3-and-2 win over Adam Scott and Anirban Lahiri.
The Americans opened with a 4-1 lead Thursday and have been outplayed ---
but not my much---ever since.
Spieth salvaged the morning session by making a pair of 7-foot putts on the
final two holes and turned a small deficit into a big win with Dustin Johnson.
He was just as big in the afternoon with Patrick Reed, not going with three straight
birdies to from 1 down to 2 up, but with a bunker shot on No 12. Spieth was so
certain he was going to hole out that he asked caddie Michael Greller to get the
ball out of the hole for him before he hit the shot.
"But not loud enough that Jason could hear," Spieth said.
He was referring to Jason Day, his chief rival for the year, who lost twice to
Spieth yesterday with Charl Schwartzel as his partner.
Spieth and Day figured to be the marquee match in the final round, only it
didn t work out that way. The pairings are announced one side at a time, and
US captain Jay Haas put Spieth in a singles game with Marc Leishman.
There were groans in the room when it was clear the Presidents Cup would
not have a Spieth-Day match. Haas cared only about putting Spieth in the No
9 slot, which tends to be the deciding match when it s close.
This Presidents Cup doesn t need that kind of pairing to be compelling. Finally.
...with US up by a point
United States' Jordan Spieth reacts after sinking
a putt on the 18th green to win their foursome
match at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at
the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, in Incheon,
South Korea, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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