Day three started out early as alarms were ringing at 3:50am for members of the United States squad. We witnessed more of the same with Justin Thomas dominating and sinking another clutch putt to catapult himself and partner Rickie Fowler to a 3&2 win over Marc Leishman and HaoTong Li. The international pairing of Sungjae Im and Abraham Ancer continued their impressive rookie runs as they made quick work of Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay 3&2. Hideki Matsuyama and partner C.T Pan rolled over Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson 5&3 leaving them with an abysmal 0-3 record for the week as teammates. Last on the course during the morning session for the Americans were Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau who salvaged a halve courtesy of a Finau birdie on 18 against Adam Scott and Byeong Hun An in dramatic fashion.
The chatter surrounding Captain Woods decision to sit himself for a second consecutive session was quickly muddled by the United States dominant afternoon play. The power combination of Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland made quick work of Aussie Adam Scott and his partner Louis Oosthuizen for the first point in the afternoon 2&1. Next up was 3-0 Justin Thomas and his partner Rickie Fowler who were looking primed to improve to 2-0 on the day until a late collapse cost them. They lost the last three holes of their match with the icing being an errant drive on 18 by Justin Thomas which vaulted Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman to the surprising half. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay polished off Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith 2&1 to pull the United States close with one match left on the course. The final match of the day featured Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau trying to take down a feisty Joaquin Niemann and Byeong Hun An pairing for the internationals, nerves seemed to get the best of both teams as the match ended in a shaky half on the 18th green.
Day 3 Four-Ball Morning Session
International 9 United States 5
Day 3 Foursomes Afternoon Session
International 10 United States 8
Notes: In a rather surprising move United States Captain Tiger Woods chose to sit himself for both sessions Saturday despite going 2-0 with Justin Thomas in group play the first two days. The move was risky bust paid off during the afternoon session as the United States won 3-1 and pulled to within one point with the singles yet to be played.
Points leaders so far
3.5pt Justin Thomas
3.5pt Abraham Ancer
1.5pt Marc Leishman, Byeong Hun An
1pt Adam Hadwin
0.5pt Cameron Smith
0pt HaoTong Li, Joaquin Niemann
Revised betting: International 11/10 United States 23/20 Tie 7/1
Justin Thomas: On his feelings over another winning putt " It's why we chose professional golf as a career, we want that putt"
Rickie Fowler: On playing with Justin Thomas "We've obviously played a lot of golf together. We ham and egg it well, and yea, we got the job done that's what we needed to do to get the point and we'll go rest up now"
Tony Finau: Moments after making birdie on 18 for the half point "[I'm] Quite pleased with the half coming down the stretch there and I made a couple clutch putts [which] was huge for our team and it seems like points are pretty sparse early and you never know how it's going to fare out"
Marc Leishman: On coming back for the half "To fight back from five down, pretty amazing feeling"
Tiger Woods: At the end of the day "We chipped away at it, you know we knocked their lead down one. We have twelve matches tomorrow we have a long way to go"
Ernie Els: "It's been four really great sessions and today was some of the most exciting golf I've seen for a long time for us to scratch and scramble for one point, the guys were very excited about that"
Road to victory in Presidents Cup
2017 Winners USA. Day 3 Score: United States 14½, International 3½
2015 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 9½ International 8½
2013 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 14, International 8
2011 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 13, International 9
2009 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 12½, International 9½
2007 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 14½,, International 7½,
2005 Winners USA. Day 3 score: International 11, United States 11
2003 Tied match. Day 3 score: International 12½ United States 9½
2000 Winners USA. Day 3 score: United States 14, International 6
Notes: The 10-8 score after day three is the closest margin since 2005 when the United States broke the tie with a 7 ½ to 4½ Sunday singles score. The United States is looking to come from behind in Australia after day three for the first time in Presidents Cup history.
Focus on - Day 4 Singles
C.T Pan vs. Patrick Reed
Joaquin Niemann vs. Patrick Cantlay
Byeong Hun An vs. Webb Simpson
Tiger Woods will send himself out first after sitting all day Saturday at Royal Melbourne. He will play against Abraham Ancer who leads the Internationals in points with 3.5. The first tee time will be at 10:02am local time and the weather is expected to be in the 70's.
Focus on: Patrick Reed Stays in the news
Patrick Reed's Caddie Kessler Karain got into an altercation with a fan following the morning segment Saturday and the following statement was released by the PGA TOUR "Following an incident that took place on Saturday at the Presidents Cup involving Kessler Karain and a spectator, Karain will not return to caddie for Sunday's final-round singles matches. We will have no further comment at this time" Patrick Reed followed up with the following quote "I respect the TOUR's decision. We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow."