MELBOURNE (Reuters) – United States captain Tiger Woods has decided to sit out Saturday morning’s fourball matches against the Internationals at the Presidents Cup.
Justin Thomas, whose partnership with Woods at Royal Melbourne has helped keep the United States in touch with the Internationals, has instead been paired with Rickie Fowler.
The U.S. pair will face Australian Marc Leishman and China’s Li Haotong, who has been handed his Presidents Cup debut by captain Ernie Els on the third day of the biennial competition.
Woods has decided to stick with the misfiring combination of Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, sending them out for a third time despite defeats in the first two days, to face Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Taiwan’s CT Pan.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, whose Friday win over Adam Hadwin and Joaquin Niemann helped the United States hold the Internationals to a 6.5-3.5 lead, take on South Korea’s Im Sung-jae and Abraham Ancer in an all-rookie match.
Tony Finau is back in the U.S. line-up after being rested on Friday and will partner Matt Kuchar against Australian Adam Scott and An Byeong-hun of South Korea.
The pairings for Saturday afternoon’s foursome matches have yet to be announced.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne, Writing by Simon Jennings; Editing by Peter Rutherford)