Americans command the lead in President's Cup

The United States opened up a five-point lead on the third day of the Presidents Cup as play was once again disrupted by rain at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

Americans command the lead in President's Cup

The United States opened up a five-point lead on the third day of the Presidents Cup as play was once again disrupted by rain at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

The hosts claimed four of the five points available in the fourball session while Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson won the only one of Saturday’s foursomes matches to be completed to give the USA a 11.5-6.5 lead over the International team.

The remaining four foursomes will be completed when play resumes at 7.35am local time on Sunday with the International team up in two, the Americans up in one and the remaining contest all square.

Four of Friday’s foursomes had to be completed before Saturday’s planned schedule could get under way with Steve Striker and Jordan Spieth recording the first point of the day with a 2&1 win over Branden Grace and Richard Sterne.

But Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman responded straight away for the international team with a 2&1 success over Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar convincingly beat Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel 4&2 to give the Americans a two-point cushion again, but that was reduced to one when Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott survived losing three straight holes from 13 to beat Dufner and Johnson 2&1.

That put the hosts 6.5-5.5 in front going into the fourballs and they totally dominated the session to put breathing space between them and the International team.

Bill Haas and Simpson completed a 4&3 win over Cabrera and Grace as birdies from Haas at the sixth and ninth and Simpson at the seventh and 10th did most of the damage to put the hosts two points ahead.

Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson earned a 2&1 win over Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge, who had been two up at one stage.

The American pair went from two shots down to three in front from the eighth to the 15th.

Jason Day and Graham DeLaet reduced the deficit thanks to a two-up success over Stricker and Spieth, a birdie apiece over the last three holes earning the win, but it was a rare cause for cheer for the International team.

Snedeker and Hunter Mahan swiftly restored the hosts’ three-point lead with a two-up triumph over Oosthuizen and Schwartzel.

And that became four points when Woods and Kuchar beat Matsuyama and Scott two up, having taken three straight holes from 13 to turn the match around.

Leishman and Sterne got off to a good start in the foursomes as birdies on the fourth and sixth put them two up against Dufner and Johnson.

The seventh was halved but Dufner and Johnson then claimed five of the next seven holes with four birdies and a par to put them on the brink and an eagle at the 15th gave them the win.

The remaining four matches will be completed when play resumes with Mickelson and Bradley all square with Day and DeLaet after 13 holes.

The International pairing were three up through five holes but the home side’s form pair came roaring back with birdies on eight and 11 and a par on 13 drawing them level.

Haas and Stricker won the first against Matsuyama and Scott but found themselves behind after their opponents won the second and fourth holes.

They won four of the next five, though, with Matsuyama and Scott pulling one back to leave the Americans two up through 10.

Els and De Jonge were two up against Woods and Kuchar when they came off after nine holes.

The South African duo won the first and fifth but a birdie on seven from the Americans reduced the gap.

Els and De Jonge then hit straight back to win the eighth and hand themselves the upper hand.

Oosthuizen and Schwartzel were also in command of their match against Simpson and Snedeker as wins on two, three and eight had them three up after 12.

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