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Presidents Cup 2019 Leaderboard: Day 3 Scores, Top Pairings and Reaction

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 14: Dustin Johnson of the United States team and Gary Woodland of the United States team react on the 17th green after defeating Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and the International team and Adam Scott of Australia and the International team 2&1 during Saturday afternoon foursomes matches on day three of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on December 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

Leave it to Tiger Woods to bring "load management" to golf.

After anchoring his United States teammates on Day 2 of the 2019 Presidents Cup with an impressive array of iron shots, Woods chose to sit out the morning and afternoon matches of Day 3.

As the first playing captain since Hale Irwin in 1994, he was allowed to do so not only to rest up but to also put on his captain's hat to evaluate and coach his team for the pairings going forward at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.

But was it the right move?

The International team leads Team USA 10-8 at the end of Day 3, so the jury's out.

Presidents Cup @PresidentsCup

Get the 🍿 Sunday in @Melbourne is gonna be a ripper! https://t.co/I5vrBwjkj5 https://t.co/AjwApHkIss

2019 Presidents Cup Results: Day 3 Fourball

Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas (U.S.) def. Marc Leishman/Haotong Li (International) 3 and 2

Abraham Ancer/Sungjae Im (International) def. Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (U.S.) 3 and 2

Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (International) def. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (U.S.) 5 and 3

Byeong Hun An/Adam Scott (International) def. Tony Finau/Matt Kuchar (U.S.) Tied

2019 Presidents Cup Results: Day 3 Foursomes

Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland (USA) def. Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott (Internationals) 2 and 1

Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer (Internationals) def. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler (USA) Tied

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (USA) def. Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im (Internationals) 2 and 1

Byeong Hun An and Joaquin Niemann (Internationals) def. Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau (USA) Tied

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

The #USTeam cuts into the @PresidentsCup deficit in the foursomes portion of day 3. The #IntlTeam is looking for their first @PresidentsCup victory since 1998. https://t.co/kEAxzizpYS

              

Woods sitting all day Saturday with his team trailing the International team 6.5-3.5 was a risky move, especially since he was clearly Team USA's best player, tying Phil Mickelson for the most career Presidents Cup matches won on Day 2.

But as the captain, tough decisions have to be made.

"I gotta do what's best for the team" Wood said at the presser after the morning session. "I'm getting ready for the singles tomorrow."

He added that he even had to talk himself out of playing in the second session and that he wasn't injured.

"It is what it is," Woods added. "We'll try to go out there and get some points today and be ready for tomorrow."

With Woods looking on, Team USA ended the morning session down 9-5.

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

The #IntlTeam is FEELING it. #PresidentsCup https://t.co/SaQB5wKhQb

"They ran into some guys that played well," Woods said. "They made crucial puts at certain times. Today, they just didn't play well, but that happens. But the last two matches, it just comes to a crucial put here and there."

With its strong play, the International team has put itself in a good position to win its first Presidents Cup since 1998.

For their part, the United States rallied in the second session, winning three of four points to close the gap to two.

Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson won their first match over Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott, who lost for the first time this week. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay took care of business against Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im, while Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler failed to stave off Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman.

Up five after 10 holes, Thomas and Fowler let Ancer and Leishman come back and tie it.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Ice in his veins. @marcleish steps up just when the #IntlTeam needed it. https://t.co/4Urczr16Gd

No team has ever trailed going into the final session and won, so the U.S. will be looking to make history at the 13th Presidents Cup.

It's safe to bet that Woods will be back on the tee for one of Sunday's 12 singles matches to improve Team USA's chances.

                     

Maurice Bobb covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow Maurice on Twitter, @ReeseReport.