United States captain Tiger Woods will attempt to lead from the front after putting himself out first for Sunday's singles as the seven-time defending champions fight to retain their Presidents Cup crown against the Internationals.  

The USA head into the final day trailing the Internationals 10-8 following a dramatic ending to Saturday's action at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Playing captain Woods kept himself out of both the morning four-ball and the afternoon foursomes as Ernie Els' International team preserved their lead, despite a USA rally.

But with the USA - who threatened to sweep the foursomes before the Internationals stormed back - eyeing an eighth straight title, Woods will open the singles against Abraham Ancer in Melbourne.

Woods has the chance to set the record for most matches won at the Presidents Cup, after the 15-time major champion tied Phil Mickelson with his 26th victory on Friday.

Controversial American Patrick Reed will face C.T. Pan in the third match, but without caddie Kessler Karain - who has been banned following a fan altercation on Saturday.

Australian Marc Leishman will be the final International to tee off after being drawn against Rickie Fowler as the challengers target a first Presidents Cup triumph since 1998.

Leishman has confidence and momentum after he and Ancer sensationally rallied from 5down through 10 holes to halve their match against Fowler and Justin Thomas in Saturday's foursomes.

 

Sunday's singles matches (Internationals v the USA)

Abraham Ancer v Tiger Woods
Hideki Matsuyama v Tony Finau
C.T. Pan v Patrick Reed
Li Haotong v Dustin Johnson
Adam Hadwin v Bryson DeChambeau
Im Sung-jae v Gary Woodland
Joaquin v Niemann v Patrick Cantlay
Adam Scott v Xander Schauffele
Byeong Hun An v Webb Simpson
Cameron Smith v Justin Thomas
Louis Oosthuizen v Matt Kuchar
Marc Leishman v Rickie Fowler

Patrick Reed's caddie Kessler Karain has been suspended for the fourth and final day of the Presidents Cup following an altercation with a spectator. ​

Karain clashed with a fan after he had "had enough" of the heckling of controversial United States golfer Reed at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Saturday.

Reed - who arrived in Melbourne following cheating allegations at the Hero World Challenge - suffered his third consecutive loss of the Presidents Cup, after which tensions boiled over.

Karain released a statement to Fore Play, admitting he shoved a fan who told Reed "you f****** suck" following his defeat alongside Webb Simpson to International pair Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan in the morning's four-ball.

After a meeting on Saturday, the PGA Tour said Karain will be absent from Sunday's singles as defending champions the USA try to overturn a 10-8 deficit.

"Following an incident that took place on Saturday at the Presidents Cup involving Kessler Karain and a spectator, Karain will not return to caddie for Sunday’s final-round Singles matches. We will have no further comment at this time," the Tour's statement read.

American Reed added: "I respect the Tour's decision. We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow."

Reed has been public enemy number one in Australia after his two-stroke penalty during last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Already a maligned figure on the PGA Tour, Reed was penalised for improving his lie in the bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings, sparking controversy and claims of cheating.

Booed on day one, Reed taunted the Melbourne crowd on Friday by mimicking a shovelling motion.

"As a caddie, one of your jobs is to protect your player," Karain said. "We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after hearing several fans in Australia for three days, some had taken it too far. I had had enough.

"Riding on the cart, a guy was about three feet from Patrick and said, 'you f****** suck'. I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives.

"Security came and I got back in the cart and left. I don't think there's one caddie I know that could blame me.

"Unless his bones break like Mr Glass, the most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I'm more than happy to reimburse him for."

Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer produced an incredible recovery against Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas at the Presidents Cup on Saturday.

The Internationals were in huge trouble in the foursomes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, but staged a late rally.

The biggest one belonged to Leishman and Ancer, who somehow managed to salvage a tie against Fowler and Thomas.

Perhaps showing some signs of fatigue after winning earlier in the day – with Thomas playing for the fourth straight session – the Americans gave up a point that looked certain.

We look at how Leishman and Ancer, who were 5down through 10, produced their response.

Back-to-back birdies spark Internationals

Leishman and Ancer headed to the 11th hole 5down, but put the pressure on the American stars.

