United States on brink of winning Presidents Cup

Posted October 01, 2017

Two years ago in South Korea after tumbling into a similar Day 1 hole, the global side rallied by winning four of the fourball matches.

If for no other reason, the last match on Saturday morning will be interesting to see if Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler can remain undefeated.

The Americans headed into the afternoon fourball matches leading 11.5 to 2.5.

"The guys obviously are a little down but like I said yesterday, there's still a long way to go but it's tough". The South Africans will be out for revenge on Saturday morning, though by the time that match is wrapped up, any slender chances the global team have of getting back into this may be dashed.

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, United States, def. Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo, International, 5 and 4. Spieth and Reed won the second hole to go 1-up before losing the third.

Of the three American wins that ended early, only one was particularly competitive. "Any time being able to play with Jordan, it just feels normal".

"We've played so much golf together and spent so much time around each other that we are pretty comfortable", Thomas said. But someone clearly forgot to relay that message to Thomas, who repeatedly displayed that competitive fire on Friday.

United States on brink of winning Presidents Cup
United States on brink of winning Presidents Cup

Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson's 4 and 3 win over the Canada's Adam Hadwin and Adam Scott of Australia was produced in a slightly different manner, with the Americans never trailing and using birdies on the seventh and ninth holes to make the turn 4 up. Two holes later he rattled a similar shot from a bunker off the flag before closing out the Internationals' best hope of Branden Grace and Louis Ooshtuizen, 3 and 2. "Today was a grind".

With the sun setting over the Manhattan skyline, Phil Mickelson, who has played in every edition of the Presidents Cup, dropped a 12-foot birdie putt at the par three 18th to clinch a one-up victory for himself and partner Kevin Kisner over Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman, sparking wild cheers from his team mates and fans packed around the finishing hole. Expect this USA duo to see the 18th hole for a third straight match. They just could not let the two-point margin widen, especially in a format, Four-ball, where they have held their own and been even slightly better than the Americans in recent years.

After all, there are a set of foursomes in the morning followed by fourballs in the afternoon on Day 3.

In Friday's other matches, Americans Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman take on South African Charl Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri of India while the United States duo of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka face Aussie Adam Scott and Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas - who will be trying to bounce back from a narrow defeat on Thursday. The International team can be backed at 25/1 for a remarkable win and the tie at 15-15 is available at 20/1.

There are three things in this life that are certain: death, taxes, and the American team dominating the Presidents Cup.

To put the USA rout in context, the Americans need just 7 ½ points to win the cup with eight points available on Saturday at Liberty National.

Get daily prep sports headlines from the Gwinnett Daily Post staff delivered to your email.