U.S. strengthen hold on Cup

Sun Oct 6, 2013 11:51am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - The United States were on the brink of retaining the Presidents Cup after stretching their overall lead to a commanding six points when the weather-delayed foursome matches were completed at Muirfield Village on Sunday.

Needing 17-1/2 points to keep the trophy, the Americans won two of the remaining four matches in the session while halving one to lead the Internationals by 14 points to 8.

No team has ever won the trophy after coming from behind going into the concluding 12 singles, leaving the holders in a commanding position to win the Cup for an eighth time in 10 editions.

Trailing by 11-1/2 points to 6-1/2 overnight, the Internationals needed to build early momentum on Sunday but it was the Americans who came charging out of the gate on the rain-soaked layout.

Bill Haas and Steve Stricker wrapped up a commanding 4&3 victory over Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, sealing the win on the 15th green with their third birdie in four holes.

Scott has never been on a triumphant team despite playing in the Presidents Cup on five occasions and he summed up the monumental task facing the Internationals as they headed into the singles.

"Well, we're up against it," he said. "We're just going to have to fight as hard as we can and if we can get enough blue going, we're looking for one of those miracle comebacks I guess.

"Otherwise, we all want to win our matches anyway just for our own pride."   Continued...

Keegan Bradley of the U.S. celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th hole while playing Justin Day of Australia and Graham DeLaet of Canada during the continuation of the rain delayed Foursome matches for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes