INCHEON, South Korea (AP) Branden Grace delivered two big shots in gathering darkness Saturday that kept the International team within one point of the Americans going into a final day at the Presidents Cup that finally has some drama.
The Americans had a 9 1/2-8 1/2 lead with 12 singles matches remaining, the smallest margin going into Sunday in 10 years at this event.
That’s what the International team wanted – and needed – in the Presidents Cup. The Americans have won the gold trophy five straight times, and the lone International victory was in 1998 in Australia.
The South Africa duo of Grace and Louis Oosthuizen Oosthuizen have been the driving force for captain Nick Price. They became the first International tandem to go 4-0 in team matches. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2009 are the only U.S. team to do that.
Jordan Spieth also won two matches Saturday, making two clutch putts in morning foursomes, and holing a bunker shot in the afternoon fourballs. Spieth was 8 under on his own ball. Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson never trailed in their fourballs victory at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
Bae Sang-moon and Hideki Matsuyama, who earned a key half-point in the morning, had the shortest match of the week when they beat Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk, 6 and 5, in fourballs. Bae is playing his final event before his mandatory military service starts in South Korea.
The singles matches were moved up one hour because of rain in the forecast, with Oosthuizen facing Patrick Reed in the opening match. U.S. captain Jay Haas put Spieth in the ninth match against Marc Leishman, passing on a chance to put Spieth against Jason Day.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Jessica Korda took a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Malaysia, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 65 in sweltering conditions.
Korda missed a birdie chance on the par-4 18th when her 6-footer slid by on the left side, leaving the 22-year-old American at 12-under 201 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Fellow American Stacy Lewis and South Korea’s Ha Na Jang were tied for second.
Korda has only one top-10 finish this season, a tie for second in January in Florida in the season-opening event. The three-time LPGA Tour winner is 50th in the world ranking and 56th on the money list.
The third-ranked Lewis has rebounded with rounds of 66 and 65 after opening with a 72.
Jang had a 71 after taking a one-stroke lead into the round. She had a double bogey on the par-3 15th, saved bogey with a 20-footer on the par-5 16th and rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 17th.
Second-ranked Lydia Ko was three strokes back at 9 under along with defending champion Shanshan Feng and Xi Yu Lin. Playing alongside Korda, Ko bogeyed the 18th for 68. The 18-year-old New Zealander is coming off consecutive victories in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and Evian Championship, where she became the youngest major champion.
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Kenny Perry shot a 4-under 68 in the rain to take a one-stroke lead after two rounds in the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship.
Perry had an 8-under 136 total at Prestonwood Country Club. Joe Durant was second after a 68, and first-round leader Bernhard Langer (73) was another stroke back along with Lee Janzen (68).
Perry, the 2011 winner at Prestonwood, won the 3M Championship in August in Minnesota for his eighth victory on the 50-and-over tour.
WOBURN, England (AP) – England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a 3-under 68 to maintain a share of the lead after the third round of the British Masters.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat had a 67 to match Fitzpatrick at 12-under 201 on Woburn’s Marquess Course. Kiradech has two European Tour victories this season.