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U.S. holds 1-point lead over Internationals in Presidents Cup

South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen are only the second duo to go 4-0 in the Presidents Cup.

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South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen are only the second duo to go 4-0 in the Presidents Cup.

INCHEON, South Korea — Whether it was the South African juggernaut 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 the event needed.

Grace delivered two big shots in the gathering darkness, 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. And the International team played the Americans to a draw in a double session Saturday to stay one point behind.

Considering how lopsided the Cup has been, it felt like a lead.

"We need to win this," Oosthuizen said. "This is huge for us. We believe we can do it."

The Americans had a 9½-8½ lead. They also have Jordan Spieth, the world's No. 1 player. He made two clutch putts in morning foursomes to cap off the biggest comeback of the day, and he made eight birdies in 14 holes in a fourballs win 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.

Grace and Oosthuizen were all square with Bubba Watson and J.B. 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.

The darkness was getting so thick that Grace had no idea Oosthuizen's second shot into the par-5 18th 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 on 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 and a crucial win.

The only other team to go 4-0 in the Presidents Cup was Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2009.

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 ever since.

Spieth and Jason Day figured to be the marquee match in today's final round, only it didn't work out that way. The pairings are announced one side at a time, and U.S. captain Jay Haas put Spieth in a singles game with Marc Leishman. There were groans in the room when it was clear the Cup would not have a Spieth-Day match.

LPGA: Jessica Korda took a two-stroke lead at the LPGA Malaysia, shooting 6-under 65 for 12-under 201 in Kuala Lumpur. Fellow American Stacy Lewis (65) and South Korea's Ha Na Jang (71) were tied for second.

CHAMPIONS: Kenny Perry shot 4-under 68 in the rain for a one-shot lead after two rounds at the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. He was at 8-under 136. Joe Durant was second after his 68.

U.S. holds 1-point lead over Internationals in Presidents Cup 10/10/15 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:18pm]
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