Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas continued their winning partnership as Team USA produced a late fightback in the Friday Foursomes at the Presidents Cup.
The International Team extended their overnight advantage by claiming the first two points of the day, only for Woods’ American side to recover to share the session at Royal Melbourne.
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Patrick Cantlay birdied two of the last four holes alongside Xander Schauffele for a 1up victory over Joaquin Niemann and Adam Hadwin, before Thomas holed a 20-foot birdie on the 18th to give him and Woods a win by the same margin against Byeong Hun An and Hideki Matsuyama.
Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler then birdied two of the last three holes to finish all-square with Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im, leaving the hosts with a 6.5-3.5 lead heading into the weekend.
Ernie Els’ side made a winning start to the foursomes when Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen came back from two behind to win five of their next seven holes on their way to a 3&2 victory over Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson in the opening match.
Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson were beaten by the same margin by Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer to briefly put the hosts five ahead, while the remaining three matches all headed to the 18th to produce a result.
Cantlay followed a close-range birdie at the 15th with a 15-foot gain at the last to give Team USA their first point of the day in match two, having trailed alongside Schauffele with four holes to play.
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Woods, only the second playing-captain in the tournament’s history, equalled Phil Mickelson’s record for most Presidents Cup matches won when Thomas’ final-hole birdie gave the pair their second victory together in as many days.
The American pair had won two of their first four holes but slipped behind when An made a tap-in birdie at the 11th, only for Woods to level the contest with a 10-foot birdie at the 13th before Thomas’ late birdie sparked wild celebrations on the 18th green.
Woodland led Team USA’s recovery in the final match when he rolled in a 10-footer at the 16th and set up a close-range gain for Fowler at the next to pull back level, before Fowler saved par from six feet at the last to secure a share of the spoils.