Presidents Cup all square heading into final day

Posted: Sunday, September 25, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Va. — Two years later and halfway across the world, the Presidents Cup is as close as ever.

Chris DiMarco came up aces, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk came through with clutch comebacks and Retief Goosen and Adam Scott proved as formidable as ever Saturday to leave the matches tied going into a final round of 12 singles matches.

Each team had 11 points, the first time the Presidents Cup has been tied going into Sunday since it began in 1994.

The Americans had a chance to take the outright lead in the final better-ball match of the afternoon. Fred Couples, who has provided some of the most dramatic images from Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, hit a wedge into 8 feet on the 18th hole and was poised to score a 1-up victory. But his putt stayed above the cup as he and Davis Love III had to settle for a halve with Michael Campbell and Angel Cabrera.

No one had to work harder than Woods and Furyk, who birdied the last two holes in alternate shot Saturday morning to earn a halve against Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby, then went the distance against them in the afternoon in a 2-up victory.

DiMarco made only the second hole-in-one in the Presidents Cup in the morning, holed just about every putt that mattered and joined Phil Mickelson in two victories.

The International side got more strong play from Scott and Goosen, who battled Scott Verplank and Justin Leonard to a draw in the morning, and buried them 6 and 5 in a better-ball match with 10 birdies in 14 holes.

Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO — Woody Austin took the third-round lead in the Texas Open, shooting a 3-under 67 in 100-degree heat and wind gusting to 30 mph as the edge of Hurricane Rita roared by about 150 miles to the east.

The 41-year-old Austin made a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish at 13-under 197 on the LaCantera Golf Club's Resort Course. Robert Gamez (68), Mark Wilson (66) and Dean Wilson (70) were tied for second.

Austin began the round two strokes behind Dean Wilson and was as far back as five shots on the back nine. The two-time PGA Tour winner rallied with an eagle on the 536-yard, par-5 14th — hitting his 203-yard approach to 2 feet — and two-putted from 80 feet on No. 16 for another birdie after driving the green on the 348-yard hole.

Houston-area resident Jeff Maggert (70) was two strokes back along with J.J. Henry (66), Bob Heintz (69) and John Senden (70). David Duval, the former top-ranked player who made his first cut this year, shot a 70 to finish 10 strokes back at 3 under.

Seve Trophy

BILLINGHAM, England — Playing captain Colin Montgomerie and Nick Dougherty beat Thomas Bjorn and Henrik Stenson 1-up to help Britain and Ireland take a 9 1/2-8 1/2 lead over Continental Europe in the Seve Trophy.

In other afternoon foursome matches on the The Wynyard Club's Wellington Course, Britain and Ireland's Paul Casey and David Howell beat Miguel Angel Jimenez and Emanuele Canonica 2 and 1, Britain and Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley halved with Thomas Levet and Jean-Francois Remesy, and Continental Europe's Niklas Fasth and Henrik Stenson edged Bradley Dredge and Ian Poulter 1-up.

In the morning greensome matches, Harrington and McGinley beat Levet and Continental Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal 3 and 2, Howell and Casey defeated Fasth and Peter Hanson 2-up, Graeme McDowell and Stephen Dodd halved with Jimenez and Canonica, and Poulter and Dougherty halved with Bjorn and Stenson.

The competition will conclude Sunday with 10 singles matches.

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