Matches Tied After Morning Session

By Sports NetworkSeptember 24, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- The United States captured three points in Saturday morning's five foursomes matches to tie the Presidents Cup at 8 1/2 - 8 1/2.
Retief Goosen and Adam Scott halved their match with the American tandem of Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank in the opening tilt.
Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco used an ace to play perhaps the best U.S. golf in alternate-shot in years as they blew out Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera, 5 and 3.
Tim Clark and Nick O'Hern overcame a 2-down with six to play deficit to beat Americans David Toms and Fred Funk, 2 and 1. The anchor match went to the U.S. when Stewart Cink and Davis Love III topped Trevor Immelman and Mike Weir, 1-up.
The marquee match on Saturday morning featured the top two players in the world. Tiger Woods, No. 1, and Jim Furyk gutted out a tough halve against world No. 2 Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby.
Woods and Furyk were 2-up on the front nine, but the Internationals won three holes in a row from the eighth to move in front. The Americans tied it at 11, but Singh drained a 7-footer to win the 12th.
Singh hit his tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 14th to set up birdie and give his team a 2-up lead. The U.S. took the 15th, but the International side took 16 when Furyk missed a 6-footer to halve.
The U.S. needed to win the last two holes to earn a halve and Woods started them off when he hit the approach to 8 feet at 17. Appleby missed from slightly farther away and Furyk ran it home to cut the margin to 1-down.
At 18, both Woods and Singh hit long drives into the fairway. Appleby hit a poor second to 40 feet, but Furyk hit a spectacular shot that stopped 3 feet from the hole.
Singh hit a solid putt that left a conceded par, but Woods converted the little putt to erase the 2-down deficit with two to play and get the Americans a crucial halve.
'We got off to such a great start and we let it slip away,' said Woods. 'Jimmy putted beautifully all day. What an absolute grinder. This guy's got so much guts, it's frightening.'
The Love/Cink pairing was 4-up with six to play, but Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, got the flat stick going. He drained a 15-foot birdie putt to win the 13th, then holed a 12-footer at the 15th to get within 2-down. The Internationals won the 16th to get 1-down, then a very interesting situation occurred at 17.
Cink knocked the Americans' approach inside 2 feet. Weir said, 'Good shot, Stewie,' which Love misunderstood to be a concession before picking up the ball. The Internationals brought out rules officials and it was determined that the Americans would have to mark the ball.
Weir, who wanted the mark to be there as an aiming tool, rolled in a 8-footer for birdie, then picked up the mark, conceding the putt. The Americans were 1-up with one to go and the sides halved 18 with pars, giving the U.S. the full point.
'When I looked up and saw his face, I knew he thought he hadn't said it was good,' said Love. 'It was my fault. That's the way it goes. He handled it real well.'
Leonard and Verplank got a 1-up lead when Goosen missed a short putt at the 12th. The Internationals knotted it up one hole later, but the U.S. pair reclaimed their 1-up advantage with a win at the 14th.
The International team squared the match with a win at No. 15, then things got interesting at No. 17. Verplank knocked his team's approach to 6 feet, while Scott could only manage to hit his side's second to 45 after Goosen drove in the rough. Goosen lagged his birdie try to a foot, and Leonard pulled his putt, never hitting the hole.
With one hole to play, Verplank and Scott both drove into the rough. Leonard and Goosen both hit the green, although the Americans were twice as far as their opponents. Verplank hit a solid birdie putt that missed the hole and Scott came up short with his birdie try.
Both sides conceded the par putts and remained undefeated in this Presidents Cup.
Mickelson and DiMarco lost two of the first four holes, but sneaked a win in at the second. They were 1-down, but won the fifth to tie the match, then took No. 6 to move 1-up.
DiMarco hit a 7-iron at the seventh and the ball landed right of the hole. It caught a slope and poured right into the center of the cup for the first ace in Presidents Cup history and the first hole-in-one by an American in either the Presidents or Ryder Cup.
'It was a good one to get us 2-up,' said DiMarco.
The Americans began rolling putts. They won the ninth and 10th, before dropping 11. The U.S. came back with a win at the 12th and the Internationals lost an opportunity when Campbell missed a 6-footer at 14 that could have won the hole.
DiMarco sank a 15-footer to win the 15th and tie the matches.
'This has been working out very well,' said Mickelson. 'We have the same demeanor. We're really having a lot fun. When you're having fun, you're going to play better golf.'
O'Hern and Lonard won 13, 14, 15 and 17 to shock the U.S. side and take a full point.
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