Behind its young stars — and superstars — the United States nearly ended the 2017 Presidents Cup a day early on Saturday at Liberty National. With a 14.5 to 3.5 lead going into Day 4, the Sunday singles matches will be a formality for posterity. The U.S. will clinch early, and a tidal wave of scoring should follow. The record for most points scored in a Presidents Cup is 21.5, and the U.S. has a chance of easily surpassing that.
After taking 3.5 points from the international team in the morning foursomes matches, the U.S. knew it would have the tournament on the table in the afternoon. Sweep it all, and you get to celebrate on Saturday night. They almost did just that.
It started in the afternoon, as it so often does at these events, with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. They took down Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen behind eight birdies in 17 holes and were actually arguing over who got to shut it down at the end. It’s been one of those weeks for Steve Stricker’s squad.
Despite a rules incident on the 12th hole in which Spieth picked up a still-moving ball of Oosthuizen, Spieth and Reed were able to come back down the stretch for the win. The international team was already in for birdie, and Oosthuizen’s eagle putt was well past the hole when Spieth touched it. He and Reed had to concede the hole, though, and it gave the international team a 1-up lead.
Assistant captain Tiger Woods got involved, and Spieth was beside himself, but the pair birdied three of the next five to clinch the first point of the afternoon four-ball matches. A few minutes later, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger did the same over Jhonattan Vegas and Hideki Matsuyama. Berger was the last U.S. team member to win a match,…