MELBOURNE, Australia --- Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk gave the Americans their third point of the day with a 4-and-3 win over Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby.
The win made Mickelson, who is the only man to have played in all nine Presidents Cups, the competition’s all-time points leader with 21.
The match turned in the Americans favor on the back nine. The two teams had matched birdies on the first two holes but the Americans lost the third hole with a bogey before squaring it when Mickelson rolled in a 16-footer at the seventh hole.
The International Team went double bogey-bogey on the next two holes to give the Americans a lead they didn’t relinquish. Mickelson then made a 6-footer for birdie at No. 11 and Furyk followed with another from 13 feet at the next to take the 4-up advantage they coaxed home.
“We played together in ‘99 at the Ryder Cup and we played well together,” Mickelson told NBC’s Dottie Petter. “And we felt like we wanted to partner again.”
In recent years, though, Mickelson and Furyk have often been tabbed to bring some of the less experienced players along. This week, though, it wasn’t necessary.
“This year we felt like our young guys wanted to play together and would play well together so it gave Jim and I a chance to do what we’ve wanted to do for years.”
Furyk said he was impressed with the way Mickelson putted on Thursday. The big lefthander has gone back to a conventional length putter and it was golden on Thursday.
“I felt good with an iron in my hand,” Furyk said. “My partner over here, I knew I didn’t have to hit it five feet.”