Tiger Woods has decided to break up a winning partnership and leave himself out of Saturday morning’s fourball matches at the Presidents Cup.

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Woods, only the second playing-captain in the tournament’s history, won both of his matches alongside Justin Thomas over the first two days to help Team USA stay within three points of the International Team at Royal Melbourne.

Woods wins in late USA rally

Report and highlights from the second day of the 2019 Presidents Cup in Royal Melbourne.

The 15-time major champion, who led from the front to get the visitors off to a winning start in Thursday’s fourballs, has instead selected Rickie Fowler to partner Thomas in the top match.

“It would be hard for me to go all the sessions,” Woods said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to go out there with JT (Justin Thomas) and we’ve got two points.

Thomas and Woods were the only American pairing to win the fourballs match on Thursday Thomas and Woods were the only American pairing to win the fourballs match on Thursday Thomas and Woods were the only American pairing to win the fourballs match on Thursday

“JT played great and Rickie [Fowler] played awesome this afternoon. They have been looking forward to playing with one another and they have had success before.”

Fowler and Thomas will go up against Marc Leishman and China’s Haotong Li, who makes his tournament debut after being left out by Ernie Els for the first two sessions.

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Ernie Els remained positive despite seeing his International Team miss out on the chance to extend their lead at the Presidents Cup

Ernie Els remained positive despite seeing his International Team miss out on the chance to extend their lead at the Presidents Cup

Adam Scott, one of three players in the International side to have won in both sessions, partners Byeong Hun An as they face Matt Kuchar and Tony Finau in the second match of the day.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele stay together after winning their foursomes match on Friday, taking on Sungjae Im and Abraham Ancer, while Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson will look to avoid a third consecutive defeat together when they play Hideki Matsuyama and CT Pan.

Reed and Simpson lost on the final hole on Thursday and were beaten 3&2 on Friday Reed and Simpson lost on the final hole on Thursday and were beaten 3&2 on Friday Reed and Simpson lost on the final hole on Thursday and were beaten 3&2 on Friday

The International Team, looking to avoid an eighth straight defeat in the biennial contest, won the Thursday fourballs 4-1 and claimed a share of the spoils in the foursomes to take a 6.5-3.5 lead into the weekend.

The two sides will play two sessions on Saturday, switching to foursomes in the afternoon, with all 24 players then involved in the Sunday singles.

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Saturday fourballs (Timings GMT on Friday)

2002 Haotong Li/Marc Leishman v Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas

2016 Abraham Ancer/Sungjae Im v Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele

2030 C.T Pan/Hideki Matsuyama v Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed