Day 2 of the 14th Presidents Cup featured five fourball (best ball) matches at the Quail Hollow Club.
The US won the session, 4-1, but it could have gone either way as three games were tied on Friday afternoon. The United States will hold an 8-2 lead in Saturday’s doubles session, which will feature four foursomes (alternate shot) in the morning and four fourballs in the afternoon.
Here’s how Friday’s action played out in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Game 6: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) def. Adam Scott/Cam Davis (INT), 2 and 1
The Aussie duo combined for a birdie on the first eight holes and fell 3 down. Eventually, they began throwing putts around the curve, making four in a row from Nos. 9 to 12, but only managed one hole.
Any chance of a comeback was negated on the 229-yard, par-3 14th hole, where Thomas hit his tee shot from 3 feet.
The resulting birdie gave the US a 3-up lead with four to go, and they fell asleep after a wild par from Spieth on the 15th. With Thomas in the water on the par-4, Spieth’s second shot it hit the creek rocks to the left of the green and bounced onto the green surface. He chipped out at 12 feet and putt for par to tie the hole. After missing the 16th hole, Spieth clinched the match with a 20-foot birdie on the par-4 17th hole.
Match 7: Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA) drew with Sungjae Im/Sebastian Munoz (INT)
Scheffler and Burns were the only American pair to go down on Day 1, losing the last four holes of their foursomes. They lost an advantage again in the last nine holes, but not the match.
Trailing 2 down, the Internationals won the 13th hole to cut their deficit in half. Then, I stepped in on the par-3 14th, forcing Scheffler to do a 10-foot sidewinder to close out the hole. The Masters champion did exactly that. On the next hole, Im hit a 33-foot birdie and Burns followed with a 22-footer to equalize. On the par 5 16, it was Scheffler who first made a 9-foot birdie and Im who responded with a 5-foot to tie.
After halving the 17th hole, Scheffler had a 9-foot shot to win the match. He died on the lip and the two sides got a proper draw.
Game 8: Kevin Kisner/Cameron Young (US) tied Mito Pereira/Christiaan Beziudenhout (INT)
This was the only game of the day in which an international team led at some point. The split was never more than a hole apart and was tied after Young won the 14th hole with a par.
Tied for the next three holes, both Young and Kisner had birdie putts to win the match. Kisner left his 30-footer 5 feet away, while Young’s 26-footer slid harmlessly.
Complete Presidents Cup Match Score
Game 9: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) def. Hideki Matsuyama/Tom Kim (INT), 3 and 2
Poor Hideki. He drew the Cantlay/Schauffele team in the foursomes on Day 1 and lost to Adam Scott, 6 and 5. A new partner and a new format didn’t have much of an effect on the bottom line.
The American tandem combined for four birdies and an eagle through the first eight holes to build a 5-up lead. Kim made a late birdie to keep the game from being blown out, but the outcome was never in doubt. Schauffele finished with a birdie on the 16th.
Match 10: Billy Horschel/Max Homa (USA) def. Corey Conners/Taylor Pendrith (INT), 1 up
Making his long-awaited cup debut, Horschel teamed up with fellow rookie Homa to take a 2-in-10 lead. The Canadians, however, won the 11th and 13th holes to tie.
It stayed that way until Homa drilled a 13-foot birdie to win the 17th.
Homa then hit his approach shot from 11 feet on the par 4 18, but Pendrith hit a 14-foot birdie shot in front of him. Homa also putted decisively to win the match.