CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The momentum swayed back toward the Internationals on Saturday at the 2022 Presidents Cup, but Trevor Immelman’s squad still has a steep hill to climb.
After splitting the morning foursomes session at Quail Hollow Club, the worldwide all-stars won their first session of the week in the afternoon, mounting a pair of late comebacks in the first and last matches to swipe a 3-1 win and bring the overall score to 11-7.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, the lone American winners in the afternoon, remained unbeaten on the week after another impressive performance that failed to reach the 18th tee.
Here’s a breakdown of each Saturday four-ball match on Day 3 at the 2022 Presidents Cup.
Si Woo Kim-Tom Kim (Intl.) vs. Patrick Cantlay-Xander Schauffele (U.S.), 1 up
Team Kim – Si Woo and Tom – made the previously undefeated U.S. duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele shake in their golf spikes, and pulled off the upset of the day, claiming a 1-up victory.
Tom Terrific tossed his hat, dropped his putter and roared with delight as his 10-foot left-to-right bending birdie putt fell in the cup for birdie.
“I wanted that putt more than anything in the world,” he said.
The Cantlay-Schauffele team had built leads of at least 5 up on the front nine and cruised to easy victories, including over Tom Kim the day before, but this time they’d have to go the distance. Si Woo drained an 11-foot birdie at the second to grab an early lead in the match. But the Americans, who had sat out the morning and were rested, bounced back to win the next two holes and didn’t trail again until the end. They built a 2-up lead at the 10th with a pair of pars as Si Woo took three putts from 37 feet.
Cantlay and Schauffele smelled blood in the water. They had destroyed their previous competition in winning two full points. This time would be different. Giving away that hole lit a spark under the Internationals and Tom Kim sank a 55-foot eagle putt at 11, the same hole where he had buried a 37-foot eagle putt in foursomes that morning. Two holes later, Si Woo made a 22-foot birdie to tie the match. The Americans were up to the challenge, too, as Schauffele drilled a 37-foot birdie at 15 to regain the lead, but Si Woo knotted the match again with a birdie at 16. It all came down to Tom at 18 and a giant point for a pair of giant killers.
“I played them yesterday. We lost 3 down. I told myself I really want to beat these guys. It doesn’t get any tougher than Xander and Patrick,” Tom Kim said. “So it’s an amazing feeling to be able to hole that winning putt for the team. I’ll remember this for a while.” — Schupak.
International Team golfer Si Woo Kim (left) and golfer Sungjae Im (right) celebrate on the 18th green during the four-ball match play of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Spieth-Justin Thomas (U.S.) def. Hideki Matsuyama-Taylor Pendrith (Intl.), 4 and 3
Spieth and Thomas haven’t seen the 18th hole this week and are now a perfect 4-0-0 at Quail Hollow after another dominant performance on Saturday afternoon.
After they lost the first hole, the Americans quickly got back on track with three consecutive wins to take a 2-up lead, and they never lost again. Thomas extended the lead with his first birdie of the day on No. 9 and Spieth called game with a chip-in birdie, his sixth of the day, on the par-4 15th to solidify the 4-and-3 victory.
If you’re keeping track at home, the prosperous pairing is now an astounding 8-2-0 in team competitions: 3-1-0 at the 2018 Ryder Cup, 1-1-0 at last year’s Ryder Cup and 4-0-0 this year at the Presidents Cup. — Woodard
Sungjae Im-Sebastian Munoz (Intl.) vs. Tony Finau-Kevin Kisner (U.S.), 3 and 2
International team captain Trevor Immelman may regret not teaming Sungjae Im and Sebastian Munoz together in foursomes.
They earned 1½ points for their captain, including a full point on Saturday afternoon. Im and Munoz never trailed in coasting to a 3-and-2 win over the U.S. side of Tony Finau and Kevin Kisner.
“I feel like there’s trust between us. I feel like we know each other for a while now, and, you know, we rely on each other’s games,” Munoz said. “Plus, we support each other emotionally and whatever it takes out here.”
Munoz drew first blood with a birdie at No. 4, but Kisner tied it up by smoking hybrid from 225 yards to 8 feet and canned the eagle putt. But that was Kisner’s only birdie or better until the 16th .
A Munoz birdie propelled the Colombian and South Korean back in front and they stretched the lead to 2 up when Im drove the green at No. 11. Then it was Munoz’s turn, pouring in birdies at 12 and 13 – the later from 37 feet – to grow the lead to 3 up. Finau tried to cut into the lead by sticking his tee shot at 14 to inside 5 feet, but Im made sure it wouldn’t get any closer by winning 15 and Munoz’s birdies at 16 was good enough for a tie and to claim the match and the full point. — Schupak.
Adam Scott-Cam Davis (Intl.) vs. Billy Horschel-Sam Burns (U.S.), 1 up
If the first match wasn’t the best of the afternoon then the last sure was as the Aussies and American rookies squared off in a tightly-contested bout despite both teams winning just one hole each through the first 13.
Horschel and Burns held a 1-up lead through Nos. 3-6 thanks to a Burns birdie but Scott was able to square the match on the par-5 7th with a birdie of his own. The next six holes were squared with Burns and Scott doing the majority of the work. Burns stuffed his tee shot at the par-3 14th and made the birdie putt, but two holes later Davis squared the match with an eagle on the par-5 16th after reaching the green in two following a 332-yard drive. The Internationals won their second consecutive hole on the 17th, this time with a Davis birdie, to take their first lead of the match with just one hole to play.
All four players found the fairway and each threw a dart into the green, with the next shot closer than the one before: Horschel to 15 feet, Davis to 9 feet, Scott to 8 feet and Burns to just 4 feet. After a Horschel miss, Davis buried the putt in the center of the cup to seal the 1-up win for a third International point of the day. — Woodard
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek