MONTREAL Woody Austin took a plunge, then made sure the rest of the Americans didn't sink with him.
Austin provided comic relief that instantly became part of Presidents Cup lore when he lost his balance and fell face-first into the lake along the 14th fairway. But he picked himself up, dried himself off and found redemption with three straight birdies to earn an important halve on a day the International team dominated.
The International team won four matches to cut the Americans' lead to 7-5 after two days, and it was truly a team effort.
Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby led the way by handing Tiger Woods his worst loss in team competition, 5 and 4, although there wasn't much Woods and Jim Furyk could do. Singh holed out from a bunker and chipped in for eagle, Appleby made a long eagle putt at No. 12 and they combined to go 11 under through 14 holes.
Retief Goosen chipped in for par and Angel Cabrera made a 10-foot birdie on the 18th for a 1-up victory over Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan, the first match since 2003 in South Africa that the International team won on the 18th hole.
Geoff Ogilvy picked up another point with a 5-foot birdie on the 18th, right after Lucas Glover made a 15-foot birdie.
The cheers again belonged to Mike Weir, who made seven birdies as he and Ernie Els won on the 17th hole.
Those belonged to none other than Austin and his dive, which was shown on the large video screens across Royal Montreal, along with images of his own teammates doing everything they could to keep from laughing.
"You couldn't see who it was because his head was underwater," Steve Stricker said after teaming with Scott Verplank to deliver the only U.S. victory. "But you figured it had to be Woody."
The enduring image of Austin used to be the time he walked off the green banging his putter against his head until it broke.
The highlight department just found a replacement.
"It's funny," Goosen said as he watched the replay from behind the 16th. "For years he was known as the guy who banged his head against his putter. And now he's the guy who banged his head against the water."
The Canadian gallery hounded him the rest of the match, alternating chants of "Marco" and "Polo" down the 15th hole and screaming out, "Get in the water!" when he hit a putt.
Austin got the last laugh.
Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman were 2 up with three holes to play when Austin stuffed his approach into 6 feet on the tough 16th for a birdie, then holed a 15-foot birdie on the next hole to square the match. With the pressure on, Austin's approach on the 18th just cleared a ridge and settled 5 feet from the hole.
After Sabbatini made his birdie from 8 feet, Austin closed out the match with his third straight birdie.
That kept the score tight going into a pivotal round Saturday, with five matches in the morning and five in the afternoon.