- Farrell Evans, Golf
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DUBLIN, Ohio -- After losing four of the five four-ball matches on Saturday in the third round of the Presidents Cup, the Internationals were four points down to the U.S. They desperately needed a great showing in the foursomes. So they jumped out quickly with leads in all five matches.
American Jason Dufner was well into his front nine when he noticed the scoreboard was all blue. Out first for the Americans in the foursomes, Dufner and Zach Johnson had fallen 2 down after seven holes to Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman.
The blue on the scoreboard gave hope to International captain Nick Price and his 12 players.
"It was great to see all the blues up on the scoreboard," said International team member Louis Oosthuizen. "But we know the U.S. team is strong."
But all Dufner and Johnson could see was red. The two major champions would win six of their last eight holes to stun Sterne and Leishman with a 4-and-3 victory that was capped off by Johnson holing out for eagle from 117 yards at the par-5 15th hole.
"Being in that lead group, you want to kind of set the tone, and for us to be down a couple holes, and then to come back and actually close the match out before darkness suspended play, I think is pretty key," Dufner said.
"Hopefully, it will get some of the guys fired up. It seemed like it turned some of the matches. I think some of the deficits that we had out there were significantly reduced. And hopefully [Sunday] morning, they will get off it a little bit more and maybe swing some of those matches our way."
The Dufner-Johnson win gave the U.S. a 11½-6½ lead with four foursomes matches slated to resume at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday with the 12 singles matches to begin at 9:10 a.m. ET
The Americans lead in one match, the Internationals lead in two and one match is all-square.
The Dufner-Johnson point was like a touchdown at the end of the first half for a football team already with a big lead. The Internationals have been stung all week by the rain and some consistent play by the Americans, who have never been behind in these matches.
Yet Captain Price still has hope that the blue that surfaced late Saturday evening on the scoreboards will return on Sunday.
"I think we are still in pretty good shape," he said. "If we can turn one of the games around [Sunday], there's still a chance we could get four points -- 3½, four points -- which would really make our lives a lot easier going into the singles."