DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - Tiger Woods remained unbeaten at this week’s Presidents Cup as the United States maintained a one-point lead over the Internationals after the weather-delayed foursomes ended on Saturday morning.
Woods and his playing partner Matt Kuchar beat in-form South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel 4&2 in the marquee match of six before the Americans finished the opening foursomes session at Muirfield Village with an overall lead of 6-1/2 points to 5-1/2.
“You get a great partner like Tiger Woods, we matched up really well together,” said Kuchar. “We are having a lot of fun out there and making a lot of birdies.”
Steve Stricker and 20-year-old rookie Jordan Spieth also preserved a perfect record as they wrapped up a 2&1 win over South Africans Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, Stricker sealing victory by sinking a six-footer to par the 17th.
Argentina’s Angel Cabrera and Australian Marc Leishman posted the first blue number of the day on the leaderboard for the Internationals with a closely contested 2&1 victory over Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.
Cabrera and Leishman had been one up overnight after 13 holes but lost the 14th after Snedeker hit a stunning approach to inside two feet for a conceded birdie.
However, Leishman sank a 10-footer to birdie the 15th for the Internationals to regain a one-up advantage and they closed out the match after the Australian almost holed his approach at the 17th and Snedeker missed his birdie attempt from 14 feet.
“Just great to get a win under the belt for the two of us,” said Cup rookie Leishman. “We played reasonably well. I think Sneds and Webb probably didn’t play their best, but we got it done and that’s what matters.”
Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama followed suit with a 2&1 win over Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner, though they had to work hard harder than expected after squandering a five-up lead with six holes to play.
On Friday, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley had completed a 4&3 win over Australian Jason Day and Canada’s Graham DeLaet while South African Ernie Els and Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge triumphed by the same margin against Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan.
The players face the prospect of a marathon day at Muirfield Village after weather delays on each of the first two days with five fourball matches and five more foursomes also on the schedule.
The Americans, seeking an eighth triumph in 10 editions, rested Dufner and Johnson from the third session while the Internationals benched Sterne and Leishman.
“We saved them for the alternate shot,” U.S. captain Fred Couples said of his decision to rest Dufner and Johnson. “Obviously the hardest thing is to sit someone, and that’s just the choice we made.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Julian Linden