Ancer's superb approach shot to within five feet set up a Leishman birdie before the roles reversed.

The Internationals' second shot at the 12th, played by Leishman, went to within 10 feet, setting up Ancer's birdie putt.

Fowler and Thomas managed pars at both holes, but that form would soon change.

 

Missed putts bring Internationals within one

The USA still looked in control with a 3up lead with just three holes to play.

However, pars at 16 and 17 from the Internationals would be enough to reduce that deficit.

Fowler missed a six-footer for par at 16 before Thomas' miss from nine feet meant the USA's lead was just 1up heading to the last.

 

Perfect storm at the last

Thomas' tee shot into the trees immediately put the USA on the back foot at the last.

While they tried to recover, Leishman put a quality approach shot to within seven feet for Ancer, setting up the Internationals' birdie.

The USA could only manage another bogey – their third straight – to somehow cough up a win that appeared certain.

The Internationals produced a stunning late comeback to stay in the lead over the United States heading into the final day of the Presidents Cup.

Seven-time defending champions the USA were on track to sweep the afternoon's foursomes, which would have tied the Presidents Cup at 9-9 on Saturday.

Approaching 17:30 local time (06:30 GMT) in Melbourne, Tiger Woods' USA led all four matchups in a remarkable comeback, having ended the morning four-balls 9-5 adrift.

But Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler sensationally coughed up a 5up lead against Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer, who triggered a dramatic finish to the fourth session at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

By the time proceedings ended after 18:00 local time (07:00 GMT), the Internationals held a 10-8 lead heading into Sunday's 12 singles.

No team have trailed after three sessions and won the Presidents Cup, however, the USA emerged for the foursomes on a mission to create history.

Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland put a point on the board for the USA via a 2 and 1 victory over Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen.

A second point came thanks to Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who saw off Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith by the same scoreline.

That is when the fun began. Thomas - carrying a perfect 3-0-0 record - and Fowler approached the 11th tee boasting a commanding 5up advantage against Australian Leishman and Mexican team-mate Ancer.

Leishman had not won all week, but his rally alongside Ancer energised the crowd during a memorable ending to the day's play. After Thomas' wild tee shot landed among the trees, Leishman's stunning approach helped secure an unthinkable halve for the Internationals.

Attention then turned to Joaquin Niemann and Byeong Hun An, who were 2down through 13 against Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

With Ernie Els watching on and fans at full voice, Niemann's brilliant shot from the rough paved the way for the Internationals - without a Presidents Cup triumph since 1998 - to halve another match. An did have a birdie chance to win the match but his effort slid agonisingly wide of the hole.

Patrick Reed's caddie Kessler Karain confirmed he was in an altercation with a fan at the Presidents Cup on Saturday.

Reed's forgettable campaign at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, where he arrived amid cheating allegations, continued following a third consecutive defeat alongside United States team-mate Webb Simpson.

Booed and heckled throughout the 13th Presidents Cup following his antics at the Hero World Challenge, 2018 Masters champion Reed went down 5 and 3 to International pair Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan in the morning's four-ball.

And it led to a clash between Reed's caddie and a supporter prior to Saturday's foursomes.

"As a caddie, one of your jobs is to protect your player," Karain said in a statement to Fore Play.

"We have been known for having fun with some good banter, but after hearing several fans in Australia for three days some had taken it too far. I had had enough.

"Riding on the cart, guy was about three feet from Patrick and said, 'you f****** suck'. I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives.

"I don't think there's one caddie I know that could blame me.

"The most harm done was a little spilled beer, which I'm more than happy to reimburse him for."

Reed has been public enemy number one after his two-stroke penalty during last week's Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

Already a maligned figure on the PGA Tour, American golfer Reed was penalised for improving his lie in the bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings, sparking controversy and claims of cheating.

Booed on day one, Reed taunted the Melbourne crowd on Friday by mimicking a shovelling motion amid heckles.

The United States have recovered from a difficult morning session as the reigning Presidents Cup champions threaten to move within a point of the Internationals.

