Golf-Confusion reigns as US concede crucial putt

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MONTREAL, Sep 28 (Reuters) The most talked about putt of the Presidents Cup was one that was never made during the opening day foursomes.

With the Internationals' Vijay Singh standing on the 18th green staring at a 3 1/2-foot putt to force a tie yesterday, the US conceded the shot in an act of charity that caught most observers by surprise.

Phil Mickelson, playing with Woody Austin, said he was ordered to concede the putt by Jack Nicklaus but the US captain indicated that it was his players' decision.

''Captain Nicklaus told us to do it,'' Mickelson told greenside television reporters. ''If it was up to me I don't know. But it was the right thing to do.

''Vijay wasn't going to miss that putt. He hasn't missed one like that in years.'' Questioned about the call during a news conference, Nicklaus would not admit to making the decision and said he had left it up to Mickelson and Austin.

The US generosity was directed at Canada's Mike Weir, who had hit the approach to leave partner Singh a 3 1/2-foot attempt.

''I think Phil and Woody made the right decision and they both felt Mike had played a good match and Mike being a Canadian and being here that it was the right thing,'' Nicklaus said. ''I'm glad they did it, I support it 100 per cent.

''I think it's up to the players playing.

''I guess they felt there shouldn't be a loser in the match. They made the right decision.'' REUTERS BJR PM0958

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