Adam Scott admits the Internationals need a miracle to stay in the Presidents Cup after their hopes were put on life support in the second session.
A star-studded American team put the underdog Internationals to the sword during Friday’s four-ball format, racing six points ahead in the biennial teams event to earn the biggest ever lead after two sessions.
With an 8-2 cushion and needing just 15.5 total points for victory, the US can clinch the Presidents Cup before the singles matches for the first time in its 23-year history.
But with eight points on offer in the double session (foursomes and four-ball) on day three, eight-time Internationals veteran Scott says his team aren’t giving up just yet.
“It’s disappointing we’re that far behind,” Scott told AAP.
“But two thirds of the points are still up for grabs, so we’re going to have to dig ourselves out of this hole and own the (double) session to be in with a chance on Sunday.”
The heavily lop-sided biennial teams event was again in favour of the Americans, who came to Liberty National golf course with all 12 players ranked inside the world’s top 30, compared to six for the Internationals, and four of those inside the top 10.
“We’re playing great players; it’s very difficult,” said Scott.
But the 37-year-old said it was no excuse after he and Cup rookie Jhonattan Vegas led their match against world No.1 Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, only to be shot down 3-and-2.
“Jhonny and I have played the No.1 player in the world two days in a row. There’s a reason he’s No.1; he’s a bloody good player,” said Scott.
“We just weren’t quite good enough. We played solid, but against an amazing pair you have to make something happen and we just didn’t do that.”
Jason Day and Marc Leishman led for most of their showdown with five-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner, but the Australian duo handed back a two-hole advantage to lose the match on the 18th.
But the three Australians weren’t the only ones to capitulate.
Internationals’ top-ranked player Hideki Matsuyama and Canadian debutant Adam Hadwin blew a two-hole lead, settling for a half point against dream pairing Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.
After starring for the Internationals during the Thursday foursomes, South African duo Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace lost 3-and-2 to Rickie Fowler and FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas.
Fellow South African Charl Schwartzel handed in another disappointing effort, combining with Anirban Lahiri to be smashed 6-and-5 by Cup rookies Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell.