US survives shut matches to double lead in Presidents Cup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The matches felt just a little nearer Friday within the Presidents Cup. And then Max Homa made two massive putts that gave the Americans the identical end result.

In the third straight fourballs match that went the space, Homa poured in a 12-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth gap for a 1-up lead. After Taylor Pendrith gave the International crew hope with a birdie on the 18th gap, Homa matched him with one other 12-foot birdie putt for the win.

That gave the Americans one other session by a 4-1 margin, stretching their result in 8-2 going into the weekend at Quail Hollow and making one other U.S. victory on this one-sided affair begin to look inevitable.

For the second straight time on residence soil, the highly effective American crew goes right into a double session on Saturday with a mathematical probability to win the cup.

“This is insane,” Homa stated after he and Billy Horschel outlasted the Canadian duo of Pendrith and Corey Conners. “To come down to the 18th two days in a row, man, what a day. Billy made some amazing putts. I just wanted to help him.”

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had been available at Quail Hollow Club, and whereas it seemed for a second as if the International crew would possibly make a recreation of it, the deficit on the finish of the day was as daunting as ever.

The lone level for the International crew got here from two ties.

Scottie Scheffler had a 10-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th, and only some blades of grass saved it from dropping as he and Sam Burns halved the match with Sungjae Im and Sebastian Munoz.

Cameron Young had a 25-foot putt for the win that missed. He and Kevin Kisner settled for a half-point in opposition to Mito Pereira and Christiaan Bezuidenhout in the one match the place the International crew ever led.

The power of the American crew got here from a pair of dynamic partnerships. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele had been 5-up on the flip and simply held on for a 3-and-2 win over Hideki Matsuyama and Tom Kim.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas improved to 6-2 as a crew in Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup matches, main from the fourth gap in a 2-and-1 victory over the Australian pair of Adam Scott and Cameron Davis.

As standard, Spieth and Thomas had been removed from boring.

They had been 2 up with 5 holes to play when Thomas hit 6-iron to 2 toes on the par-3 14th over water to a again pin for birdie. And proper when it seemed as if the International aspect would possibly get nearer, Spieth was as much as his methods.

His strategy on the fifteenth — the 18th gap when Quail Hollow hosts the Wells Fargo Championship — was headed for the stream when it hit the rocks and caromed over the inexperienced into the tough. He chipped 15 toes by, after which holed that par to halve the opening.

The Spieth-Thomas and Cantlay-Schauffele groups, fashioned as a lot by friendship as their video games, are 2-0 this week and are robust to beat irrespective of whom the International crew sends out in opposition to them.

The ardour got here from the Presidents Cup rookies.

Homa’s purpose all 12 months was to make the crew and he was amongst six captain’s picks by Davis Love III. Homa gained twice final season, and began the brand new season with an unlikely title protection at Silverado within the Fortinet Championship when he chipped in for birdie on the ultimate gap and Danny Willett three-putted from 4 toes.

He flew throughout the nation from California and seemed energized, significantly on the finish of the day with one other level on the board for the Americans. It was the second straight day Homa was within the ultimate match, which means all the U.S. crew was there to see it.

“It’s surreal to have 10 of the best golfers I’ve ever seen in my life watching you and you’ve got to help them,” Homa stated. “It’s a heavy weight. But it’s also really fun.”

It hasn’t been a variety of enjoyable for Captain Trevor Immelman and his International crew that was put collectively two weeks in the past after extra gamers — British Open champion Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann amongst them — defected to Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

Saturday is pivotal at each Presidents Cup, and it may very well be the final probability for the International crew to get again into the sport with 4 matches of foursomes within the morning and 4 matches of fourballs within the afternoon.

The Americans must win seven of them and halve the opposite to clinch the cup, which sounds unlikely aside from who they’ve and the way they’re enjoying. They got here inside one match of doing that at Liberty National in 2017.

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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