South Korea’s Bae Sang-Moon and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama wrote themselves into Presidents Cup folklore Saturday with a thumping fourball victory for the International team.
They blew away the American pair Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk 6 and 5 in the most accomplished display of better-ball golf of the week, during which they birdied an astonishing nine of the first 11 holes.
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Only twice before has a match ended after fewer holes in Presidents Cup history. David Frost beat Kenny Perry of the US 7 and 6 in 1996, while another Korean, K.J. Choi, partnered Adam Scott to a 7 and 6 victory over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2011.
But the Presidents Cup remained on a knife-edge with the score 9.5-8.5 to the Americans, with Sunday’s 12 singles to come after both the Saturday foursomes and fourballs were shared 2-2.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 10, 2015
Cheered on by massive galleries out to see their Korean golfing hero on a damp, cold, windy and overcast day at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, Bae slammed home three birdies in a row from the seventh to take the International team duo to four up.
“Early we were making a lot of birdies but not really getting ahead,” said Matsuyama. “Sang-Moon’s birdies on seven, eight and nine really got us going.”
Matsuyama, not to be outdone, rammed home two more on the 10th and 11th as the pair stormed to six up with seven to play.
“It was a joy to play with him and everyone was cheering us on,” added Matsuyama, who revealed the secret to their success.
“One advantage that we had is I don’t speak a lot of English, but Sang-Moon does speak Japanese, and that really helped our chemistry.”
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