Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Golf

Americans seize control in Presidents Cup

DUBLIN, Ohio — The Americans were assured Saturday of being in the lead going into the final round of the rain-plagued Presidents Cup.

Zach Johnson holed out from the 15th fairway for eagle to complete a swift turnaround in foursomes and give the Americans yet another point toward winning the Presidents Cup for the fifth straight time.

Johnson and Jason Dufner won six of eight holes to go from 2 down to a 4-and-3 win over the International pair of Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman. That was the only foursomes match of five that finished before it became too dark to play at Muirfield Village.

The win gave the Americans an 11½-6½ lead, meaning they were assured at least a one-point lead going into singles today. Since the event began in 1994, no team has trailed going into singles and won outright. The Americans were three behind in 2003 and rallied for a tie.

A team needs 17½ points to win the Presidents Cup.

"The U.S. has really been unrelenting," International captain Nick Price said. "They have just played superbly the last three days. Any slip from us and we find ourselves one or two down very quickly."

Another rain delay kept the matches from finishing for the second straight day, this time because of the work needed to drain the saturated course. The four suspended matches were to resume this morning, followed by the 12 singles matches.

In the foursomes, the board was filled with blue International scores on the front nine.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, who rallied earlier in a fourballs match to win, were 3 down through seven holes when Mickelson made two big putts that led to them squaring the match with Jason Day and Graham DeLaet through 14 holes. Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, undefeated in all three matches they have played, were 2 down against Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge through nine.

LPGA: China's Shanshan Feng shot 9-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis (65) at 21-under 198 after the third round of the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing. Inbee Park (66) was five strokes back. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (71) was 3 under.

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