Date: September 29, 2007

Appleby leads International charge

A superb performance from Australian Stuart Appleby and Vijay Singh has seen Tiger Woods suffer his worst defeat in professional match play competition as the United States team suffered badly on day two at the Presidents Cup. After falling five points behind on day one, the International team raced back into contention by winning four of the six fourball matches, and halving another, at the Royal Montreal course. The days results left the Americans still ahead 7-5, but as there are 22 points still to play over the final two days, a result which appeared to be a foregone conclusion for the US team is now well and truly up for grabs. Appleby and Singh set the tone for the International team, seeing off Woods and Jim Furyk five and four. Singh holed a bunker shot at the first hole – and he and Appleby never looked back, going 11-under through 14 holes as Woods and Furyk had no answer. It was a just result for Singh, though, after the Fijian International and his Canadian playing partner Mike Weir played a sensational match-up with Phil Mickelson and Woody Austin on the first day. In a see-sawing contest that is already being regarded as something of a classic, the Americans had the opportunity to win on the last hole but were instructed by a gallant US captain, Jack Nicklaus, to halve the contest as only a draw was a fair result. At least for Singh, a win on Friday was justly deserved following two sensational days play. As Appleby and Singh led the charge, the Australian duo of Geoff Ogilvy and Nick O&aposHern certainly did their part as well, taking the lead on the 17th hole to defeat Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover one up in their contest. The only win for the Americans in the cold and overcast conditions came through Steve Stricker and Scott Verplank who defeated Australian Adam Scott and Korean KJ Choi two and one. However, Scott still managed to produce the shot of the day, gliding home a massive putt on the 11th hole for birdie. After being the catalyst behind the American recovery in the Mickelson/Austin v Singh/Weir contest on Friday, Austin continued his superb Presidents Cup by providing the day&aposs most inspiring story, making birdie at the final three holes to single-handedly earn a half-point as he and David Toms finished all square with Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini. Austin&aposs sizzling finish came after he lost his balance trying to hit out of the pond at the 14th hole, falling face first into the water before emerging drenched. Despite the dunking, Austin&aposs positive attitude was there for all to see as he ran up the grassy verge, shaking his head and grinning widely, before translating that positivity into another superb finish. In the other match-ups, Internationals Angel Cabrera and Retief Goosen defeated Mickelson and Hunter Mahan in a one up result, while the Ernie Els and Weir combination proved too good for Zach Johnson and Charles Howell III, defeating the Americans three and one.