Golf

US team lead by two after first day

International captain Nick Price expressed relief that the damage was not worse after the United States stole another early march to open a two-point lead on the opening day at the Presidents Cup at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The US won three of five foursomes matches and halved another to enjoy a 3½ to 1½ advantage in strong and gusty winds that made club selection difficult.

It could have been even worse for the International team as American veteran Phil Mickelson missed a six-foot putt at the final hole as he and partner Kevin Kisner halved with Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman.

The International team, comprising players from the rest of the world excluding Europe, have now lost the opening session six consecutive times at the biennial event.

"We're one point better off than we were two years (ago)," Price said.

"It was a brutal day to play golf.

"We got behind the eight-ball early with a few of our teams being two-down, three-down at the turn.

"But the guys rallied back great.

"Even though we're two points behind, it was one of our strongest starts in foursomes on Thursday.

"So the team is not discouraged at all.

"We have a resilient team.

"They are raring to go tomorrow."

US captain Steve Stricker was pleased with the opening-day display.

"There's still a long, long way to go. But we very much liked the day and the way it started," he said.

The International team have only one overall victory (1998) and one tie (2003) in 11 stagings of the event.

The tournament continues this morning with five fourball (better ball) matches. - REUTERS

FOURBALL MATCHES (US FIRST)

  • Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed v 
Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Hadwin
  •  Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas v 
Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace
  • Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner v 
Jason Day/Marc Leishman
  •  Kevin Chappell/Charley Hoffman v 
Charl Schwartzel/Anirban Lahiri
  •  Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka v 
Adam Scott/Jhonattan Vegas
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