A strong showing in the four-ball format saw the Internationals take a 9-5 lead over the USA in their pursuit of a first Presidents Cup title since 1998 on Saturday.

No one has trailed after three sessions and won the Presidents Cup, but led by Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, the USA are projected to reduce the deficit to 10-8 in the foursomes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

The Internationals almost won three of the four matches in the four-balls, but some late heroics from Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar salvaged half a point for the USA in the session's final contest.

That moment appears to be a turning point for the USA, who are ahead in three of the four scheduled foursomes in Melbourne.

Playing captain Tiger Woods surprisingly left himself sidelined for the afternoon, having sat out the four-ball, but his team have not missed a beat.

After outclassing Marc Leishman and Li Haotong, Thomas and Fowler are on track for another big victory.

Thomas - boasting a flawless 3-0-0 record this year - and Fowler are 4up through 11 holes against Leishman and Abraham Ancer.

Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland, brought back into the mix for the foursomes, are 2up after 12 over Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen, while Finau and Kuchar are also 2up through nine against Joaquin Niemann and Byeong Hun An.

As for International pair Cameron Smith and Im Sung-jae, they are 1up against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele through 10.

Tiger Woods insisted he is not injured after sidelining himself for back-to-back sessions as the United States continue to struggle at the Presidents Cup.

Saturday morning's four-ball contests left seven-time reigning champions the USA trailing Ernie Els' Internationals 9-5 in Melbourne, where Woods sat out.

Despite the USA facing an uphill battle to maintain their stranglehold on the tournament, playing captain Woods again opted to partner Justin Thomas with Rickie Fowler for the afternoon's foursomes.

It came as a surprise, given Woods won consecutive matches alongside Thomas on Thursday and Friday at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

However, 15-time major champion Woods - who equalled Phil Mickelson's record for most Presidents Cup wins on Friday - told reporters: "You have to do what's best for the team, and I'm getting ready for the singles tomorrow [Sunday]."

"I tried to talk myself out of it, too," added Woods, who denied he is injured. "But you know, it is what it is, and we're going to go out there and try and get some points today and be ready for tomorrow."

Woods' decision to leave himself out of action until Sunday's singles surprised International captain Els - whose team are on track for their first Presidents Cup triumph since 1998.

"Yes, especially the way he's been playing with JT," Els replied when asked if he was surprised by the absence of Woods. "But JT has been a rock-solid on their side, and looks like he's teaming well with Rickie.

"But yeah, I thought Tiger would play this afternoon."

The Internationals are closing in on their first Presidents Cup title since 1998 after moving further clear of the United States in another stunning performance on Saturday.  

It has been 21 years since the International team won the Presidents Cup - also at Royal Melbourne Golf Club - as the USA have continued to dominate the event with seven successive trophies.

However, the Internationals are on track to end USA's dominance after winning two of four matchups in Saturday morning's four-ball session for a 9-5 lead.

The Internationals had never lost a combined four-balls contest while hosting the Presidents Cup and that record remained intact thanks to Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan and Abraham Ancer/Im Sung-jae.

After back-to-back wins, playing captain and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods opted to sit out the four-ball as he instead partnered Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler in Melbourne.

Thomas starred in the opening match, finishing with four birdies against Marc Leishman and Li Haotong - his fourth sealing a dominant 3 and 2 win as he improved to 3-0-0 for the event.

The USA had hoped to maintain their momentum after salvaging two of the final three foursomes on Friday, however, the Internationals enjoyed further success in the four-ball format after racing out to a 4-1 lead on Thursday.

Ancer claimed the Internationals' first point of the morning courtesy of a stunning shot on the 16th hole to ensure he and Im defeated Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay 3 and 2.

It was far more straightforward for Matsuyama and Pan, who heaped further misery on winless duo Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson.

Reed - in the firing line amid cheating allegations following the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas - and Simpson fell to a third consecutive loss, swept aside 5 and 3 by the formidable International pair.

No one has trailed after three sessions and won the Presidents Cup, so the USA have their work cut out despite Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau salvaging half a point against Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An.

