Spieth on fire, U.S. stay ahead in Presidents Cup

Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:10am EDT
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By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - It was a day of great escapes and blown opportunities for the Internationals on day three of the Presidents Cup, while Jordan Spieth delivered a birdie blitz to help keep the United States a point in front with just Sunday's singles matches to come.

The International team looked set to get their noses in front at the biennial event for the first time in a decade but squandered several solid leads and split the eight points on offer to end Saturday trailing 9.5 to 8.5.

They will have their work cut out to get the seven points they need from Sunday's 12 singles to win the Presidents Cup for the first time since 1998. No team has ever won the Cup after going into the singles matches trailing.

History is not the only obstacle they will have to overcome -- world number one Spieth has finally caught fire.

After partnering Dustin Johnson to a narrow morning win over Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel, Spieth returned in the afternoon with Patrick Reed to defeat the same International pair in the four-balls, sealing the match 3&2 in near darkness.

"I would call it unplayable," said Spieth, who holed eight birdies in the 16 holes played. "If it was a tied match, we would not have played the 16th hole. It was too dark."

Phil Mickelson, who sat out the morning action, teamed up with trusted partner Zach Johnson in the afternoon to defeat Adam Scott and Anirban Lahiri 3&2.

"The entire Presidents Cup is going to come down to tomorrow's singles matches," said Mickelson, who needed a captain's pick to make the team but has claimed 2.5 points from his three matches.   Continued...

U.S. team member Jordan Spieth reacts after sinking his putt on the ninth hole during their four ball matches of the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai