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Woods & Stricker first unbeaten team in 30 years

Last Updated: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 09:49

San Francisco: Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker
became the first partnership in the Presidents Cup to be
undefeated in four matchups, winning twice behind an
improbable rally by Woods and the pure putting of Stricker.

On the verge of defeat in morning foursomes, Woods made a
25-foot birdie putt to square the match on the 17th, then
drilled a 3-iron to 8 feet on the final hole for an eagle that
was conceded in a 1-up victory over Mike Weir of Canada and
South African Tim Clark yesterday.

In afternoon fourballs, Woods only had to watch Stricker
make one long birdie putt after another in a 4-and-2 victory
over Y.E. Yang and 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa, the first loss
for the Asian duo.

Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim held on for a 2-up victory over
Australian Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera of Argentina, assuring
the Americans the lead going into the final day of 12 singles

The International team picked up easy victories in
fourballs from Weir and South Africa`s Ernie Els, who had a
5-and-3 win over Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard; and
Australians Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby, winning 2-and-1
over Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink.

Glover is the only American without a point going into

Woods and Stricker are the first partners to go 4-0 in
any team competition since Larry Nelson and Lanny Wadkins won
all their matches in the 1979 Ryder Cup at The Greenbrier.

"What he did in this morning`s round made me want to do
something and step up a little bit," said Stricker, who had
seven consecutive 3s on his card. "Fortunately, I was rolling
it pretty well."

It was vintage Woods in the morning foursomes.

He and Stricker trailed most of the match and had to work
hard to stay 1 down with two holes remaining. It looked as
though the match might end on the 17th hole, when Clark hit
wedge into 5 feet for a birdie. Woods tried to drive the green
and found a bunker, and Stricker hit a poor shot 25 feet below
the cup.

If Woods missed and Weir made, the match was over.

Woods` putt dropped on the final turn, and he showed more
emotion than he has all week, repeatedly pumping his fist as
Stricker broke into a wide grin. Weir pushed his putt, and
suddenly the match was all square.

On the par-5 18th, with Weir already in the greenside
bunker, Woods hit a 3-iron so pure that he twirled the club
and held his arms out as he walked toward the green, as if
putting a hex on the ball. It stopped 8 feet away, and they
won the watch when Clark blasted long out of the bunker.

"The stage is set, and he comes through again today,"
Stricker said. "It`s pretty impressive."

Cink and Hunter Mahan already rallied in the morning,
trailing for 13 consecutive holes until they cobbled up a
birdie on the 18th to earn a halve against Allenby and Vijay
Singh. Those two matches - a three-point swing - gave the
Americans a 10-7 lead in the morning, and they were headed
toward at least a two-point lead going into Sunday.

That bodes well for another Presidents Cup victory for
the Americans, who have never lost on home soil and lead the
series, 5-1-1. The International team has won only one singles
session - two years ago at Royal Montreal - and the Americans
have a 47{-36{ lead in singles.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009 - 09:49
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