Golf: US' lead reduced to one point as Internationals bounce back on Bae's heroics

Interntional team around the Presidents Cup at the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.
Interntional team around the Presidents Cup at the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

INCHEON (AFP) - The International team lifted their mood with a stirring comeback on Friday at the Presidents Cup as home hero Bae Sang Moon raised the roof with a final hole match-winning putt.

The Internationals won three, lost one and halved one of the five fourballs to reduce the deficit to the United States to just one point after being 4-1 down overnight at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.

And they did it on a day that had threatened to be overshadowed by a controversial incident on the seventh hole where Phil Mickelson was penalised for playing the wrong type of ball.

Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen had been the International team's lone winning pair on Thursday and on Friday they led off with a thumping 4 and 3 win against world No. 1 Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.

"We both played very poor rounds of golf and we didn't have many chances. So it was Merry Christmas to the other guys," said Spieth.

Three of the other four matches were decided on the 18th green of a pulsating day as the two teams battled blow for blow.

It was there to a cacophonous roar that Bae sank a snaking 12-foot birdie putt that enabled him and Korean-born Kiwi Danny Lee to beat Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker by the narrowest margin in match play - one up.

"I knew it was really, really big putt," said Bae, who has won twice previously at the same course. "You know, a lot of people came out here and they were supporting us. It was really helpful."

Fellow Lee, who was born in Incheon, had found it hard to cope with the massive expectation and paid tribute to his partner for carrying him.