Saturday, 10 October 2015  -  26 Dhul-Hijjah 1436 H
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US penalized after Mickelson infraction

Internationals storm back

Last updated: Saturday, October 10, 2015 12:23 AM

 

Bae Sang-moon of South Korea (R) celebrates his team’s win with vice captain K.J. Choi of South Korea (2nd L) on the 18th hole during the second round four-ball matches at the 2015 Presidents Cup in Incheon, west of Seoul, Friday. — AFP
 


INCHEON, South Korea — The Internationals produced a stirring fightback on day two of the Presidents Cup, cutting the United States’ lead to a single point, with South Korean Bae Sang-moon grabbing a crucial win for his team by holing a pressure-packed putt on the last.

Trailing 4-1 from the opening day’s foursomes, International skipper Nick Price needed a strong start in Friday’s four-balls and got just that from Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, who beat world No. 1 Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson 4&3.

More blue went on the board when Thongchai Jaidee and Charl Schwartzel beat Bill Haas and Chris Kirk 2&1, while Bae and New Zealander Danny Lee scored a thrilling victory over Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker on the 18th hole.

J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson got the Americans’ only win of the day, beating Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch 2 up, while Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson settled for a half point against Jason Day and Adam Scott.

The main talking point from that match, however, was the penalties imposed on the Americans on the seventh hole after Mickelson changed the type of ball he was playing.

Officials disqualified Mickelson from the hole, a decision they later conceded was incorrect, but then added insult to injury by hitting the United States with a one-hole penalty.

With Day winning that hole to put the Internationals one up in the match, they suddenly found themselves two ahead after the penalty was imposed on the Americans before the eighth.

Mickelson was reluctant to cast blame on the rules officials and said the responsibility lay with himself.

“It’s the job of the player to know the rules,” he said. “It’s not the committee’s fault, they made a mistake. It’s disappointing but they shouldn’t have been put in that position.”

The incident seemed to fire up the 45-year-old, who needed a captain’s pick this year for the first time since 1994, and he delivered the shot-of-the-day at the 12th, his fairway bunker shot from 136 yards dropping near the pin and spinning sideways into the hole.

Park two shots back in Malaysia


In Kuala Lumpur, world No. 1 Inbee Park poured in a field-high eight birdies Friday to pull within two strokes of the lead at the halfway point of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

Park, in the midst of a stellar year, would have been clear of the field if not for three bogeys that left her with a five-under 66 for the day. She was at eight-under par for the tournament.

The seasoned South Korean has traded the world No. 1 ranking over the past year with New Zealand teen phenom Lydia Ko in a fascinating rivalry at the pinnacle of the women’s game.

Her compatriot Jang Ha-Na, however, topped the second-round leaderboard at 10-under after carding a 65 for the day at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. China’s Lin Xiyu shot a 68 to leave her in second at 9-under.

Joining Park at two shots off the lead were Taiwan’s Tseng Ya-ni and Alison Lee of the United States.

Ko shot a bogey-free 65 Friday, leaving her four strokes off the lead at six-under.

World No. 3 Stacy Lewis was on four-under after firing a 66, including an eagle on the first hole. — Agencies

 
   
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