MELBOURNE, Australia – Despite another poor foursome showing and a four-point deficit heading into Sunday singles matches at the Presidents Cup, the International side did stun the Americans in Saturday’s fourball play, winning the session thanks in large part to the play of K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang.
The South Koreans, winless this week and benched for the morning foursome session, stunned Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, 1 up, and set the stage for the first Sunday comeback in Presidents Cup history.
Although the pairing was largely dismissed, assistant International captain Frank Nobilo said both he and captain Greg Norman had a good feeling about the South Koreans.
“They just got off in their own little world. They were totally unfazed,” Nobilo told GolfChannel.com. “We tried it at Harding Park where we went small ball against big ball which was, oddly enough, Tim Clark and Mike Weir against Tiger and Stricker, who were playing great.
“You had to get two people that really wouldn’t get caught up in what was going on around them. If you have two long hitters they can get caught up in trying to hit the ball further. But Tim and Mike, they have a different game. They try to be very precise on every hole and (Kim and Yang) were the same.”
Still, the Internationals continue to struggle in the foursome (alternate shot) format and will likely look back at Saturday’s session, which they lost 4-1, as the decisive point in these matches.
“This morning hurt, no doubt about it,” he said. “We got off to a good start and we never got the momentum back and we knew that was going to be important from Day 1.”
Nobilo has been particularly surprised by how the American team has played this week in trying conditions and on a golf course that was supposed to play into the International side’s hands.
“I’ve been so impressed with the way the Americans have adapted to the conditions,” Nobilo said. “You wouldn’t think that. This is supposed to be our home course, but they’ve adapted very well.”
As for Sunday’s singles lineup, which must be dominated by the Internationals if they are to win the Cup for just the second time, Nobilo said he and Norman tried to send their best performers this week out first in an attempt to build momentum.
“There’s no secret, we’ve seen front-loading work. The hardest thing, you see the strategy (of the other captain in the selection process),” Nobilo said. “But you try to get the best pairing you can.
“Every match is important; it’s not like he’s going to win and he’s going to lose. I think both teams got some matches they wanted.”
Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)