Sunday morning was a disaster for the International team at the Presidents Cup, as Team USA strung together multiple comebacks to take the final Foursomes session of the week and extend their lead to 14 to 8. The American team now only needs four of the available 12 points in Sunday singles to win their fifth straight Presidents Cup.
The American morning turnaround started again with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, the USA's most dynamic pairing for two years now. For the third straight session, Mickelson and Bradley staged a comeback after falling into an early hole. They were 3-down to Jason Day and Graham DeLaet yesterday, but had pulled it back to even by the time darkness hit and Foursomes were suspended.
The back-and-forth match continued Sunday morning, with each side exchanging blows before coming to the 18th tee all square. And that's where, perhaps the match of the week, ended with a bit more drama. Mickelson hit a ridiculous long iron shot to the front of the green, setting up a great birdie chance for Bradley in the alternate shot format. But before Bradley could close out a potential 1-up win, the Canadian DeLaet chipped in from the front of the green to put the pressure on. Bradley, facing a must-make for the halve, anchored his putter and put it dead center. The sequence, via Kyle Porter of CBS:
But Mickelson and Bradley's half point wasn't the most impressive work of the morning resumption. Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker, who started on the 13th hole 3-down to Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, took four out of five holes from No. 13 through 17 to walk off the 18th green with a 1up victory.
It was a catastrophe for the South African duo, who completely lost it and "melted" as NBC's Johnny Miller noted on the broadcast. Simpson and Snedeker started rolling some points, and the dramatic turnaround was complete. This was probably the one match that removed all hope of a Sunday comeback for the Internationals, with this blown point deflating the entire team.
It wasn't all American dominance in the conclusion of Foursomes, however, as Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar lost their first match of the week. Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge started the morning 2-up on the 10th hole, and after the Zimbabwean de Jonge rinsed his tee shot on the 17th, it looked like the Americans might pull off another comeback. But the International pair closed things out on the 18th to preserve the 1up win.
The final match board from the last two-man session of the 2013 Presidents Cup:
|Match Progress||International Pairing||USA Pairing|
|USA wins, 4&3||Marc Leishman & Richard Sterne||Jason Dufner & Zach Johnson|
|Halved||Jason Day & Graham DeLaet||Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley|
|USA wins, 1up||Louis Oosthuizen & Charl Schwartzel||Webb Simpson & Brandt Snedeker|
|USA wins, 4&3||Adam Scott & Hideki Matsuyama||Steve Stricker & Bill Haas|
|INTL wins, 1up||Ernie Els & Brendon de Jonge||Matt Kuchar & Tiger Woods|
Sunday singles are now beginning, with the first few matches already out on the course and another band of storms approaching the Columbus area. It could be over early, however, with the Americans needing just four points.
Here's the lineup for those 12 Sunday singles, which includes a Tiger Woods vs. Richard Sterne clash for the ages.