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October 12, 2009

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US in control of Presidents Cup

A RUTHLESS Tiger Woods and an inspired Steve Stricker tamed Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and South Korea's Yang Yong-eun 4&2 in fourballs on Saturday as the United States tightened its grip on the Presidents Cup.
A long, gruelling day at a chilly and overcast Harding Park in San Francisco ended with the US and Internationals splitting the afternoon's five fourball matches but the home team will take a huge 12-1/2 to 9-1/2 lead into the singles.
Winners of five-of-seven Presidents Cups, the US needs only five points from the 12 singles matches to clinch victory, leaving Greg Norman's men with a daunting uphill climb.
No team has come from behind on the final day to lift the Presidents Cup, and the US has never lost the trophy at home.
"We are in a good position being three points up but we need five points to win the Cup," US team veteran Jim Furyk cautioned.
With Woods doing the heavy lifting in the morning foursomes, Stricker stepped forward in the fourball, dropping seven birdies as the pair roared into a six-up lead.
Woods and Stricker looked ready to complete a quick afternoon's work until the Asians dug in their heels, winning three straight holes from the 13th before finally conceding defeat on the 16th green.
Woods and Stricker stretched their record to an unblemished 4-0, marking the first time the world No. 1 has won four matches at a Presidents Cup.
Canadian Mike Weir and South African Ernie Els picked up the first point of the afternoon session, crushing Justin Leonard and Zach Johnson 5&3 to trim the US lead to 10-8.
The Internationals' fightback continued when Australian duo Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby saw off British Open champion Stewart Cink and US Open winner Lucas Glover 2&1 to further cut into the American advantage.
But the tide turned when Furyk and Anthony Kim scored a two-up decision over Argentine Angel Cabrera and Australian Adam Scott before Woods and Stricker's victory.
Phil Mickelson and Sean O'Hair halved against Fiji's Vijay Singh and South African Tim Clark.


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