President’s Cup: International teams reduce deficit to 11-7 at Quail Hollow

The International Team celebrates after Tom Kim hits the putt

The Internationals closed the gap to the United States in the President’s Cup but still trailed 11-7 going into the final day.

The foursomes on Saturday were drawn 2-2 before the Internationals fought back to win the fourballs 3-1.

Sungjae Im and Sebastian Munoz, Si Woo Kim and Tom Kim and Adam Scott and Cam Davis each won their four balls for the International team.

The winning goal is 15½ points, with 12 singles on Sunday.

The event took place at Quail Hollow in North Carolina. This is the 14th stage of the biennial Ryder Cup style fixture, and the US leads 11-1 overall with one tie.

In the fourballs, US pair Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas put the hosts 11-4 up after winning 4&3 against Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and Taylor Pendrith of Canada.

3&2 wins for Sungjae Im of South Korea and Munoz of Colombia against Tony Finau and Kevin Kisner reduced the deficit.

South Korea’s Tom Kim, playing with compatriot Si Woo Kim, then dramatically putts in the 18th minute to earn narrow wins against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

Cam Davis also putts in the 18th minute to secure a point for the Internationals alongside fellow Australian Adam Scott as they beat Billy Horschel and Sam Burns to leave their team four points behind.

Earlier, Spieth and Thomas, who had proved a formidable pair, were again dominant in four alternative shots against Im and Canada’s Corey Conners, winning 4&3.

Scott and Matsuyama lost two of the first five holes against Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa by the same amount but won five holes in a row from ninth to move to a three-hole lead they would not give up.

In the bottom game, Americans Finau and Max Homa were never behind against Si Woo Kim and Davis as they clinched a 4&3 win.

But KH Lee and Tom Kim had a tough match with world number one Scottie Scheffler and Burns. There was never more than a hole between the players until Tom Kim par putt five feet to claim 16th and went two with two to play, and they took a 2&1 win on the 17th.

Both teams lost players at the controversial LIV Golf circuit, with the Internationals arguably feeling the pain more. Open champion and world number three Cameron Smith, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Australia’s Marc Leishman are all missing.

The quintet has been banned from playing, having opted to join a startup funded by Saudi Arabia’s Greg Norman, which has held five of the eight invitational events scheduled so far in 2022.

Captain Trevor Immelman has been forced to name eight debutants in his 12 strong international team.

America is without Dustin Johnson, who won all five of his games in last year’s record-breaking Ryder Cup win over Europe at Whistling Straits.

Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are other major winners who have left the PGA Tour to join LIV, but the US President’s Cup team still contains 10 of the world’s top 16 players.

Hadwin Floyd

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