Date: September 29, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

US in command at Presidents Cup


The International team made the stuttering start to the Presidents Cup that it feared today, falling 3.5 to 1.5 behind the mighty United States team at Liberty National in New Jersey after the five rounds of foursomes play.

Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman salvaged half a point in the final foursomes match in the afternoon, having led one-up through 16 holes against Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner.

It was an important match, with the Internationals in with a chance to get back to 3-2 overall until the Australians made bogey at the 17th after an errant Leishman tee shot.

At the par-three 18th, Day missed a six-metre putt for par which left Mickelson with a two-metre putt to win the match, but the American missed. "That's about as intense as it gets,'' said Leishman.  "You have all your teammates there and all the American guys, and the match is on the line."

The Americans ran hot early but a chip-in eagle by Leishman at the ninth turned the match before it swung back to the home team late.  "Obviously the last few holes wasn't the way we wanted to finish, but with that said, any point is like moving forward even if it's a half a point,'' said Day.

The other Aussie, Adam Scott, lost his match with rookie Jhonattan Vegas against Matt Kucher and Dustin Johnson, who triumphed one up.

South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen continued their great combination from the 2015 Presidents Cup, beating Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka 3 and 1.

American pair Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed also continued their great association, smashing Si Woo Kim/Emiliano Grillo 5 and 4.

The results put the Internationals, who have only ever won a single Presidents Cup, on the back foot going into the second day.