U.S. 5 up in Cup tourney

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U.S. 5 up in Cup tourney

The United States opened up a commanding five-point lead over the Internationals when the third day of the Presidents Cup ended Saturday with four matches to be completed following another day of foul weather.

Needing 17-1/2 points to retain the trophy, the Americans finished the day with 11-1/2 points to the International team’s 6-1/2.

The Internationals, in dire need of a resurgence before Sunday’s concluding singles, did make some inroads late on Saturday before play was suspended because of fading light at a soaked Muirfield Village.

Of the four foursomes matches still to be completed, the Internationals were leading in two, all square in one and trailing in the other.

But Nick Price’s Internationals will need to build further momentum when play resumes at 7:35 a.m. local time on Sunday if they are to avoid a fifth successive defeat in the biennial team competition and an eighth in 10 editions. With Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods providing a few moments of magic, the Americans had tightened their grip on the trophy with a superb display of golf in the morning’s four balls to lead by 10-1/2 points to 6-1/2.

Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner then beat the dusk to wrap up a 4 and 3 win over South African Richard Sterne and Australian Marc Leishman in the foursomes after Johnson spectacularly holed out from 115 yards to eagle the par-five 15th.

Price’s men certainly showed a lot of push on Saturday afternoon, at one point leading in all five foursomes encounters before the Americans began to claw their way back.

When play ended, Australian Jason Day and Canada’s Graham DeLaet were all square with Mickelson and Keegan Bradley after 13 holes.

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