INCHEON, South Korea (AP) Bae Sang-moon delivered the biggest moment of his career. Phil Mickelson made a rookie mistake. All that really mattered Friday in the Presidents Cup was that the International team was back in business.
Bae made a dynamic debut at home in his first Presidents Cup by making a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win a crucial fourballs match that helped the International team win a team session for the first time in four years and pull within one point of the United States.
Bae and Danny Lee topped Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker 1 up. Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen set the tone with a 4-and-3 win over Jordan Spieth and Justin Johnson, while Charl Schwartzel and Thongchai Jaidee won the anchor match, 2 and 1 over Bill Haas and Chris Kirk.
The International team picked a half-point in another match and cut the American lead to 5 1/2-4 1/2 going into the eight matches Saturday. That half-point involved Mickelson, and it led to confusion and a pair of mistakes at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
Mickelson and Zach Johnson were all square with Jason Day and Adam Scott through six holes when Mickelson switched to a firmer golf ball for a better chance of reaching the green in two on the par-5 seventh. Only when he saw U.S. captain Jay Haas did he start to think about the one-ball condition – players have to use the same model of golf ball for the entire match.
The penalty for a fourballs match is called a one-hole adjustment in the match.
The second mistake was from the rules committee. Mickelson was told he was disqualified from the hole, so he picked up his ball from the fairway. In fact, he should have been allowed to finish the hole because the one-hole adjustment was already in effect. Day won the hole with a birdie, so along with the adjustment, the International team went from all square to 2 up.
Mickelson rallied by holing another bunker shot, this time with a full pitching wedge from a fairway bunker on No. 12, and making big putts. Even so, his mistake ultimately cost his team a win. Day made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a halve.
The lone American victory came from J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson, a 2-up victory over Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – South Korea’s Ha Na Jang used a late three-hole birdie run to take a one-stroke lead Friday in the LPGA Malaysia.
The 23-year-old Jang shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 to reach 10-under 132 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She made a downhill 10-footer on the par-4 14th, holed a right-to-left curler from 15 feet on the par-3 15th and ran in a 12-footer on the par-5 16th.
A two-time winner this year on the Korea LPGA, Jang lost a playoff loss to Chella Choi in July in the Marathon Classic for the second of her three runner-up finishes in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour.
China’s Xi Yu Lin was second after a 68.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, Alison Lee and Yani Tseng were another stroke back.
Park, the 2012 winner, had a 68. Lee, tied with Lin for the first round, bogeyed Nos. 15 and 16 en route to a 69. Tseng had a 68.
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Bernhard Langer shot a 7-under 65 in windy conditions to take a two-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship.
The 58-year-old German star had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at Prestonwood Country Club. He won the Senior Players Championship in June for his 24th victory on the 50-and-over tour.
Gene Sauers, John Riegger and Scott Dunlap shot 67, and Kenny Perry was another stroke back along with Tom Lehman, Duffy Waldorf, Kevin Sutherland, Rod Spittle, Greg Kraft and Olin Browne.
Langer is third in the Charles Schwab Cup points race, 388 points behind leader Colin Montgomerie and Jeff Maggert with four events left. Montgomerie was tied for 17th after a 70, and Maggert was tied for 36th after a 72. The tournament winner will get 315 points. Langer is trying to become the first three-time Cup winner after taking the season titles in 2010 and 2014.
Langer won the 2012 event at Prestonwood.
WOBURN, England (AP) – Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen shot a 3-under 68 for a share of British Masters lead with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Kjeldsen, the Irish Open winner this year, matched Fitzpatrick at 9-under 133 on Woburn’s Marquess Course. Fitzpatrick, the first-round leader, had a 69.