MONTREAL (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson and Woody Austin pounded South African Retief Goosen and Australia’s Stuart Appleby 5&4 in foursomes play to take the first point on Saturday for the United States in the Presidents Cup.
After watching the Internationals dominate Friday’s fourballs and their trim their advantage to 7-5, the Americans have stormed back, Mickelson and Austin setting the pace with a crushing win and the U.S. leading in all four other matches.
The foursomes are just the start of a marathon day for golfers who will return to the Royal Montreal layout later in the day for fourballs.
The prospect of an American sweep marks another monstrous swing in momentum with the two teams taking turns dominating the biennial event.
Holders United States opened play on Thursday winning five of six fourball matches and halving the other only to watch the Internationals hit back with an equally one-side display in Friday’s fourballs.
Mickelson rolled in a four-foot birdie putt on the par-four 14th to get the U.S. off to a winning start and give 43-year-old rookie Austin, who has been nicknamed Jacques Cousteau after tumbling face first into a pond attempting a shot on Friday, his maiden Presidents Cup victory.
World number one Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk, hammered 5&4 in Friday’s fourballs, look ready to add another point to the U.S. total leading South African Ernie Els and Australia’s Adam Scott three up with 13 completed.
Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan were also sitting on the brink of victory leading the South African duo of Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini two up with three to play.
Lucas Glover and Scott Verplank hold a two up lead over Canadian Mike Weir and Vijay Singh.
Masters champion Zach Johnson and David Toms have a one up lead on the Australian duo of Nick O’Hern and Geoff Ogilvy with 12 completed.