United States builds 4-1 lead over Internationals after Presidents Cup foursome golf matches

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The thought was for 2 of probably the most dependable American groups to set the tone Thursday within the Presidents Cup, and the outcome was predictable.

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay made brief work of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama within the opening match. They did not make a bogey in a 6-and-5 victory, enhancing their report to 5-0 in foursomes on the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, greatest mates since they had been 14, had clutch pictures to atone for his or her errors and held off Sungjae Im and Corey Conners, 2 and 1.

One other sturdy American staff from prime to backside performed at a excessive stage on a sizzling day at Quail Hole and walked off with a 4-1 lead after the primary session.

“I instructed the blokes final night time we have to set the tone — us and J.T. and Jordan’s match — and we did,” Schauffele stated. “Taking part in this format on a day like in the present day and never making any bogeys, it is precisely what we want.”

The Worldwide staff, already an underdog in these matches, was harm greater than the Individuals by gamers leaving the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf, together with Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann.

All that stored the Worldwide facet from being shut out had been Si Woo Kim and Cameron Davis. They had been 2 down with 4 holes to play in opposition to Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns after they seized on American errors and scratched out a 2-up victory.

Two of the eight rookies for the Worldwide staff, Taylor Pendrith and Mito Pereira, almost picked up one other level. They had been all sq. going to the robust par-4 closing gap when Pereira hit a wild tee shot, Pendrith may solely handle the fitting bunker they usually made bogey. Tony Finau and Max Homa walked away with a 1-up win and a degree.

“We did what we had been imagined to do,” Finau stated.

The opposite U.S. level got here from Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young, the PGA Tour rookie of the yr, who soaked up the surroundings earlier than a full home at Quail Hole and produced a profitable second of his personal.

They had been in a decent match with in opposition to 20-year-old Tom Kim and K.H. Lee, all sq. with six holes to play. On the time, the final three matches may have gone both means. As simple as Cantlay and Schauffele made it look within the opening match, it was just one level.

The Individuals regained the lead when Morikawa stuffed a wedge into 2 ft for birdie on the downwind 14th gap. The lead remained 1 up and seemed to be headed towards the 18th when Younger slammed in a 25-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth to finish the match.

“That second there may be about all I can ask for,” Younger stated. “Clearly, it is the primary day, however each level we get is necessary. And that is a sense I have been ready to have for a very long time.”

Cantlay and Schauffele first attached on the lengthy flight over to Australia for the Presidents Cup in 2019, the primary staff matches for each. They’ve develop into quick mates off the course and have gotten a troublesome staff to beat contained in the ropes.

They received loads of assist from Scott and Matsuyama — the 2 most skilled gamers on the Worldwide staff — who missed loads of putts that would have received or halved holes alongside the best way. Matsuyama missed from 4 ft on the third gap, and the Individuals took the lead and ran with it.

They received three straight holes by way of the par-5 seventh to construct a 4-up lead, they usually received the ultimate three holes with pars.

Thomas, who received the PGA Championship at Quail Hole in 2017, had a wild day. He chunked a 9-iron so badly on the par-3 fourth that it got here up 40 yards in need of the inexperienced. He hit a shank from the bunker on the par-5 sixteenth. He and Spieth did not lose both gap.

The match turned on the fifteenth — usually the 18th at Quail Hole for stroke-play tournaments — when Spieth’s drive landed on the left facet of a creek, Thomas did nicely to get to the again of the inexperienced, and Spieth ran his downhill putt some 25 ft by the outlet.

Corey Conners and Sungjae Im had been in place to win the outlet, 7 ft away for par, and sq. the match. Thomas holed the par putt, Conners missed and the Individuals had been 2 up and headed for one more level.

“You win whenever you decide up your accomplice, and he did that,” Spieth stated. “That change we had on the fifteenth was unreal there. Taking a look at going to even and as a substitute we go away that inexperienced 2 up. It was the distinction within the match.”

Subsequent up had been 5 matches Friday in fourballs, and every level strikes the Individuals nearer to a ninth straight victory in these one-sided matches. They’ve by no means misplaced on dwelling soil for the reason that Presidents Cup started in 1994.

With such a dominant begin, the Individuals want solely 11 factors from the 25 matches remaining to retain the cup.

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