Kuchar's missed birdie putt on 15 allowed Scott and An to go 1up, but Finau made birdie at the last, although the seven-time defending champions are under pressure heading into the afternoon's foursomes.

Tiger Woods has decided not to play Saturday's foursomes at the Presidents Cup despite the United States being in major trouble in Melbourne.

Woods was victorious on the opening two days at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, but opted to skip the morning four-ball contests on Saturday.

While expectations were the 15-time major champion would return in the afternoon for the foursomes, the playing captain left himself out even with the USA stunningly trailing the Internationals 9-5.

Dustin Johnson will return alongside Gary Woodland against Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen.

The pairing of Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, coming off a win earlier in the day, will play against Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman.

Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith take on Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, while the duo of Joaquin Niemann and Byeong Hun An meet Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, beaten in all three of their matches so far, will miss the foursomes.

Saturday's foursomes matches (Internationals v the USA)

Adam Scott/Louis Oosthuizen v Gary Woodland/Dustin Johnson
Abraham Ancer/Marc Leishman v Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas
Im Sung-jae/Cameron Smith v Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele
Joaquin Niemann/Byeong Hun An v Tony Finau/Matt Kuchar

Patrick Reed is on track to suffer his third consecutive defeat and remain winless at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne on Saturday. 

It has been a tough week for United States golfer Reed, who entered the 13th Presidents Cup embroiled in controversy.

Reed – the 2018 Masters champion – arrived at Royal Melbourne Golf Club as public enemy number one after his two-stroke penalty during last week's tournament in the Bahamas.

Already a maligned figure on the PGA Tour, American golfer Reed was penalised for improving his lie in the bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings, sparking controversy and claims of cheating.

The Presidents Cup, however, has not proved forgiving for the 29-year-old - who taunted the Melbourne crowd by mimicking a shovelling motion amid heckles on Friday.

Reed has played alongside countryman Webb Simpson and the pair have been unable to score a point for Tiger Woods' team against the Internationals.

Beaten on Thursday and Friday, Reed and Simpson find themselves 2down to Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan through 11 holes in the morning's four-ball.

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are also 1down against International pair Im Sung-jae and Abraham Ancer, though Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler are in control for the USA - 2up through 13 over Marc Leishman and Li Haotong.

Meanwhile, the Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An and Matt Kuchar/Tony Finau matchup is tied after 10 holes.

Harold Varner and Ryan Palmer equalled the lowest round at the QBE Shootout with a 17-under 55 on Friday.

The American duo birdied 15 of the 18 holes and eagled the 17th, with their only pars coming at the fifth and 16th.

Varner drained a 20-footer on the last to tie a record held by four other teams at the stroke play event.

That first-round score gave them a two-shot lead over Jason Kokrak and J.T. Poston, with the duo of Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell in a tie for eighth after their 11-under 61.

"We're just having fun," Varner told the PGA Tour's website.

"We enjoy each other's company, even if it's not on the course, and it just meshed really well today.

"It's not like some person did this or that, it was just a lot of fun. I enjoy that team aspect, we were pretty pumped for this."

Had they shot 18 under par they would have broken the competition's single-round record, and Palmer joked those two pars cost them.

"I was really wanting 18, I thought we could get there," he added.

"You had the mental lapse, you make two pars like that..."

Canadian Thomas DeMarco and American Patrick Cover were at the top of the leader on Thursday shortened day of play at the Alacran Jamaica Open at Tryall in Hanover.

Ernie Els maintained the Internationals are still in a "very good position" at the Presidents Cup, despite a late fightback from the United States.

Defending champions the USA won two foursomes matches late on Friday to shift the momentum in Melbourne.

The Internationals led all five matchups not long after 14:00 local time (03:00 GMT), which would have given them a 9-1 advantage heading into Saturday morning's four-ball.

However, the Internationals ended day two 6.5 - 3.5 ahead of the USA following clutch birdie putts from Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

As the Internationals fight to snap the USA's dominance and claim their first Presidents Cup crown since 1998, captain Els said: "It's perspective, isn't it? I've got to look at where we are.

