INCHEON, South Korea – A late rally blunted what could have been another momentum boost for the International team and maintained the U.S. team’s one-point advantage at the Presidents Cup, 7 ½ to 6 ½.
Paired with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth rolled in clutch birdie putts at Nos. 17 and 18 for the week’s biggest comeback against Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel, who led for 13 of the 18 holes and were 3 up through nine but failed to birdie a single hole on the closing loop.
The ultimate momentum breaker for the Internationals came at No. 18 when Schwartzel failed to get the duo’s second shot out of a fairway bunker. Spieth converted a par putt from 7 feet to give the Americans the hole and a 1-up victory.
“What a comeback we had there. That was a huge point,” Spieth said.
Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace continued their dominance for the Internationals, cruising past Patrick Reed and Rickie Fowler, 4 and 3.
The South African duo hasn’t been pushed past the 16th hole this week and was scheduled to lead off the afternoon fourball session against J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson, who missed a 6-footer for birdie at the 18th hole and halved his team's morning match against Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.
Bill Haas and Matt Kuchar lost the closing hole to Sangmoon Bae and Hideki Matsuyama and that match was halved.
Despite the Americans' late rally, the International team’s performance was an improvement over what has become the rest of the world’s Achilles’ heel, according to captain Nick Price. It was the first time the Internationals managed to split a foursome session since Day 1 at the 2013 matches. Price’s team lost Thursday’s foursome session, 4-1.