CHARLOTTE N.C. — The Presidents Cup was set up for two of Americas most reliable American teams. The results were predictable.
Xander Schauffele Patrick CantlayThis was done in a short time Adam Scott Hideki MatsuyamaIn the opening match. They won the 6-and-5 match without making a bogey, improving their record to 5-1 in foursomes at Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.
Another strong American team, from top to bottom, played at a high standard on a hot day in Quail Hollow. They walked away with a 4-1 lead after their first session.
I told the guys last evening that we needed to set the tone — J.T. and us, Schauffele said. Schauffele stated that Jordans match was the one to set the tone. Playing this format on an ordinary day and not making any bogeys is exactly what we need.
All of these kept the International side from being shut down were Si Woo Kim Cameron Davis. They were 2 down with 4 holes to play against Masters champion Scottie Scheffler Sam BurnsThey capitalized upon American mistakes and won a 2-up win.
Two of the eight international rookies are here. Taylor Pendrith Mito PereiraNearly won another point. They were even going to the difficult par-4 closing hole, but Pereira hit a crazy tee shot. Pendrith was unable to find the right bunker, and they made bogey. Tony Finau Max HomaHe walked away with a 1 up win and a point.
Finau said, We did the right thing.
They were in a tight match against the 20-year old Tom Kim K.H. LeeAll square with six holes to play. The last three matches could have gone either direction at the time. It was not as easy as Cantlay & Schauffele made it seem in the opening match. But it was only one point.
Morikawa, who had stuffed a wedge into 2 foot for birdie on hole 14 downwind, gave Americans the lead. The match was heading towards the 18th hole, with the lead remaining at 1 ahead. Young made a 25-foot birdie putt on 17th to end the match.
Young said, That moment is about all I could ask for. Its not the first day of the year, but every point we reach is important. Thats a feeling that Ive waited for for a long while.
Cantlay and Schauffele met for the first time on a long flight to Australia in 2019. This was the Presidents Cup, the first match for both of them. They are fast friends off the course, and they are becoming a formidable team to beat within the ropes.
Scott and Matsuyama, the two most experienced players on international team, provided plenty of assistance. They missed many putts that couldve won or halved holes. Matsuyama missed from 4ft on the third hole. The Americans took control and won.
They won the par-5 seventh hole three times to take a 4-up lead. They also won the last three holes with pars.
Thomas, who won 2017s PGA Championship at Quail hollow, had a wild day. On the par-3 fourth, he smashed a 9-iron so badly that it was only 40 yards from the green. On the par-5 16th, he hit a shank from the bunker. Both he and Spieth did not lose holes.
The match was won by Thomas on the 15th, which is usually the 18th at Quail hollow for stroke-play tournaments. Thomas drive hit the creek on the left side. Thomas was able to make it to the back green and Spieth ran his downhill putt about 25 feet from the hole.
Conners and Im were in a position to win the hole (7 feet away for par) and square the match. Thomas putt the par putt and Conners missed. The Americans were now 2 up and heading for another point.
Spieth stated, You win when your partner picks you up, and he did that. That switch that we had on the 15th was unbelievable there. We leave that green 2 up, instead of trying to get even. It was the difference in match.
Next, five matches in four-balls were played Friday. Each point moves the Americans closer towards a ninth consecutive victory in these one-sided matches. Since 1994s inception of the Presidents Cup, they have never lost on their own soil.
With such a dominating start, the Americans only need 11 points from the remaining 25 matches in order to retain their cup.