Record Cup defeat for Woods as Internationals hit back

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MONTREAL, Sep 29 (Reuters) Tiger Woods suffered his heaviest defeat in Presidents Cup fourball matches when he and Jim Furyk were hammered 5&4 by Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby of the Internationals. Although the heavyweight American duo gathered eight birdies between them in the best-ball format, they were outclassed by opponents who were a staggering 11 under par after 14 holes yesterday.

''Obviously we needed to make more birdies in our match,'' world number one Woods told reporters. ''We both played pretty good, I wouldn't say great, but we were playing solidly.

''We just didn't get enough looks at birdies on the same hole.

It seemed like one of us was in on each hole and was making putts but we needed to have both of us in there on the same hole and we just didn't do that.'' Woods, comfortably the best player of his generation and arguably the greatest of all time, has generally struggled in fourball matches at the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup.

His overall win-loss record in that format in the biennial team competitions is 6-13. In the Presidents Cup it stands at an unimpressive 2-7.

Fijian Singh set the tone for the day when he holed out from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-four first at Royal Montreal Golf Club.

The former world number one then pitched in from the fairway to eagle the par-five sixth for the Internationals pairing to grab early control.

Appleby hit his tee shot to eight feet at the par-three seventh and holed the birdie putt to put the Internationals three up.

DEFICT TRIMMED Although Furyk briefly trimmed the deficit by rolling in a 19-footer to birdie the eighth, Singh countered with a birdie putt from similar range at the 10th.

Appleby coaxed in a 32-foot eagle putt at the par-five 12th before Singh put the Internationals five up with five to play by draining a 14-footer to birdie the 13th.

''They chipped in twice and were 11 under par through 14 holes, that's pretty good playing,'' said Woods.

''Jim and I were talking about it; we shot six under but we played the same holes. We needed to take it a lot deeper than that and we didn't do it.'' Appleby, who was five under after 14 holes on his own ball, was delighted with how he and Singh gelled.

''We hit the right shots at the right time, made some putts and Vijay made some fantastic chips early on,'' he said.

''They played well but we were always in front. In that format against those types of players, you have to think about getting birdies on every hole.'' REUTERS PDS RK1020

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