MELBOURNE, Australia – Many Australian golf fans had extremely high hopes for the International team this week.
At the only venue at which the American team had been beaten in eight previous Presidents Cups, the five Aussies (plus Royal Melbourne expert Ernie Els) figured to provide some cheap points based on their experience of Royal Melbourne's subtleties.
Throw in the impressive form most had displayed in their American campaigns this year, and local expectations were high. But through four phases of the 2011 Presidents Cup, the numbers simply don't match those hopes.
After Saturday's marathon double session, the Australian collective and Els had combined for five wins, 10 losses and two halves.
No matter which way you cut that, it's a disappointing return, and it goes a long way to explaining exactly why the International team is massively behind the eight ball before the singles.
Only Geoff Ogilvy, who rose to 2-1-1 with a win over Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar, holds a winning mark.
Adam Scott, the unofficial captain of the International squad through his on-course actions and off-course rallying cries throughout the year, has taken on the might of the American squad on all three days. But he's 1-3-0 and clearly anguished that the Cup is slipping through his hands.
Despite occasional flashes of brilliance, Jason Day hasn't brought his A-game, and he and Aaron Baddeley are 1-2-1.
Yet the flattest of the Aussie performances has come from Robert Allenby. The Melbourne native, for months buoyant about his prospects and desires to return home to a course on which he has won twice as a pro, is a pointless 0-3-0 through four stages and was rested for the fourball matches on day three.
It's far from the return expected by local fans and must have captain and countryman Greg Norman scratching his head.