A-League, W-League, Presidents Cup and more — Sportwatch

Sunday, 15 Dec, 2019

Tiger Woods accused the Royal Melbourne crowd of going "over the top" after a wild third day at the Presidents Cup.

They just didn't have the lead. Rickie Fowler drained a 10-foot par putt to add a half point.

And thus, Woods, the U.S. Presidents Cup captain who was performing as well as anyone on either team, faced a multitude of questions.

Marc Leishman wasn't buying it. Abraham Ancer said he never gave up hope.

"I've got to look at where we are".

Each side won two matches on day two, with the final match of the day ending in a tie.

That is reason to celebrate but Els isn't ready to let his foot up off the accelerator.

"We dug ourselves out of what could have been a big hole", Thomas said.

The results: Internationals leads United States of America 6.5-3.5 (Friday foursomes: Louis Oosthuizen & Adam Scott bt Dustin Johnson & Matt Kuchar 3 & 2; Adam Hadwin & Joaquin Niemann lost to Xander Schauffele & Patrick Cantlay 1-up; Marc Leishman & Abraham Ancer bt Webb Simpson & Patrick Reed 3 & 2; An Byeong-hun & Hideki Matsuyama lost to Tiger Woods & Justin Thomas 1-up; Im Sung-jae & Cameron Smith tied with Gary Woodland & Rickie Fowler).

Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan reprised their successful day one collaboration to down Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson for a second time in the fourballs.

Reed was docked two strokes for improving his lie in sand in the Bahamas last week, causing Smith to brand him a cheat and he has been targeted by fans in Melbourne.

Just like that, it was 6-1.

The lone tie came in 2003, while the only victory for the global side was in 1998 at Royal Melbourne, when Jack Nicklaus was the US captain.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele got the better of Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith by the same scoreline in the third foursome, but the other two matches left the USA frustrated.

Thomas is more excitable, and this started on the bus ride to Royal Melbourne.

Ernie Els' young worldwide team are attempting to win the Presidents Cup for the first time since 1998 and only the second time in the event's 25-year history.

Woods hit a great approach to 18 feet beyond the hole.

Reed didn't help his cause Friday when he made a birdie putt, cupped his ear and then pretended to use his putter as a shovel. When he was shown the incident on video, Reed accepted the two-shot penalty. "It's a really amusing video".

If you caught the putt in real-time last night on the broadcast you probably didn't make out what Thomas actually yelled at the GOAT after sinking the putt.

Els' International team picked up where it left off and at one point a clean sweep was on the cards in the alternate-shot foursomes session.

The Americans made three bogeys to finish the match. The American teams made six of them.

"Making those putts on 18 were so big for the momentum shift", Cantlay said.

"All I ask for all the galleries is be excited but be respectful of the players, all 24 of us". I've played with him where he's been heckled in US Opens and a lot of other places. "We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow".

"But hey, look at the record we've had in the foursomes the last 25 years and for us to come out 2½-2½ in the session is like a win for us".

"It's perspective, isn't it?"

"It's unacceptable for us to get a half a point", Thomas said. "We knew we'd have to play some really good golf to come out with a victory, and it's showing just that". We tie this afternoon.

Internationals captain Els, however, will be delighted with the home team's position and particularly the contributions of his East Asian aces. The Americans won two matches and halved another to limited the damage.

It can change at any minute.