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

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CHARLOTTE, NC – The concept was for 2 of essentially the most dependable American groups to set the tone Thursday within the Presidents Cup, and the consequence 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, bettering their document to 5-0 in foursomes on the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.

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

One other sturdy American workforce from high to backside performed at a excessive degree on a scorching day at Quail Hole and walked off with a 4-1 lead after the primary session.

“I advised the blokes final night time we have to set the tone – us and JT and Jordan’s match – and we did,” Schauffele mentioned. “Enjoying this format on a day like right now and never making any bogeys, it is precisely what we’d like.”

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

All that saved 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 workforce, 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 and so they made bogey. Tony Finau and Max Homa walked away with a 1-up win and some extent.

“We did what we had been presupposed to do,” Finau mentioned.

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

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

The People regained the lead when Morikawa stuffed a wedge into 2 toes for birdie on the downwind 14th gap. The lead remained 1 up and gave the impression 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’s about all I can ask for,” Younger mentioned. “Clearly, it is the primary day, however each level we get is essential. 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 workforce matches for each. They’ve develop into quick buddies off the course and have gotten a troublesome workforce to beat contained in the ropes.

They acquired loads of assist from Scott and Matsuyama – the 2 most skilled gamers on the Worldwide workforce – who missed loads of putts that might have gained or halved holes alongside the best way. Matsuyama missed from 4 toes on the third gap, and the People took the lead and ran with it.

They gained three straight holes via the par-5 seventh to construct a 4-up lead, and so they gained the ultimate three holes with pars.

Thomas, who gained 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 effectively to get to the again of the inexperienced, and Spieth ran his downhill putt some 25 toes by the outlet.

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

“You win whenever you choose up your accomplice, and he did that,” Spieth mentioned. “That swap we had on the fifteenth was unreal there. going to even and as an alternative we go away that inexperienced 2 up. It was the distinction within the match.”

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

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

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