Evening Times - - BOXING -

TIGER WOODS pro­vided the rare bright spots for the United States as the In­ter­na­tional Team en­joyed their best open­ing ses­sion at the Pres­i­dents Cup.

The In­ter­na­tion­als ended the day 4-1 up at Royal Mel­bourne – the largest lead they have had at the end of day one, beat­ing the 31/2-11/2 lead they had in 1998, the only time they have won the Cup.

Woods, cap­tain­ing the United States for the first time, did his best to lead by ex­am­ple as he and Justin Thomas de­liv­ered Amer­ica’s only vic­tory, beat­ing Marc Leish­man and Joaquin Nie­mann 4&3. Woods made six birdies – three on the open­ing five holes – with the In­ter­na­tional pair never ahead.

“Tiger was work­ing so well be­tween the two of us to­day. He played great,” Thomas said. “I mean, I just didn’t re­ally take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties, but that’s what you have a part­ner for.

“It was awe­some. It’s nice know­ing when I step up on a par three or a par four that I feel free just be­cause I know he’s play­ing well, and he did.”

Ev­ery other match went the

In­ter­na­tion­als’ way though. Sung­jae Im and Adam Had­win beat Pa­trick Cant­lay and Xan­der Schauf­fele 1up; Byeong Hun An and Adam Scott beat Tony Finau and Bryson DeCham­beau 2&1; Hideki Mat­suyama and CT Pan beat Pa­trick Reed and Webb Simp­son 1up; and Abra­ham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen de­feated Gary Wood­land and Dustin John­son 4&3.

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