The International team shifted the momentum in its favor during Day 2 of the Presidents Cup, but Day 3 was a stalemate, as Team USA maintained its one-point advantage entering the fourth and final day of the event at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea.
The Americans lead 9.5 to 8.5 with 15.5 points being needed to clinch the cup. One point is a tenuous lead to say the least, as 12 singles matches will take place on Day 4, which means the outlook of the event can change in a hurry.
As the Americans vie for their sixth consecutive Presidents Cup title, here is a look at how things played out on Day 3 as well as a preview and predictions for the Day 4 schedule.
Presidents Cup Day 3 Scores
|Results from Day 3 at 2015 Presidents Cup|
|Event||Team USA||International Team||Winners|
|Foursomes||Patrick Reed / Rickie Fowler||Louis Oosthuizen / Branden Grace||Oosthuizen / Grace (3 & 2)|
|Foursomes||Bubba Watson / J.B. Holmes||Adam Scott / Marc Leishman||Halved|
|Foursomes||Bill Haas / Matt Kuchar||Sangmoon Bae / Hideki Matsuyama||Halved|
|Foursomes||Dustin Johnson / Jordan Spieth||Jason Day / Charl Schwartzel||Johnson / Spieth (1 up)|
|Four-Ball||J.B. Holmes / Bubba Watson||Louis Oosthuizen / Branden Grace||Oosthuizen / Grace (1 up)|
|Four-Ball||Phil Mickelson / Zach Johnson||Adam Scott / Anirban Lahiri||Mickelson / Johnson (3 & 2)|
|Four-Ball||Jimmy Walker / Chris Kirk||Sangmoon Bae / Hideki Matsuyama||Bae / Matsuyama (6 & 5)|
|Four-Ball||Patrick Reed / Jordan Spieth||Jason Day / Charl Schwartzel||Reed / Spieth (3 & 2)|
Presidents Cup Standings
|Presidents Cup Standings Thru Day 3|
Presidents Cup Day 4 Schedule
|Predictions for Sunday's Singles (Saturday Night in USA)|
|Time (ET Saturday)||Team USA||International Team||Predicted Winner|
|8:15 p.m.||Patrick Reed||Louis Oosthuizen||Oosthuizen|
|8:27 p.m.||Rickie Fowler||Adam Scott||Fowler|
|8:39 p.m.||Dustin Johnson||Danny Lee||Johnson|
|8:51 p.m.||J.B. Holmes||Hideki Matsuyama||Matsuyama|
|9:03 p.m.||Bubba Watson||Thongchai Jaidee||Watson|
|9:15 p.m.||Jimmy Walker||Steven Bowditch||Bowditch|
|9:27 p.m.||Phil Mickelson||Charl Schwartzel||Mickelson|
|9:39 p.m.||Chris Kirk||Anirban Lahiri||Kirk|
|9:51 p.m.||Jordan Spieth||Marc Leishman||Spieth|
|10:03 p.m.||Zach Johnson||Jason Day||Day|
|10:15 p.m.||Matt Kuchar||Branden Grace||Grace|
|10:27 p.m.||Bill Haas||Sangmoon Bae||Halved|
Breaking Down Top Singles Matches
Rickie Fowler vs. Adam Scott
Setting the tone will be hugely important for both teams on Day 4 as they look to put pressure on the opposition, which is why the second matchup of the day between Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott could play a significant role in the deciding of the Presidents Cup.
It seemed as though Scott would be one of the International team's go-to guys in South Korea, but he has struggled mightily to the tune of an 0-2-2 record. Captain Nick Price has continued to call his name, though, which is something that confused Shane Bacon of Fox Sports:
Price has no choice other than to use Scott on Day 4 since all 24 golfers will be in action, and there will be a great deal of pressure on him to turn things around against one of Team USA's top players in Fowler.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Scott's struggles over the past few days is his switch from a long putter to a traditional short putter. The Aussie made the change since the long putter will soon be banned, and he didn't have any reservations about doing so prior to the Presidents Cup, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com):
I think it was a good time to make a change and spend some time working on it. It's a similar amount of time, actually, when I switched to the long putter, that gap of five weeks between events. It took shape quickly, and I feel the same will happen with this. It's kind of refreshing to have to make a forced change because my putting stats are not that impressive this year.
The transition hasn't been kind to Scott thus far, as Team USA has taken advantage of it. Scott has been helped out by his teammates at times; however, he'll be all alone on Day 4.
Since Fowler is one of the best players in the world currently and Scott is seemingly on the decline, this match has all the makings of a point for the Americans.
Phil Mickelson vs. Charl Schwartzel
Jay Haas' choice of Phil Mickelson as a captain's pick was somewhat controversial due to Lefty's uneven 2015 campaign, but the five-time major champion has proved his worth thus far.
Mickelson is one of only two undefeated American players with a record of 2-0-1, and he will have a golden opportunity to move Team USA closer to clinching the Presidents Cup when he takes on South Africa's Charl Schwartzel.
Schwartzel has been dealing with flu-like symptoms, according to Rex Hoggard of GolfChannel.com. He has battled through them and posted a 1-2 record but clearly hasn't been at his best, as evidenced by this video, courtesy of PGA Tour:
Conversely, Mickelson has been locked in and making some huge shots, as he so often does in team-based competitions like the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup:
It hasn't been a perfect Presidents Cup for Mickelson by any means, as an illegal ball change on Day 2 cost him and Zach Johnson two holes against Scott and Jason Day.
Even so, Mickelson and Johnson stormed back to halve the match, and Mickelson used that as a chance to attempt to get inside the heads of the International team's golfers, per ESPN.com's Jason Sobel:
Mickelson is among the most experienced players ever when it comes to these types of events, and he has a penchant for rising to the occasion.
He has already done so multiple times in this Presidents Cup, and knowing that his team needs him to come through in a big way on Day 4, he'll continue his fine play by defeating Schwartzel.
Zach Johnson vs. Jason Day
In what may turn out to be the most intriguing battle of Day 4, a pair of 2015 major champions will clash in the form of Zach Johnson and Jason Day.
Johnson is the reigning British Open champion, while Day won the PGA Championship and took a run at PGA Player of the Year honors as well before Jordan Spieth ultimately won the FedEx Cup and Player of the Year honors as well.
Like Mickelson, Johnson is 2-0-1 at the Presidents Cup, as they have been an effective pair to this point. Day is a surprising 0-3-1 although he hasn't received much help from partners Steven Bowditch, Scott and Schwartzel.
As Day's 2015 season suggests, he thrives as an individual. The same can be said for Spieth, who many hoped would be the Aussie's opponent on Day 4. While that would have made for some great drama, Haas wasn't overly concerned about making it happen, according to Hoggard:
We wanted Jordan in slot No. 8, 9, 10, somewhere in there. They (Spieth and Day) played the last two days, so not a head-to-head personal battle, but they have played a lot of that golf during the season. So I don't know if it was a make-or-break for the Presidents Cup if they played or didn't play.
Spieth will take on Marc Leishman in the No. 9 slot, while Johnson and Day will go up against each other in the 10th match of the day.
Since the difference between Team USA and the International team is only one point, it is entirely possible the winner of the Johnson and Day match could clinch the Presidents Cup for his team.
The United States is undoubtedly hopeful it can get the job done beforehand, though. While Johnson will give Day a run for his money and keep it closer than some might expect, Day will continue is remarkable season by pulling off a singles victory.
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