By Mark Lamport-Stokes
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A bizarre 10-minute spell of balls ricocheting in the woods at the Presidents Cup on Thursday proved that even the world's best players can struggle like weekend hackers.
In the top foursomes match at Harding Park Golf Course, American Anthony Kim pulled his tee shot well left at the par-four sixth, his ball striking the top of a tree before reverberating between branches and dropping straight down.
Moments later, Canadian left-hander Mike Weir hooked his drive at that hole into a tall cypress on the right and was unfortunate when his ball rebounded 50 yards before bouncing another 30 yards back along a cart path.
Kim's alternate-shot partner Phil Mickelson, facing a tricky lie in the left rough with several trees between him and the hole, was reviewing his options when another ball suddenly crashed into a golf cart 40 yards behind him.
South African Ernie Els, playing in the group behind, had pulled his second shot wildly left at the par-five fifth, his ball hitting the golf cart before kicking forward into the rough.
Mickelson, flashing a broad grin, turned to the fans bunched behind him and said: "And all this from the best that golf has to offer."
The biennial Presidents Cup pits a 12-man U.S. team against an Internationals line-up representing countries outside Europe.
World number two Mickelson then conjured a magical recovery, hooking an iron shot around the trees for his ball to end up 50 yards from the sixth green on the fifth fairway.
Although Kim hit a poor wedge right of the green, Mickelson chipped up to six feet before his partner knocked in the bogey putt to win the hole.
South African Tim Clark had struck a super wedge approach to five feet but his partner Weir missed the bogey putt for the Internationals to lose the hole.
(Editing by Sonia Oxley)