Friday, November 18, 2011

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Tiger Woods finally won a point, then couldn't buy a putt.

The Americans were assured of leading the Presidents Cup after a 4-1 decision in foursomes Saturday morning, when Woods and Dustin Johnson won a match and two American teams remained perfect.

Hopeful of building the lead in the fourball matches in the afternoon, the International team fought back.

K.T. Kim holed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole to give him and Y.E. Yang a 1-up win over Woods and Johnson. Woods missed nine putts from about the 15-foot range or closer, including one on the last hole that would have earned a halve. Woods was assured of his first losing record in the Presidents Cup since 1998, which also was at Royal Melbourne.

The International team picked up two more wins, meaning it can at least put up a fair fight in the 12 singles matches Sunday. It also ended the Americans' streak of not losing a session for the first time since 2007.

Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel handed Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson their first loss of the week. The Americans made only one birdie, a poor effort in fourballs even in a cold, steady rain as the wind picked up.

Geoff Ogilvy and K.J. Choi hung on for a 1-up win over Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.

Even as the temperatures cool, emotions started to heat up. Jason Day celebrated a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th to seemingly stay in the match, only for Mahan to bury his birdie putt from just outside 20 feet for a 2-and-1 win over Day and Aaron Baddeley.

Mahan flung his putter to the ground when it dropped and let out a roar.

"This is an Australian team we were playing here," Mahan said. "You heard the crowd, so to win like that, it feels good."

The Americans had a 1-up lead in the final match, with Adam Scott and Ernie Els putting up a strong fight against Nick Watney and Jim Furyk, who was trying to become the only American to win all four matches.

Els made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 15th to cut the deficit to 1 down, then Scott halved the 16th hole with a 12-foot putt.

Furyk and Phil Mickelson went to 3-0 as a team after winning their foursomes match Saturday morning. U.S. captain Fred Couples decided to rest Mickelson for Sunday's finale.