Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 23 News List

International team finds new life at Presidents Cup

AP , MONTREAL

Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby handed Tiger Woods his worst-ever match-play loss as a professional on Friday as the International team pulled within 7-5 of the US team on the second day of the Presidents Cup.

After earning only a half point out of six matches on Thursday, the International team moved back into contention.

"We needed some sanity today," Appleby said. "We got totally cleaned yesterday."

They match that got it started seemed totally insane.

Singh and Appleby played 14 holes of better ball in 11-under par and dominated Woods and Jim Furyk 5 and 4. Woods had never before been on the losing end of a match that didn't make it to the 15th hole at a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.

Singh holed a bunker shot at the first for birdie before making an eagle from the fairway at the par-5 sixth. Appleby later eagled the par-5 12th by sinking a 10m putt.

"We needed the point," Singh said. "We needed something to boost our guys up."

The momentum carried over on a day where there were so many amazing shots that fans must have felt like they were watching video game golf.

Mike Weir, playing with Ernie Els, made seven birdies in 17 holes as he and his South African partner beat Charles Howell III and Zach Johnson 3 and 1.

"He played some just amazing golf today," Els said.

One fan even stopped Weir's wife to have her sign an autograph. Weir embraced the attention and struck quality shots all day long.

"I couldn't ask to play much better," he said.

Retief Goosen and Angel Cabrera saw their match reach the 18th hole, which was very unkind to the Internationals on Thursday.

However, Cabrera erased any bad memories by rolling in a 3m birdie putt that secured the hole and a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan.

Nick O'Hern and Geoff Ogilvy battled US players Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover throughout the day. That match also reached the final green, where Ogilvy made a 1m birdie putt to secure another 1-up win.

The final group of the day also reached No. 18. Woody Austin and David Toms of the US had won the two holes before that to get back to all square with Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini.

Austin, who earlier had fallen in a lake, hit an approach shot close at the finishing hole and Sabbatini followed with one of his own. They each sunk the birdie putts for the lone halved match of the afternoon.

The only US team to win a full point was Steve Stricker and Scott Verplank. They defeated Adam Scott and K.J. Choi 2 and 1.

In the end, the International Team took 4.5 of six points from the second session. It was exactly what they needed.

"We knew we had to dig deep today," Weir said. "I think people were counting us out a little quickly."

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