"It's easy to just look at where we could have been, because it was looking really unbelievable. But we're in a very good position."

"The big picture is what it is," Els continued. "I'm just looking at my guys and I want my guys to play as good as they can and get as good a result as they can. They have put a lot of work into this and it's been quite a week already. This was probably good for them, showing what can happen the last couple holes.

"Saying that, we're in the lead. The Americans played wonderfully on the 18th hole and all credit to them. They stuck to it and they grinded it. My guys learnt a lot from this afternoon. We won't make this happen again. But they played great birdies, great shots, and that's why they are champions."

After the USA battled to keep the Internationals in sight, American golfer Cantlay told reporters the momentum is with the champions ahead of the first match on Saturday.

But International and Australian star Marc Leishman – who beat Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson 3 and 2 alongside Abraham Ancer – added: "I would probably disagree. It's very early. They were tied - they made a couple good putts on 18, definitely give them that, but I don't think you get momentum with two putts. We played pretty well the first two sessions.

"Yes, today probably didn't finish off the way we wanted to but we still halved the session. We know it's 18-hole matches and you have to be right there at the end.

"They made a couple putts at an important time, but if they feel that, that's great. We probably don't feel that way."

Tiger Woods said it would be hard for him to play all the sessions at the Presidents Cup after opting to sit out Saturday's four-ball.

United States captain Woods has been red-hot in Melbourne, where the 15-time major champion has helped the defending champions win two of their points against the Internationals – who lead 6.5 - 3.5.

Following Thursday's masterclass in the four-ball, Woods teamed up with Justin Thomas again on Friday in the foursomes to beat Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An 1up at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

However, Woods will not back up with Thomas for Saturday's early matches, instead bringing in Rickie Fowler against Marc Leishman and Li Haotong.

Discussing his decision, Woods told reporters: "That was kind of the game plan. It would be hard for me to go all the sessions.

"I've been fortunate enough to go out there with J.T. and we've gotten two points. J.T. played great and Rickie played awesome this afternoon.

"They have been looking forward to playing with one another. They have had success before, and send them back out."

The USA – eyeing an eighth consecutive Presidents Cup title – produced a late fightback to shift the momentum on Friday.

Ernie Els' Internationals threatened to sweep all five foursomes at one stage, before the USA rallied to win two of the final three matchups.

Clutch birdies from Patrick Cantlay and Thomas ensured the USA ended the day only three points behind the Internationals.

"At one point, we were down in four and even in one, and so it looked pretty bleak, but the guys turned it around," American superstar Woods said.

"They played phenomenal coming in. It was important for us to end the way we did and it totally changed the last hour."

On his own match alongside Thomas, who sealed victory in stunning fashion to spark joyous celebrations, Woods added via Golf Channel: "We were just fighting. We were just fighting. It's J.T. and I and we got in our own little bubble and doing our thing.

"We were up early, they flipped it on us and then we were kind of fighting, clawing our way back. Last hole, gives me absolute chills, man."

Tiger Woods is skipping Saturday's four-ball matches at the Presidents Cup as the United States named Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler to team up.

The USA trail the Internationals 6.5 - 3.5 heading into the third day at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Woods and Thomas have collected two of the USA's points, but the 15-time major champion will not be in action in Saturday's early matches.

Thomas will play with Fowler against Marc Leishman and Li Haotong, who is featuring for the first time in Melbourne.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will team up for the third straight day after a win and a loss to start the Presidents Cup, facing Im Sung-jae and Abraham Ancer.

Despite two losses, Woods is sticking with Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, who will take on Hideki Matsuyama and C.T. Pan again in the four-ball format. The International duo won Thursday's contest 1up.

The final four-ball match on Saturday will see Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An, winners on Thursday, face Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau.

Following two straight losses, USA star Dustin Johnson will miss the four-ball matches.

 

Saturday's four-ball matches (Internationals v the USA)

Li Haotong/Marc Leishman v Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas
Abraham Ancer/Im Sung-jae v Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele
C.T. Pan/Hideki Matsuyama v Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed
Byeong Hun An/Adam Scott v Tony Finau/Matt Kuchar

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