Tiger Woods raised a few eyebrows by selecting himself to be playing in the Presidents Cup on Friday despite being the captain. However, his decision was vindicated as the team closed the gap on their international opponents.
Much of the comeback for the USA team was centred around the winning partnership of Woods and Justin Thomas. They had previously been the only pair to pick up points for the Americans on the opening day, and they were once again the partnership to ensure that the Americans have something to fight for.
Thomas and Woods produced a mesmeric comeback to win their Foursome. Earlier in the day, the International Team extended their lead by two, but Woods ensured that the gap wouldn’t be impossible to reach on a gripping afternoon of action.
Action From Earlier In The Day
The day didn’t start great for the Americans, but they were boosted as Patrick Cantlay produced a birdie on the last four holes to win by one alongside his partner Xander Schauffele.
The duo held off the threat to beat Joaquin Niemann and Adam Hadwin prior to Thomas handing the same victory to himself and Woods against Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An.
Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland managed to find a birdie in the final two holes of their clash with Sunghae Im and Cameron Smith to secure a draw. That result ensured that the International Team claimed the overnight 6-3 lead over the Americans.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the International Team as they started the day on the front foot. That was down to the performances of Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott as they managed to beat Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson in the opening match between the pairs on the second day.
Woods Inspires American Team
Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer managed to beat Webb Simpson and Patrick Reid to put the hosts ahead by five before all of the remaining clashes when to the 18th hole to determine the winning side.
The first American point of the day came from Cantlay as he finished off his close-range birdie on the 15th. The effort by himself and Schauffele was magnificent as they had trailed heading into the final four holes.
Then it was the turn of Woods to make history. His win alongside Thomas matched the record set by Phil Mickelson for the most wins in this competition. It would be hard to separate Thomas and Woods for the next round of matches as they have produced two wins in two days for the American team.
Woods’ effect on the match shouldn’t have been overlooked. He dragged them back into the match on the 11th after they had slipped behind despite being ahead earlier in the day. Woodland then put the Americans on course for the win, before Fowler ensured the International Team would take a share of the spoils.
The action continues throughout the weekend, with all 24 players involved in Sunday’s singles. Meanwhile, tomorrow’s action will centre around the fourballs in the morning.