The 14th Presidents Cup kicked off Thursday at Quail Hollow Club with five foursomes (alternative shot) games.
The US won the session 4-1 and led on Day 2, which will feature five fourball games (best ball). This is how opening day went in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Match 1: Defeat Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA). Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INT), 6 & 5
Scott hit the opening shot of these games and the Internationals had only one hole left. Cantlay and Schauffele dominated this game from start to finish, winning the third hole with a par and then making four birdies in a five-hole run, starting at the par-4 fifth.
The American side built a 3-up advantage through 10 holes and the veteran international duo offered little resistance in the inner half. Scott and Matsuyama bogeyed the numbers 11-13 to give the US the first point of the competition. Schauffele and Cantlay advanced to 5-0 as a team in foursomes, in both Ryder and Presidents cups.
Full Presidents Cup Match Score
Match 2: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) beats. Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (INT), 2 and 1
Spieth and Thomas combined for just two birdies, but they were never behind. In fact, it was a par that produced the most compelling moment of the match.
1 lead on the 15e hole, Spieth’s tee shot on par 4 went to the left, jumped out of a hurdle and into the deep rough. Thomas played a great approach going through the putting surface (with the hole in a front location) and Spieth nearly putted off the green. Thomas followed by making the 27-footer for par.
It was also good enough to win the hole and move up 2. They topped it off with two more pairs. Spieth is now 6-0 in the Presidents Cup foursome.
Match 3 defeats Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA). Tom Kim/KH Lee (INT), 2 and 1
Young and Morikawa made it 3-0 for the home team, despite being the only American team on Thursday to trail in the first four and a half hours.
They bogeyed on the second hole to drop 1 and the game was never more than a two-hole difference. It was tied through 12 holes, when Young and Morikawa birdied the par-4 13e to gain an advantage that they would never give up.
The rookie Young sealed the game with a 26-foot birdie on the 17e.
Match 4: Si Woo defeats Kim/Cam Davis (INT). Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA), 2 up
This one looked like Match 1: Two good American friends driving an out-performed international tandem. Scheffler and Burns led by seven holes, but Kim and Davis kept jumping away.
The visitors won the 15e hole thanks to a double bogey from the American side and then won the 16e hole with its own birdie. Another birdie on the 17e gave Kim and Davis a 1-up lead with one left to play.
Kim and Davis only needed an assigned par at the last minute to win their fourth consecutive hole and give the international team the first point.
Match 5: Tony Finau/Max Homa (USA) beats. Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira (INT), 1 up
This one was tight throughout and the result was huge for both parties.
Bound by 15 holes, Pendrith had to birdie from 25 feet on the par-5 16e to tie the hole. He did. Homa then had to make a 4-footer for par on the 17e to tie the hole. He did.
On the par-4 18e, Pereira pulled his tee shot into the left rough as Homa found the fairway. After Pendrith placed his second shot into a bunker on the green, Finau played his approach safely to the center of the green, 25 feet to the right of the hole.
Pereira splashed out to 12 feet. Homa missed his attempt to win but secured his team’s par, giving Pendrith a chance to equalize the hole and the game. He missed and gave the US a comfortable lead when entering fourballs.