Anirban Lahiri saves the day for International team

Anirban Lahiri made a clutch birdie putt on the 16th hole to turn their match against Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell. His efforts helped the International team carry the battle into Sunday.

Presidents Cup - Anirban Lahiri - Scott Halleran - PGA TOUR

October 01, 2017: Anirban Lahiri produced a thrilling effort down the stretch to push the Presidents Cup battle into Sunday. The Americans need just a solitary point in the singles – with a dozen matches on the card, it is merely a formality. But Anirban ensured dignity for the Internationals.

The United States won six of eight matches in the two Saturday sessions, a dominating performance that sets them up to clinch the Presidents Cup for the 10th time in Sunday’s Singles at Liberty National.

The Americans lead 14.5 to 3.5 and need just one point out of the final 12 matches. The 11-point advantage is the largest lead entering Singles in Presidents Cup history. The only way the Internationals could win would be to sweep all 12 matches — an impossible task for Nick Price and his squad.

“We’ve just come up against a juggernaut of an American Team that has not put a foot wrong, it seems like, in three days,” Price said Saturday evening. “They have had all the momentum and we’ve had nothing.”

“We’ve had a phenomenal week thus far and our team has played incredible golf,” said American Jordan Spieth, who won both of his matches Saturday with partner Patrick Reed.

Here are the PGA TOUR match recaps from both sessions Saturday.


MATCH 15: USA wins, 2 and 1

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Day (U.S.) def. Jason Day/Louis Oosthuizen (International)

Holes won: USA 6, International 2

Holes led: USA 8, International 4

Recap: The Americans were 2 up at the turn, but the Internationals rally to take the lead, winning the 12th with a birdie and a ruling that disqualified Spieth from a potential birdie attempt. But that only served to fire up the U.S. duo. At the 15th, they squared the match  with a Spieth birdie. Reed followed with a birdie to win the 16th after he knocked it close. Spieth then closed out the match by converting a 13-footer for birdie.

MATCH 16: USA wins, 3 and 2

Justin Thomas/Daniel Berger (U.S.) def. Hideki Matsuyama/Jhonattan Vegas (International)

Holes won: USA 6, International 3

Holes led: USA 6, International 8

Recap: The Americans rallied from an early deficit, with Berger winning his first point as a Presidents Cup rookie. The Internationsl were 3 up after four holes, fueled by two Matsuyama birdies on the par 5s. But Berger won the next hole with a birdie to start chipping away. After another Berger birdie at the 10th — the time from 32 feet — the match was all square. Berger won the next hole with an 8-1/2 foot birdie putt and the Americans never trailed past that . Thomas added a 42-foot birdie putt at the 14th and Berger closed it with a par. Berger had five birdies on his round.

MATCH 17: International wins, 1 up

Anirban Lahiri/Si Woo Kim (International) def. Charley Hoffman/Kevin Chappell (U.S.)

Holes won: International 5, U.S. 4

Holes led: International 9, U.S. 2

Recap: This was the final match that ended Saturday, and the Americans could have clinched the Presidents Cup with a win. They were 1 up through 14 holes, but Kim squared the match with a birdie from 7 feet. Lahiri followed with a 16-foot birdie putt to claim the 16th. The 17th turned into a top-this drama — Hoffman holed a chip shot for birdie, then Lahiri pounded a birdie putt on top to halve the hole. Lahiri finished with an excellent chip at 18 and the American first-timers eventually conceded the par putt and the match.

MATCH 18: USA wins, 3 and 2

Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka (U.S.) def. Branden Grace/Marc Leishman (International)

Holes won: USA 6, International 3

Holes led: USA 13, International 0

Recap: The big-hitting American duo never trailed, with Koepka supplying most of the dramatics, winning holes with an eagle and four birdies. He capped the front nine with a birdie at the eighth and an eagle at the ninth to put the Americans 2 up. Johnson, meanwhile, extended his record this week to 4-0-0, the best of any player going into Singles.


MATCH 11: USA wins, 4 and 3

Jordan Spieth/Patrick Day (U.S.) def. Jason Day/Marc Leishman (International)

Holes won: USA 6, International 2

Holes led: USA 8, International 2

Recap: The powerhouse American duo won the final four holes to break open a tight match and continue their domination in these team events. Spieth and Reed are now 2-0-1 this week and 7-1-3 in team events (including Ryder Cup results). Meanwhile, the Aussie partners are 0-2-1 this week, with Day now 0-6-2 in his last eight Presidents Cup matches. Day did have the biggest highlight for the Internationals, chipping in for birdie to win the 7th hole and put his team 1 up. But the Americans responded two holes later with a birdie at the par-5 ninth to square the match. They then dialed it up a notch on the back nine. A terrific approach by Reed set up a tap-in birdie at the 12th. A Spieth approach set up a Reed 7-foot birdie putt at the 13th. The Internationals lost the 14th with a bogey after Day found the bunker with his tee shot. And then Spieth’s approach to 7 feet at the 15th set up Reed for the match-ending birdie.

MATCH 12: USA wins, 4 and 3

Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (U.S.) def. Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin (International)

Holes won: USA 8, International 4

Holes led: USA 13, International 0

Recap: The Americans won six of the first nine holes, thanks in large part to some poor International play, and maintained control the rest of the way. Pars were good enough for the U.S. to win hole Nos. 1, 3 and 6, and the Americans even won the fifth hole with a bogey. The Internationals suffered another double bogey at the seventh, but the U.S. won it with a 17-foot birdie putt from Johnson. DJ also won the ninth with a 7-foot birdie putt, putting the Americans 4-up at the turn. Hadwin started the Internationals’ rally with a 24-foot putt to win the 10th and also made an 8-footer to win the 13th. But a third double bogey cost them the 14th and stopped any momentum.

MATCH 13: USA wins, 2 and 1

Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner (U.S.) def. Jhonattan Vegas/Emiliano Grillo (International) 

Holes won: USA 5, International 3

Holes led: USA 6, International 1

Recap: In one of the most well-played matches of the day, the Americans led off with a birdie at the first hole and went 4 under to beat back the steady new South American tandem of Vegas/Grillo. Mickelson and Kisner improved their record to 2-0-1 this week. The Internationals briefly took the lead when the U.S. bogeyed the 7th, but the Americans responded with a birdie to square the match and never trailed again. A terrific approach by Mickelson won the 15th, and his approach at the 17th to 7 feet set up Kisner to close out the match.

MATCH 14: Halved

Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace (International) halve with Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (U.S.)

Holes won: International 4, USA 4

Holes led: International 5, USA 2

Recap: The South African duo remained the strongest pairing for Nice Price’s team, claiming a half-point in the final match against the red-hot American pairing which had rolled through the first two sessions. Oosthuizen and Grace won three of the first six holes and were 2 up at that point, Oosthuizen having set up Grace for a 7-foot birdie putt at the sixth. But the U.S. won the next two holes with a par and a birdie and were 1 up through 10. Oosthuizen rolled in a 38-foot putt at the 11th to square the match and the two sides halved the rest of the holes.

Join the Conversation