U.S. four-ball rout leaves global team shell-shocked at Presidents Cup

Aaron Brown
October 1, 2017

Nick Price's global team heads into Saturday's eight matches in search of a Presidents Cup miracle.

Sky Bet go 4/9 that the U.S. come out on top in Saturday's action.

The United States are well on their way to a seventh successive Presidents Cup win, as they lead the worldwide team 8-2 heading into Saturday's crucial day's play.

Even on a day when Spieth and Reed weren't Spieth and Reed - with the USA pair halving their match with Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin - the American team's commanding performance had some observers whispering about a potential 10-point rule.

Phil Mickelson's 12-foot birdie putt at the final hole, to complete a 1-up victory for he and Kevin Kisner over Marc Leishman and Jason Day, put the exclamation point on a 4 ½ to ½ romp that blew their overall lead out to a commanding 8 -2 at the halfway mark in the event.

Foursome and fourball matches will be played at Liberty National on Saturday.

Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, United States, def. Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel, International, 6 and 4.

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Hoffman and Chappell, who sat out Thursday's opening foursomes, were 3-UP after four holes before birdies at the eighth and ninth saw them hit the turn with a five-hole advantage. The other match was a halve, but even in that one, Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin had a 2-up lead with four holes to play until Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed rallied.

Having been paired together in every team event since the 2014 Ryder Cup, the confident Texans were never behind against global rookies Si-Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo, who made just two birdies in a 5&4 defeat.

The other Australian, Adam Scott, lost his match alongside Jhonattan Vegas to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, 3 and 2, having led for much of the early part of the match. A par by the Amercians was good enough to win the 14th, and a final 8-foot birdie putt by Reed on the 15th closed out the match. 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. Reed canned a 7-footer on 15 to end it, and the top American duo improved to 2-0-1 this week.

"I wish I knew why I haven't been playing well, but all I can do is keep working hard and look forward", he said. "Today was a grind". We're going to need to play our best.

And, finally, fellow rookie Kevin Kisner teamed with Phil Mickelson to claw out the day's final point for Stricker, a flag that just an hour earlier seemed improbable and likely put the finishing touches on an overmatched and seemingly out-of-answers global team.

"Tomorrow is going to be a tough day", Price said.

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