Presidents Cup Predictions: USA vs. International Team 9/27/17

Presidents Cup Predictions: USA vs. International Team 9/27/17

The International team lost just about everything but its sense of humor.

USA captain Steve Stricker sent out British Open champion Spieth and Reed first and the high energy duo set the American pace at a breezy Liberty National winning four straight holes from the 12th to collect a 4&3 win over Australian duo of Jason Day and Marc Leishman.

About the only thing that went wrong was the celebration. Mickelson, who on Thursday cropped himself out of a selfie with the last three US presidents, missed a move in the "Three Amigos" dance with Kisner.

"I'm clearly the worst selfie taker". I thought the back nine, one stage, it maybe even looked like we may get two or three, but we wound up with just 1 1/2.

GOOD RECORD: Phil Mickelson set the Presidents Cup record with his 10th victory in fourballs, and he tied Tiger Woods' record for most victories with 24. However, the International Team is improving with the emergence of Day and Matsuyama.

The Americans also had an emphatic victory in match three as Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed thumped South Korean Kim Si-woo and Argentine Emiliano Grillo 5&4. Even that felt like a small victory for the worldwide team because Spieth had birdie putts on the final two holes that narrowly missed.

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The American pair Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler drew first blood, thrashing Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel 6&4.

However, Thomas and Fowler won five of the next seven to go four up at the turn, with a birdie at the 12th and then two pars seeing them secure a 6&4 win. On the 17th, with a pin in the back on a tiered green with severe slopes, Mickelson hit wedge to the back fringe and it spun down to about 6 feet. From the left bunker, Thomas blasted out perfectly and watched in drop in for a birdie that kept the worldwide team from cutting the deficit to 1 down.

That gave Day and Oosthuizen a 1-up lead that lasted only three holes. The Americans still managed to build a 3 1/2-1 1/2 lead Thursday after a tough, windy day of foursomes.

The South African duo pulled away for a 3-and-1 victory over U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger.

After a long, grueling PGA Tour season, in which Spieth added his third major championship win and almost claimed the season-long FedEx Cup, it would have been understandable for Spieth to endure some fatigue. But it has at least been close after the opening two sessions, with neither side leading by more than two points since 1998.

The Americans' six-point lead is the biggest ever held after two days of the competition, which sees 30 points up for grabs over four days.



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