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US Wins Morning Fourball

GEORGE, South Africa -- The American team won three of five matches in Friday's fourballs to draw even at the Presidents Cup. The competition stands tied 5 1/2 - 5 1/2 with five foursomes matches scheduled for the afternoon at The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel & Country Club Estates.
Friday morning's featured match in fourballs, or better-ball, involved the American tandem of Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III, 4-and-3 winners on Thursday, against hometown favorite Ernie Els and Tim Clark of the International team.
Els and Clark came out victorious Friday as they won the first hole and never looked back en route to a 5-and-3 victory.
Masters champion Mike Weir ran his 2003 Presidents Cup record to 2-0 as he and Robert Allenby teamed to defeat the U.S. pair of Phil Mickelson and David Toms. The Internationals won, 3 and 1, and dropped the American duo to an 0-2 record after the U.S. side formed an impressive team at last year's Ryder Cup.
Kenny Perry and Davis Love III, who combined for seven wins on the PGA Tour this season, remain undefeated as they combined for a 2-and-1 win over South Africa's Retief Goosen and South Korea's K.J. Choi.
U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and 49-year-old captain's pick Jay Haas each rebounded from disappointing losses on Thursday. They destroyed the International pair of Stuart Appleby and Adam Scott, 6 and 5, on Friday.
Americans Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco pulled off a mild upset in fourballs when they bested PGA Tour money champion Vijay Singh and three-time major winner Nick Price, 1-up.
Thursday saw three of the six matches go to the 18th hole but only one made it that far Friday morning.
Perhaps the most shocking match saw Els and Clark stomp Woods and Howell. The young American team looked powerful in Thursday's alternate-shot format, beating Appleby and Choi, 4 and 3.
Els and Clark captured the first hole and went 3-up around the turn thanks to four birdies by Clark, who fired at the flags Friday morning. The U.S. fell 5-down after Els won the 10th and 11th holes and were closed out for good after they lost the 14th.
Weir and Allenby took a 1-up lead at the par-5 ninth and Mickelson and Toms never came back. The Internationals won the 10th and 15th holes to go 3-up and the match ended with an International team win on the 17th when Allenby knocked a 7-iron to 12 feet.
'My putter was good,' said Weir. 'Robert got us off to a nice steady start and I started to play better and roll a few putts in. The putts I made he was in there nice and close which let me free-wheel it a little bit.'
Perry and Love fell 1-down on the fifth hole but won back-to-back holes, starting at the eighth to go 1-up. After wins at the 12th and 14th, the U.S. was in command and polished off the match at the par-3 17th.
'Any time I hit a bad shot he was always right there and kept us right in the match,' said Love, referring to Perry. 'If it was not for a couple of putts that didn't go in we would have finished earlier.'
Furyk and Haas went 1-up on the fourth, then were 6-up by the time they walked off the 11th green. The teams halved No. 12 but that was all as this U.S. team matched the most lopsided victory in fourball history at the Presidents Cup.
DiMarco nearly holed a 70-footer for eagle at the last but settled for a conceded birdie and the victory.
Related Links:
  • Presidents Cup Scoring
  • Full Coverage - Presidents Cup