Team USA have opened up a 4-1 lead against the International team on the opening day of the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow in North Carolina (USA 1/20, International 14/1, Tie 20/1 – Outright Winner).
The US have won the past eight editions of the Ryder Cup-style tournament and are already looking very strong to make it nine on the spin.
They won four of the five foursome matches to put themselves in a commanding position heading into day two.
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele comfortably beat Australia’s Adam Scott and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama 6&5 in a match that set the tone for the rest of the day.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas were 2&1 winners over South Korea’s Sungjae Im and Canada’s Corey Conners before Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa defeated South Korean pair Tom Kim and KH Lee by the same scoreline.
USA should have made it four in a row with Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns but the International team rallied to win the final four holes as Si Woo Kim of South Korea and Australia’s Cameron Davis helped them to their first point.
However, the hosts had the final word thanks to a par on the final hole from Tony Finau and Max Homa against Chile’s Mito Pereira and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith.
Reacting to his side going down 4-1, International captain Trevor Immelman said: “We’re going to keep fighting. Nobody here expects us to win.
“We’re up against maybe the strongest American team ever assembled on paper. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’ll keep going until they ring the bell.”
Friday’s format will switch to fourballs with Spieth and Thomas facing Aussie duo Scott and Davis first up.
Scheffler and Burns face Im and Sebastian Munoz before Kevin Kisner and Young play Pereira and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Cantlay and Schauffele are up against Tom Kim and Matsuyama before Billy Horschel and Homa finish the day off against Conners and Pendrith.