Woods and Furyk rebound to lead U.S. sweep

Woods and Furyk rebound to lead U.S. sweep

Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk beat Ernie Els and Adam Scott 4 and 3.
Paul Chiasson/AP

MONTREAL (AP) — Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk rebounded from a blowout loss in the Presidents Cup to help the United States sweep the five Saturday morning foursomes matches for a 12-5 lead over the International team.

Overwhelmed by Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby in a 5-and-4 fourball rout Friday afternoon, Woods and Furyk returned to Royal Montreal to beat Ernie Els and Adam Scott 4 and 3 in alternate-shot play.

The sweep — the fourth in Presidents Cup history — gave the United States 10 1/2 of the 11 available points in the two foursomes sessions. Five best-ball matches were set for Saturday afternoon and the event will finish Sunday with 12 singles matches.

“We’ve got to keep our guard up and keep going,” U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus said.

Woody Austin and Phil Mickelson also had a convincing win in brisk, sunny conditions, beating Appleby and Retief Goosen 5 and 4. The victory was Mickelson’s first in his last nine international matches dating to the 2005 Presidents Cup.

In other matches, Scott Verplank — the 2001 Canadian Open winner at Royal Montreal — and Lucas Glover beat Singh and Canadian Mike Weir 2 and 1, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan held of Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman 2 up, and David Toms and Zach Johnson beat Geoff Ogilvy and Nick O’Hern 2 and 1.

With Woods teeing off on the odd-numbered holes, the American stars took the par-4 first with a par, and won the par-4 third on Woods’ 25-foot birdie putt.

The Americans dropped the par-4 fourth with their lone bogey, then restored their 2-up lead on Furyk’s 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fifth. The teams split the par-3 seventh with birdies, Woods and Furyk made it 4 up with birdies on the par-5 12th and par-4 14th and halved the 15th with pars to end the match.

“They had their opportunities, but couldn’t get the putts to fall,” Furyk said.

Woods was still talking about Austin’s face-first plunge into a lake Friday.

“We razzed him pretty hard in the team room,” Woods said. “That’s something I don’t think any of us will soon forget.”

Austin has provided a lot more than comic relief in his first team competition.

On Thursday, he teamed with Mickelson to halve an exciting foursomes match with Singh and Weir. Then, paired with Toms on Friday, Austin stole the show with the plunge and birdies on the final three holes for a halve against Immelman and Sabbatini.

“Woody has been unbelievable,” Nicklaus said.

On Saturday, Mickelson holed a chip on the par-4 10th for the first of only two birdies in the match and the Americans finished it on the 14th — the short par 4 where Austin fell the day before — after Austin’s 80-yard approach left a 4-footer for birdie.

“I’ve got a great partner here in Aquaman,” Mickelson joked.

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