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Presidents Cup 2019: Scores and Standings Predictions for Day 3 Pairings

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 13: Adam Scott of Australia and the International team plays a shot on the 16th hole during Friday foursome matches on day two of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on December 13, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

For the first time since 2005, the International team are ahead of the United States after the first two rounds of the Presidents Cup.

The International team lead 6.5-3.5 heading into Day 3 of the competition at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.

They went three points ahead on Thursday with a 4-1 lead, while on Friday, the two teams could not be separated, so the gap between them remains unchanged.

The International team had been in a commanding position at one stage on Day 2, per the PGA Tour's Mike McAllister:

Mike McAllister @PGATOUR_mikemc

Hadwin converts birdie putt at 14. Internationals now lead in all 5 matches... in Foursomes. Had to take a photo for proof. @PresidentsCup https://t.co/H2BppfskwG

However, Team USA fought back to win two of those five matches and halve another. 

On Saturday, there will be two sessions of four matches. The first session will be four-balls, while the second will be foursomes.

                    

2019 Presidents Cup Day 3 (Four-ball)

7:02 a.m. local/3:02 p.m. ET Friday: Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (USA) vs. Marc Leishman/Haotong Li (INT)

7:16 a.m. local/3:16 p.m. ET Friday: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (USA) vs. Sungjae Im/Abraham Ancer (INT)

7:30 a.m. local/3:30 p.m. ET Friday: Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (INT)

7:44 a.m. local/3:44 p.m. ET Friday: Matt Kuchar/Tony Finau (USA) vs. Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An (INT)

*Predicted winners in bold

The pairings for the second session will be announced once the first has concluded, with the foursomes teeing off from noon local time (8 p.m. ET).

              

Preview

The International team are bidding to win their first Presidents Cup title since 1998.

The Americans have won 10 of the 12 previous editions of the competition, with a draw in 2003 the only other blemish on their record.

Although they failed to extend their lead on Friday, doing so on Saturday will put them in pole position for a historic victory. There are eight points up for grabs on Day 3, and the International team are nine away from a win.

In the four-balls, they have a good chance of taking a point through Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An in their match with Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

The International pairing saw off Finau and Bryson DeChambeau on Thursday, and Scott picked up another win over Kuchar and Dustin Johnson on Friday alongside Louis Oosthuizen:

Presidents Cup @PresidentsCup

@AdamScott @Louis57TM With this win, @AdamScott moves to T2 all-time in matches won in #IntlTeam history 💪 https://t.co/JfBMN5cVvC

An partnered Hideki Matsuyama on Friday, and the pair weren't able to overcome the imperious duo of Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas, but he nevertheless played well:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

😤 @ByeongHunAn didn't hold back on this one. #QuickHits https://t.co/5lwkZH0nRe

Finau and Kuchar have both lost their respective matches, so it would be a surprise for them to come out on top here.

Team USA might have more success through Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay when they take on Sungjae Im and Abraham Ancer.

Cantlay produced one of the moments of the day on Friday in the win over Joaquin Niemann and Adam Hadwin:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

@patrick_cantlay The emotions of the @PresidentsCup. https://t.co/crbaID6SR2

That win gave Team USA a much-needed lift, and the pair will carry some momentum with them into Day 3.

Im and Ancer won't be easy to overcome, though. The former beat Cantlay and Schauffele on Thursday alongside Hadwin, while yesterday he and Cam Smith tied with Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland. As for the latter, he's two for two in his matches.

Whoever comes out on top, it could be a close-run matchup.