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Presidents Cup As Good As Over Before Sunday Play Gets Underway

Nick Price and assistants Geoff Ogilvy and Mike Weir try to figure out how to stop the bleeding at Liberty National (Photo: Getty Images)
Mathematically the International Team have a chance to win the Presidents Cup. Realistically they have none.

Team USA have inflicted a devastating and humiliating defeat on Nick Price’s men at Liberty National in New Jersey, just a single point required in tomorrow’s 12 singles matches to clinch the Cup with the scoreline standing at 14.5 to 3.5.

Ironically, it was only the heroics of Anirban Lahiri, the much maligned captain’s pick whose play on day two was awful, that stopped the Americans claiming a clean sweep in the afternoon session and ending the competition before the singles were even played.

The Indian golfer whose missed short putt in 2015 cost the Internationals a chance at victory holed back to back monster putts at the 16th and 17th holes late in the day to guarantee a half point for his team.

Needing 7.5 points from an available eight on Saturday the Americans claimed 3.5 points in the morning foursomes and three in the afternoon fourballs to put the outcome beyond doubt.

The result has called into question the future of the matches with the overall record miserable reading for non-American fans, the US wining 10 of the 12 encounters played with one International victory and a tied event in 2003.

As they have each day of the competition the International squad got off to a decent start in most of their Saturday matches but the US dominated the back nine for the third straight day to embarrass their International counterparts.

The International team have won only two full points in the first three days of the competition, the bulk of the team’s three points contributed by halved matches.

In the morning foursomes Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed closed out Marc Leishman and Jason Day 4&3 with four straight wins from the 12th.

Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson were never behind against Adam Scott and Adam Hadwin as they registered the same result while Kevin Kisner and Phil Mickelson triumphed 2up in a close contest against Emiliano Grillo and Jhonattan Vegas.

A halved point from Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen passed for the International team’s only highlight of the morning ahead of what was a deflating series of afternoon fourballs.

Trailing 11.5 to 2.5 to start the session the end result was all but a foregone conclusion but with pride at stake an International fightback was expected.

It never eventuated, however, with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth overcoming a controversial ruling at the 12th hole to beat Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day 2&1.

Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas fought back from being 3 down through five holes by making a series of unlikely putts on the back nine to eventually beat Jhonattan Vegas and Hideki Masuyama 3&2.

The powerhouse pairing of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka beat Marc Leishman and Branden Grace 3&2 while Anirban Lahiri and Si Woo Kim registered the only point of the afternoon for Nick Price.

With 12 points available in the Sunday singles the Cup is likely to be decided early in the day though the Internationals will be motivated to win as many matches as possible.

What’s not as clear is the future of the event, social media commentary suggesting most analysts and fans have been less than impressed with the lopsided nature of the competition.

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