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October 11, 2009

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Internationals rally late to stay within one of US

SOUTH Africa's Tim Clark rolled in a 14-foot eagle putt on the 18th green to cap a late fightback by the Internationals against the US in the opening fourball matches at the Presidents Cup in San Francisco on Friday.

With Clark and Vijay Singh of Fiji sealing a one-up victory over Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink and Ernie Els and Mike Weir winning the last three holes against Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim, the Internationals ended one point behind the holders.

Early on, the Americans had led in five of the six matches but, with the honors ultimately shared in the best-ball format, they lead by 6-1/2 points to 5-1/2 going into the foursomes.

Clark sank to his knees in celebration after his curling putt caught the left edge of the cup before dropping in, wrapping up a nail-biting win for the South African and Singh.

US Open champion Glover and British Open winner Cink had been one up after 16 holes in a tight match before losing 17 and 18.

Cup veterans Els of South Africa and Canadian Weir added another point for the Internationals by coming from one down after 15 holes to beat Furyk and Kim two up.

The Internationals registered their first point when Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa and South Korean Yang, boosted by three birdies in the first six holes, hammered Kenny Perry and Sean O'Hair 4&3.

The early going, however, was dominated by the US with Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard going on to draw first blood with a 3&2 win against South Africa's Retief Goosen and Australian Adam Scott.

In the bottom match, world No. 1 Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker birdied four of the first eight holes on the way to a crushing 5&3 victory over Australian Geoff Ogilvy and Masters champion Angel Cabrera.

The Americans won their third point of the day when Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan beat Australian Robert Allenby and Colombia's Camilo Villegas 2&1.


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