It’s one big party for Lefty, Yanks

Boston Herald - - RACING - By DOUG FER­GU­SON

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Phil Mick­el­son and Kevin Kis­ner re­hearsed the dance from “Three Ami­gos.” The only ques­tion was whether to use it at the Pres­i­dents Cup, and as the vet­eran of 23 team events, Mick­el­son con­cluded it would need to be a big mo­ment.

Their match was all square on the 18th hole yes­ter­day. Mick­el­son was 12 feet away for birdie. A vic­tory would give the Amer­i­cans a record lead.

“If this putt goes in,” Mick­el­son said he told his rookie part­ner, “we’re go­ing to dance.”

This turned out to be one big dance party for an Amer­i­can team that has gone nearly two decades with­out los­ing. They ham­mered the In­ter­na­tional teams on the back nine to go un­beaten in four­balls and build an 8-2 lead, the largest mar­gin af­ter two ses­sions since the Pres­i­dents Cup be­gan in 1994.

Mick­el­son had his 24th match vic­tory to tie the Pres­i­dents Cup record held by Tiger Woods, and he set a record with his 10th vic­tory in four­balls.

Mick­el­son and his team­mates have fol­lowed the script set out by U.S. cap­tain Steve Stricker to win every ses­sion. They won hand­ily in the other three matches. The other match was a halve, but even in that one, Hideki Mat­suyama and Adam Had­win had a 2-up lead with four holes to play un­til Jor­dan Spi­eth and Pa­trick Reed ral­lied. The Amer­i­cans nearly won that one, too, ex­cept that Spi­eth nar­rowly missed birdie putts on the last two holes.

“Our guys stepped up again,” Stricker said. “They have a knack for do­ing that. To fin­ish like that is huge for us go­ing into to­mor­row.”

Math­e­mat­i­cally, the In­ter­na­tional team could be done today, the first day of a dou­ble ses­sion — four matches of four­somes in the morn­ing, fol­low­ing by four matches of four­balls in the af­ter­noon. The Amer­i­cans are 71⁄2 points away from clinch­ing the cup.

“I think we saw the strength of the U.S. team come out today,” Price said.

Price was not about to give up, hope­ful of gain­ing some mo­men­tum in the morn­ing and rid­ing it into the af­ter­noon ahead of the 12 sin­gles matches on the fi­nal day.

“We’re only 10 points through 30. There’s 20 points left,” Price said.

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