Pro golf: Steve Stricker-led Americans running away in the Presidents Cup

Rosalie Stanley
October 1, 2017

The United States were threatening to run away with another Presidents Cup after a four-ball rout on Friday that left a global team reeling and searching for answers.

After starting the day with a 3.5-1.5 lead, the United States won four out of the five fourballs sessions on Friday.

With the USA team already having a big lead, only a massive turnaround by the Internationals in the eight matches yesterday will leave any suspense heading into today's 12 singles at Liberty National. Meanwhile, Stricker smartly rolled out the duo of Spieth and Reed, who always step up when they're wearing the colors of Team USA.

There are three things in this life that are certain: death, taxes, and the American team dominating the Presidents Cup. Leishman received a free drop for his next shot, but the foul ball seemed to energize the USA, which promptly birdied back-to-back holes to grab control.

Although Leishman and Jason Day then rallied to lead Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed 1-up through eight holes, it was the Americans who emerged with a 4 & 3 victory.

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. The loopers then said "we know they got something planned".

This rematch from Friday's four-ball session was the most competitive match of the morning.

Only South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace prevented a US sweep when they halved their match with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.

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In the opening match, Thomas and Fowler lost the second hole to Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan but birdied the next two and built a 4-up lead at the turn.

The U.S. team is now taking a 5-wood to the worldwide squad at the Presidents Cup, but it hasn't been without a spot of controversy thanks to golf's head-scratching rule book.

The International team's only success was in Australia in 1998.

Grace and Oosthuizen led 1-up at the turn after Koepka hit his tee shot in the water at No. 9 and Berger hit the approach in the water as well, but gave back their advantage with a concession at the 10th before fashioning a birdie on the 13th and winning the 15th with a par.

Hoffman and Chappell are Presidents Cup rookies and promptly earned a point.

No one in the American team room is willing to get ahead of themselves at this point, but Jim Furyk, the captain of next year's Ryder Cup squad that will travel to Paris looking to win back-to-back matches for the first time since 1993, would be forgiven if he allowed himself a moment to imagine the possibilities.

Birdies from Reed and Spieth on 15 and 16 respectively ensured a tie at the end of 18 holes. The ensuing birdie would get the match back to All Square with just two holes to go.

The best shot I saw all day was Justin Thomas' hole-out from the bunker at the 14th hole, which is the 18th for the usual layout here at Liberty National. And as he always does, Thomas put a little sauce on it with his hand in the air with the ball several feet from the hole and still sloping towards the cup.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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