25 Sep 2022 | Professional golf |
Aussies’ big win breathes life into International Team
by Dane Heverin
An eagle-birdie-birdie finish from Australian duo Adam Scott and Cameron Davis has given the International Team momentum as they reduced the deficit to four at the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow in North Carolina.
The Americans enter the Sunday singles with a 11-7 lead but the International Team are buoyed by Scott leading from the front to claim two important points on Saturday and Davis making a massive statement.
“Today was a great day. We were in a deep hole coming here on the bus this morning, and all of the boys dug really deep,” Scott said.
“You know, we halved the morning session, and we won in the afternoon session, and the momentum, you know, I think over the course of my career in this, there hasn't been many times I've felt momentum going our way. And today, we had the momentum. We certainly have it finishing this evening, and it will be great if we could keep it rolling tomorrow.”
The Australians teamed up for the second time this week in four-ball to take on Billy Horschel and Sam Burns and they were locked in an arm wrestle for most of the afternoon.
On the front nine, the teams only won a hole each and the contest was of the highest quality with birdies only enough to halve the hole on three occasions.
That number would extend to an incredible six times by the end of the match, but the Australians’ were finally able to get things on their terms at the 605-yard par-5 16th.
Scott and Davis appeared to be mirroring one another with a pair of booming drives followed by breathtaking second shots that opened the door for an eagle for both of them, and Davis obliged by sinking his putt to level things up.
That was just the beginning of the 27-year-old rising to the occasion and showing why Trevor Immelman backed him in with one of his captain’s picks.
A 339-yard bomb off the tee on the 17th was impressive, but his clutch near 15-foot birdie putt to grab the lead was spectacular.
Two near-perfect drives and a pair of stellar approach shots gave them both another good look at birdie at the last, and Davis stepped up again to hole his 9-footer and secure the one-up victory.
“This is a dream come true to be in this scenario for me,” Davis said.
“I don't want Adam to feel old or anything, but he's been a childhood hero of mine really right from when I started to taking golf seriously. To play with him is a dream come true. To play great golf alongside him is even better.
“It was hard to imagine myself being in these shoes right now, and I'm loving every minute of it, because it's been absolutely awesome.
“I mean, last three holes, I kind of went numb, to be honest. I was in a situation where I was going for it. But I just got in a groove that made golf feel easy for once. It's very hard to get in a groove like that. It's what we live for, and I felt like I got that flow zone going towards the end.
“On the last hole, I just read two putts perfectly in a row. I saw that putt, I saw a read again, and I just wanted to get it started online. To be honest, I felt like I did a pretty good job of putting it in its place, just try and make this one putt and then deal with whatever comes afterwards.
“To see it roll right in the middle again was very sweet. That was a very, very cool finish to the round.”
Scott could not be prouder of his countryman and the team’s resolve to work their way back into the fight.
“Great day for us, and a great afternoon to win that session,” Scott said.
“And then for myself and Cam to win that match down the stretch, you know, it's those moments why you work hard and see what you've got, and I was so impressed with Cam playing those last three holes like that. I'm happy he could carry me in.”
Scott’s first win of the day came in the foursomes alongside fellow Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama.
The International Team’s most experienced pairing came from behind to defeat Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa 3&2 with a back nine blitz.
The Americans were two-up through eight holes but Scott and Matsuyama proceeded to win five consecutive holes with three birdies and two pars before holding on with a hat-trick of pars at the 14th, 15th and 16th to claim the win.
Davis reunited with South Korean Si Woo Kim in the morning but they were unable to rediscover their first day magic, going down to Max Homa and Tony Finau 4&3.
The International Team will need to claim 8.5 points from the 12 singles matches on the final day to win the trophy for only the second time in the history of the event - the International’s sole triumph came at Royal Melbourne in 1998.
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