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U.S. rolling in Presidents Cup

September 30, 2007|From the Associated Press

Showing poise they haven't displayed recently in the Ryder Cup, the Americans took control of the Presidents Cup on Saturday at Montreal.

The United States pitched a shutout in five alternate-shot matches in the crisp morning, then turned back an International rally with one of its own to split the afternoon fourballs and build a 14 1/2 -7 1/2 lead going into the 12 singles matches today.

Phil Mickelson and Woody Austin combined to birdie their last two holes to steal a half-point, Tiger Woods recorded two blowouts with different partners, and Stewart Cink made all the clutch putts to turn a loss into another point that filled the scoreboard at Royal Montreal with American red numbers.

"It's not over," International captain Gary Player said. "But things don't look too good. The egg is not sunny-side up."

The only drama today could come from Woods playing Mike Weir in the fourth match, Canada's biggest golf star against a global icon.

"Mike Weir has nothing to lose," Player said. "It would be a phenomenal day in his career if he can beat Tiger."

U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus nodded his head and clapped his hands with each point moving the Americans closer to their first outright victory on the road in the Presidents Cup, and their first in any cup since winning the Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 1993.

Mickelson went into the water on the 15th hole to hit a shot, but he didn't fall in as Austin had done the day before. Then they rallied to get half a point against Retief Goosen and Adam Scott.

"I don't know if he thought he was going to lose the tag of Aquaman," Mickelson said. "I don't think that's going to do it."

David Branshaw shot a three-under-par 69 to lead by two strokes after three rounds of the PGA Tour's Viking Classic, with a crowd of 17 golfers within six shots of him going into the final day at Madison, Miss.

Branshaw was at 13-under 203 through 54 holes. Bill Haas had a 70 and was in second place, and Chad Campbell moved into contention with a 64 that left him three strokes behind at 10 under. He was tied with Shaun Micheel and Johnson Wagner, who each shot 68.

Branshaw, Haas and Wagner are seeking their first PGA Tour victories.

Lorena Ochoa, seeking her fourth consecutive win, shot a three-under 69 and overtook Stacy Prammanasudh on the last hole to take a one-stroke lead into the final day of the Navistar LPGA Classic at Prattville, Ore.

Ochoa moved to 13 under with a bogey-free round and a second straight strong finish on Capitol Hill's Senator Course.

Only Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam have won four in a row on the LPGA Tour.

Drew Scott of Henderson, Nev., rallied on the final nine holes to win the California State Open at Redhawk Golf Club in Temecula.

Henderson shot a final-round 70 for a 10-under total of 206, beating Nick Jones of Los Angeles by three shots. Fullerton's Ji-Hwan Park, the 18-year-old defending champion, led by three shots after 10 holes Saturday, then staggered in with a 77 and finished seven behind Scott.

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