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Americans headed for a rare road victory

Except for Weir vs. Woods.

"If there's one player on our team that can really give Tiger a go, it will be Mike Weir," Els said. "He's going to have all of Canada behind him."

Weir said it would help to have blue numbers on the board before he tees off, hopeful of building some momentum. Even so, the Americans have been playing the kind of golf they rarely display in the Ryder Cup, and Stuart Appleby sized up the International chances when he looked at the lineup, with the Australian in the 11th match.

"If the boys up front don't hold their position, we all collapse," he said.

They did plenty of that on Saturday.

Nicklaus nodded his head and clapped his hands with each point moving the Americans closer to their first outright victory on the road in the Presidents Cup, and their first in any cup since winning the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 1993.

After the 5-0 blitz in the morning, Nicklaus was asked if he'd like to see the score closer.

"Uh-uh," he said through pursed lips.

"Why would you ever say to one of your guys, 'I hope you lose so it's close,"' Nicklaus said. "Would I like to see the matches played well? Absolutely. Would I like to see it close? Absolutely. But as captain, I put them out to win every match."

That they did — or close to it.

Coming off his worst loss in a team match, Woods and Jim Furyk built a quick lead and poured it on in the closing holes for a 5-and-4 victory over Els and Adam Scott. In the afternoon with David Toms at his side — Woods' 14th partner in cup competitions — they never trailed in a 5-and-3 victory over Geoff Ogilvy and Nick O'Hern.

Woods went 3-1 in the team matches, his best record in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.

Mickelson had not won a full point in the cups in eight matches until he and Austin were essentially handed victory by Appleby and Retief Goosen, who failed to make a birdie and were 6 over when the match ended on the 14th hole.

The tougher test came in the afternoon against Goosen and Scott. The match was all square when Mickelson's approach on the 15th went into the hazard, about two-thirds of the ball resting above the water. Mickelson asked Austin to try to make par so he wouldn't have to play the shot. Austin missed, Mickelson stepped into the lake and all the Americans got out of it was a good laugh.

"I don't know if he thought he was going to lose the tag of Aquaman," Mickelson said. "I don't think that's going to do it."

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