Presidents Cup: US need half a point to retain trophy on Sunday
- Author: Zachary Reyes Oct 01, 2017,
Oct 01, 2017, 19:18
The Americans need one point of the 12 that are available in singles to clinch the Cup on Sunday. But the worldwide duo got hot late and ended up winning the match, 1 up.
Spieth and Patrick Reed proved a successful pairing at Hazeltine National, where the U.S. prevailed 17-11, and Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker has opted to keep the two young stars together. But Lahiri and Kim thwarted that. The entire episode was sobering considering the extent of the American dominance.
Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, International, halved with Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, United States. "I guess in the back of our minds it was there, but trust me, neither of us was thinking about it coming down the stretch", said Lahiri, a resident of India who plays on the PGA Tour.
The Presidents Cup, matches between Americans and players from every other continent except Europe, began in 1994 and since 1998 has invited sitting heads of state from the host country as honorary chairman.
A look at the scoreboard suggests the best players in the world have been here for three days playing against the Liberty National members' B Flight.
The Americans have been nothing short of brilliant, holing bunker shots, chipping in and rolling in birdie putts with monotonous regularity and seemingly at will.
Spieth and Reed will take on Players Championship victor Si Woo-kim and Grillo in the third match out. The dynamic pairing were 2 down to Adam Hadwin and Hideki Matsuyama to that point. Even that felt like a small victory for the global team because Spieth had birdie putts on the final two holes that narrowly missed.
Later in the afternoon, Daniel Berger and Justin Thomas rallied from 3 down through the first four holes to beat the worldwide pairing of Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, 3 and 2. On the par-3 18th, he produced another brilliant up-and-down to deny the Americans a clean slate in the evening Four balls.
It was a similar scenario in the Foursomes earlier in the day.
The next run out of the event will be in Melbourne in 2019, but will anyone give a damn?
Spieth and even Oosthuizen argued the common sense nature of the situation: Oosthuizen's ball was not going in the hole, and Day's birdie already had been conceded. All that did was inspire Spieth and Patrick Reed to win yet another match. In team match play, the penalty for breaking that rule is the disqualification of the offending player for that hole. We got behind the eight-ball early with a few of our teams being two-down, three-down at the turn. "They have played really good", he said. "We have to come out and play for a participation trophy tomorrow".
Another win for Spieth and Reed. Lahiri studied the putt from every possible again, settled over the ball, and delivered a masterstroke which justified the enormous trust the whole global team placed on him by selecting him as one of their two picks. USA lead the match 8-2, the biggest margin at this stage in the President's Cup history.
Dustin Johnson is undefeated through four sessions at the Cup. Let's not take any credit away from them.
"We recognize that this is a very similar team to what we can see for the next 5-20 years potentially", American Jordan Spieth said. "They are young, they are explosive, they have a lot of fun with one another. and they are playing great golf". "They have had all the momentum and we've had nothing".
And don't expect the Americans to have any sympathy for the Internationals.
US captain Steve Stricker will lead off with a rookie while Rickie Fowler will play the anchor match. The US have won nine of the 11 prior editions, with one ending in a draw.
"Our goal from the minute we got here was to crush them as bad as we can". But I can putt, ' Mickelson said.