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Cabrera answers heckling with a big birdie

October 5, 2013

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — A rain delay of nearly three hours made fans a little more boisterous when play resumed Friday at the Presidents Cup.

Perhaps too boisterous behind the 12th green.

Angel Cabrera had to back off a 30-foot putt because of a few fans who kept yelling out as he stood over the putt. When the two-time major champion from Argentina knocked it in for a birdie and a 2-up lead, he turned and pointed to the hospitality pavilion with a big grin on his face.

“It was pretty satisfying for him, I’m sure,” said partner Marc Leishman. “It’s something that I think fires him up. So it was great that he could roll it in and do what he did.”

Leishman said the crowd was getting out of hand, especially when he heard one fan called out “Paco” to Cabrera.

They were trying to get him to shut his mouth, and he did, and then got probably the biggest cheer of the week for us was when he rolled that putt in,” he said.

They lost the next hole, but remained 1-up over Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker when play was suspended because of darkness.

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REST EASY: Jack Nicklaus met with South Korean reporters on Friday and told them not to worry about South Korea hosting the Presidents Cup in 2015. It will be the biggest tournament ever in that country, and one reporter asked Nicklaus for advice.

Nicklaus is the architect at Muirfield Village and the founder of the Memorial Tournament.

“We have put on how many ... 37 Memorial Tournaments? And the PGA Tour came in here like we had never put on a tournament,” Nicklaus said. “They did what they wanted to do to put on a tournament. So the PGA Tour will guide you. And matter of fact, they will do what they want, if they think it’s the right thing to do in a tournament. Korea does not have to worry about that.”

Nicklaus said South Korean officials will handle the event from a political and financial perspective.

“But the PGA Tour, from an organization side, will do it all for you,” he said. “Even with as much experience as we have, they wanted to do most of all of it themselves.”

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SING-A-LONG: The first tee at the Presidents Cup is equal parts sporting event, social gathering, choir practice and comedy club.

A couple thousand people were packed tightly along three sides of the first tee at Muirfield Village for Friday’s foursomes matches.

There were a dozen loud, yellow-clad “Fanatics” backing the International side. Another dozen or so were clad in red, white and blue and called themselves the “American Outlaws.”

The Outlaws are a collection of football fans at matches involving the United States at nearby Columbus Crew Stadium. The Fanatics are rabid fans from various countries who sing their own funny lyrics to popular songs.

The Fanatics, wearing yellow T-shirts, green-and-yellow argyle socks and green hats, sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” to South African Ernie Els. They also made him laugh with their version of the Disney classic “The Circle Of Life,” substituting the word “golf” for “life.”

As Argentina’s Angel Cabrera posed for a group picture with the Presidents Cup before teeing off, one of the Fanatics sang, “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” causing Cabrera to turn his head toward the singer and smile.

The loudest laughter at the opening tee came when the Fanatics sang “We got the whole world ... on our team.”

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CONTINGENCY PLANS: Tournament director Steve Carman said the Presidents Cup would go to Monday if the matches cannot be completed due to rain.

But not on Tuesday.

Carman said the captain’s agreement said that whatever points were on the board at the end of play on Monday would be the official result.

He said there was nothing in the agreement that would reduce the number of matches.

The Presidents Cup has never ended on a Monday. The Ryder Cup ended on a Monday in Wales in 2010 when nearly all of Friday was washed out.

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AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.

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