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Internationals sweep U.S. team

By Wire services
Published November 23, 2003

GEORGE, South Africa - Jack Nicklaus felt apologetic as he stood on the first tee Saturday, his U.S. team holding a big lead and poised to turn the Presidents Cup into a rout.

Looking at International captain Gary Player, he shrugged and said, "It's a funny game. We got you guys pretty good yesterday, but it could turn around."

Nicklaus was just trying to be nice. The International team was anything but.

From Ernie Els to Vijay Singh, the International team battered the Americans for a sweep of the six better-ball matches, a phenomenal display in smoky, windy conditions that left the Americans on the verge of losing another cup.

"We got our butts kicked," Nicklaus said.

The International team seized a 121/2-91/2 lead and needs to win five of 12 singles matches today to win the Presidents Cup for the second time.

"This was a dream day for us," Nick Price said.

Els improved to 4-0 on the Links Course at Fancourt by teaming with Tim Clark. They were 3-up after four holes and won 3 and 2 over Jim Furyk and Jay Haas.

Singh and Retief Goosen were brilliant down the stretch, finishing with five straight birdies for a 2-and-1 victory over Tiger Woods and Charles Howell. Woods is 0-6 in better-ball matches in the Presidents Cup.

Annika likes the view WEST PALM BEACH - Annika Sorenstam started seeing clearly again, and the view was familiar as the best female player moved to the top of the leaderboard at the LPGA Tour Championship.

Recovered from the eye infection that hampered her the first two days and playing with both contact lenses for the first time, Sorenstam shot 5-under 67 for a three-stroke lead in the season-ending event.

"I'm 100 percent," she said after moving to 5-under 211.

Cristie Kerr (71) and second-round co-leader Meg Mallon (72) were Sorenstam's closest pursuers at 2 under.

Se Ri Pak shot 72 to finish at 215, tied for fourth with Beth Daniel (68). Second-round co-leader Laura Davies (81) fell out of contention after making eagle, double bogey, triple bogey and quintuple bogey.

UBS CUP: Arnold Palmer and Curtis Strange beat Tony Jacklin and Nick Faldo 4 and 3 as the United States remained a point behind after the better-ball matches. The Rest of the World team led 61/2-51/4 entering today's 12 singles matches at St. Simons Island, Ga.

The United States seeks its third straight victory in the event that features 12-man teams of six players 50 years and older and six between 40-49.

Palmer, the 73-year-old U.S. captain, and Strange beat Rest of the World captain Jacklin and Faldo in the opening match. Strange made three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine and won the match with birdie putts at Nos.14 and 15.

DUNLOP PHOENIX TOURNAMENT: Sergio Garcia shot 4-under 67 and stretched his lead from one shot to three in Miyazaki, Japan. Thomas Bjorn (69) was second.

PEBBLE BEACH INVITATIONAL: Second-round leader John Daly shot 1-over 73 at Spyglass Hill for a share of the third-round lead at Pebble Beach, Calif. Daly matched Todd Fischer (68) and Michael Muehr (72) at 6-under 210.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]

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