Tom Kim steals the show with his emotion and big putts on the penultimate day of the Presidents Cup

The Americans have a juggernaut in Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, which brought them closer to another Presidents Cup win on Saturday.

The international team has a spark in 20-year-old Tom Kim, who provided the emotion and big putts that made it clear the Americans had to work for it.

The day started with the Americans having a mathematical chance of winning the cup. They ended up taking an 11-7 lead with 12 singles games remaining on Sunday.

Spieth and Thomas became only the second US partnership to win all four team games in the Presidents Cup, comfortably winning their morning Foursomes match and afternoon Fourballs match.

The Internationals split up the morning games, and the way this Presidents Cup has gone for them, it felt like victory not to lose ground.

And then it got better.

Tom Kim of South Korea watches a putt approach the hole at the Presidents Cup

Tom Kim of South Korea watches a putt approach the hole at the Presidents Cup

The putt fell in the cup and Kim won his match against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

The putt fell in the cup and Kim won his match against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

They rallied in two games in the last hour to convert deficits into 1-up wins and won the afternoon session by winning three of the four games.

The star was Kim, the youngest player at Quail Hollow and perhaps its greatest personality. He started the comeback with a 55-foot eagle putt on the par-4 11th hole against Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.

They were all clear to the last, with Si Woo Kim already out of the hole and Tom Kim facing a 10ft birdie putt for the win. He took a few steps back as the ball neared the hole, dropped his putter and slammed his cap in a loud cheer.

“I wanted that putt more than anything in the world,” Kim said.

Cam Davis (L) and Adam Scott (R) won their match, giving the Internationals another point

Cam Davis (L) and Adam Scott (R) won their match, giving the Internationals another point

Moments later, Adam Scott and Cameron Davis rebounded from 1 down with three holes remaining when Davis made a 12-foot eagle putt on the 16th and a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to go 1 up to go.

On the final hole, Sam Burns hit his approach to 4ft giving him and Billy Horschel a chance to earn a half. And then Davis made a 10-foot birdie for another point.

Every point is important for the international team, already exhausted by four players leaving the PGA Tour for Saudi Arabia-backed LIV and already having to cope with eight straight trophies.

The USA are still in control, needing just four wins and one half from 12 singles games in the final session.

Spieth and Thomas have shown how it’s done. The only other US tandem in a Presidents Cup that ended 4-0 in 2009 was Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker at Harding Park. The Internationals had Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace do the same in South Korea in 2015.

Thomas and Spieth have been close friends for 15 years, getting involved with junior golf and international trips. This is the first time they have been paired at a Presidents Cup and they both play their games. It’s a deadly combination.

However, the end of the games made Spieth pause.

“We have to go to work tomorrow and get two more points for our team,” said Spieth. “I would love to win a singles and I know Justin would too. We’ll be close enough where obviously our two would be extremely important.”

Justin Thomas (L) and Jordan Spieth (R) are 4-0 in their matches before the final day

Justin Thomas (L) and Jordan Spieth (R) are 4-0 in their matches before the final day

Kim won his two matches on Saturday and teamed with KH Lee in the morning foursome to beat Burns and Masters Champion Scottie Scheffler by 2 and 1.

Scott is on his 10th team – eight losses and one draw – and was left out until he and Hideki Matsuyama defeated Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young in the morning and Scott and Davis proved a great Aussie duo in the afternoon.

“Any win against the US team has to be a really hard fight,” said Scott. “So that feels good.”

Max Homa is still having the week of his life. Following his late night heroics, he teamed with Tony Finau in a 4-on-3 win over Si Woo Kim and Davis. Homa suspended the afternoon session. On his debut in the cup he is 3-0.

Schauffele and Cantlay lost for the first time in three games this week. After 10 holes, they were 2 ahead and 3 under the rest of the way, with Schauffele making a 40-foot birdie putt just before the 15th green to give what appeared to be a 1-up lead would it lead them to another point.

Instead, Si Woo Kim made a 4-foot birdie putt to end the match on the 16th and a 5-foot par putt to hold it on the 17th. Tom Kim was so nervous that he covered his eyes and peered through his fingers and pumped his fist as the putt fell.

And then the 20-year-old Korean ended up having the stage to himself and delivering a winner. It remains to be seen what a putt – a point – can do for an international team still struggling to overcome a four-point deficit.

Kim's putt revived the international team and reduced their deficit to just 8.5 points

Kim’s putt revived the international team and reduced their deficit to just 8.5 points

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-11247097/Tom-Kim-steals-emotion-big-putts-penultimate-day-Presidents-Cup.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Tom Kim steals the show with his emotion and big putts on the penultimate day of the Presidents Cup

Maureen Mackey

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