October 8, 2009

Birdies And Bogeys

SAN FRANCISCO -- The International team trailed in five of six matches at one point Friday, but rallied to secure a split, 3-3, in four-ball competition in the eighth edition of the Presidents Cup. That leaves the visiting squad trailing 6 ½ to 5 ½ heading into Saturday's double session comprised of 10 matches.

"Today was a test of resolve, and our guys stood up to the challenge of a very strong American team," said International assistant captain Frank Nobilo. "To be just one point behind after two days is really quite a good spot."

Indeed it is, and the International team as a whole earns the first birdie in today's edition of Birdies and Bogeys. Here's the rest of the inventory from Day 2 at Harding Park GC:

Birdie: Justin Leonard -- The Texan played some moribund golf for much of Friday's four-ball match with Phil Mickelson, but converted two late birdie putts of 14 and 11 feet, respectively, at 14 and 16 to close out the Americans' 3 and 2 victory over Retief Goosen and Adam Scott. Leonard admitted that his contribution was redemption for a short miss on the home hole in Thursday's foursomes that cost his team a half-point.

Bogey: Lucas Glover -- The U.S. Open champion made just one birdie partnering a second day with British Open winner Stewart Cink -- and that with a chip-in on the 16th hole with Cink sizing up a manageable 8-footer. Vijay Singh and Tim Clark eventually won, 1 up, to send America's major championship pairing down to its second defeat.

Birdie: Tim Clark -- Finishing birdie-eagle, with a 14-footer on the last that won it for him and Singh, was Exhibit A that Nobilo was referring to when he talked about the Internationals' resolve.

Bogey: Anthony Kim -- He's following up a so-so FedEx Cup campaign with a somewhat desultory Presidents Cup. Kim converted one birdie in better ball Friday and practically left Furyk to fend for himself down the stretch by playing the final five holes in two-over par against Mike Weir and Ernie Els, who rallied for a 2 up win.

Bogey: European PGA -- The host organization for the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales decided to stage a press conference and golf exhibition on Monday at Celtic Manor featuring respective team captains Corey Pavin of the U.S. and Colin Montgomerie for Europe. Pavin, a California native on hand the first two days at Harding Park, has to get on a plane Saturday to attend the function. Nice scheduling.

Birdie: Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker -- The American juggernaut has had to play only 29 holes in its two victories. Woods and Stricker have never trailed and have lost just one hole thus far. Asked if he was going to break up the unit, U.S. captain Fred Couples replied, "Only if somebody ties me up and I can't get to the pairings meeting."