MONTREAL (AP) — Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk hope they’ll have better luck together Saturday morning in the Presidents Cup than they did Friday afternoon.
Coming off a 5-and-4 fourball loss to Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby, the American stars will face Ernie Els and Adam Scott in the third foursomes match Saturday morning. The best-ball loss was Woods’ worst in team competition.
Singh and Appleby were 11 under through 14 holes.
“We ran into a tough match,” said Woods, 2-7 in Presidents Cup best-ball play.
“Not like we were playing bad. We shot 6 under, but we played the same holes. … We needed to take it a lot deeper than that and we didn’t do it.”
International captain Gary Player paired Singh and Canadian Mike Weir for their second straight alternate-shot match. On Thursday, they earned the International side’s lone half-point in the opening session in an exciting match with Phil Mickelson and Woody Austin, who also will be back together Saturday.
Singh and Weir will face Scott Verplank and Lucas Glover in the fourth of the five morning matches, while Mickelson and Austin will meet Appleby and Retief Goosen in the second match. In the other morning matches, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan will open against South Africans Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini, and David Toms and Zach Johnson will face Australians Nick O’Hern and Geoff Ogilvy in the finale.
Americans Charles Howell III and Stewart Cink will sit out the morning session along with International player Angel Cabrera and K.J. Choi.
The teams will play five fourball matches Saturday afternoon, then wrap up the competition Sunday with 12 singles matches.
RALLY CRY: Stuart Appleby credited the International comeback Friday to a motivational speech assistant captain Ian Baker-Finch delivered on the bus ride back to the hotel the night before.
Well, sort of.
“It wasn’t anything like Gen. Schwarzkopf,” Appleby said. “I think we’re going to get Retief (Goosen) to do the next one. His will be a lot shorter.”
What was said?
“That’s a secret,” International captain Gary Player said, laughing.
There wasn’t much to say. The Americans won 5 1/2 points from the opening six matches, but four of them went to the 18th hole. Goosen said that was evidence the teams were closely matched, and the Internationals simply had to figure out how to win the 18th.
That they did.
It had been since Saturday in South Africa four years ago that the International team earned a full point from a match that had gone the distance. Goosen and Angel Cabrera did the trick when the Argentine holed a 10-foot birdie putt for a 1-up victory.
They won another match on the final hole when Geoff Ogilvy made a 5-foot birdie.
“We all know we didn’t play that bad,” Goosen said. “The 18th has not been good to us, so it was nice to have the 18th on our side.”
COACHING LAPSE: Trevor Immelman was about to take his stance over a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole when Ernie Els, watching from against the bleachers, asked assistant captain Ian Baker-Finch if he was allowed to help line up the putt.
“Sure,” Baker-Finch replied.
Els then told him that everyone had been missing that putt on the low side, and that Baker-Finch should tell Immelman to play the ball a little more out to the right. Trouble was, Immelman was well into his routine.
“What if you’re wrong?” Stuart Appleby said to Els.
They sat back and watched Immelman complete his routine. The ball veered to the left. Els looked over and shot Baker-Finch another look.
BIG HUG: U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus’ wife, Barbara, gave Woody Austin — still a little wet from his headfirst fall into a lake on the 14th hole — a hug after patiently waiting for him to finish his greenside interviews.
“What a day!” she said.
Jack was impressed by the way Austin rebounded to birdie the final three holes in the match that Austin and David Toms halved with Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini.
“Here he is, he takes a dive in a lake and then holes three straight putts,” the captain said. “He’s amazing. He’s been terrific so far.
OLD NEWS: With the on-course scoreboards four or five holes behind the action, the players were unable to keep track of the other matches
Seconds after Vijay Singh birdied the 13th to give himself and Stuart Appleby a 5-up lead over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, the scoreboard behind the green reported that the International team had a 3-up lead after eight holes.
“The scoreboards were a few holes behind, so you couldn’t really follow it,” International player Retief Goosen said. “We did hear a lot of loud roars behind us.”
FASHION STATEMENT: Hunter Mahan wore snazzy red, white and blue shoes.
“I had them in the closet,” the U.S. rookie said. “Foot-Joy actually makes them. I didn’t even have to special order.”