Day two of the 14th Presidents Cup featured five four-ball (best-ball) matches at Quail Hollow Club.
The United States won the session, 4-1, but it could have gone either way as three matches were tied by late Friday afternoon. The United States will maintain an 8-2 advantage in Saturday’s double session, which will feature four foursomes (alternating shots) in the morning and four fourballs in the afternoon.
Here’s how Friday’s action unfolded in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Game 6: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) beat. Adam Scott/Cam Davis (INT), 2 and 1
The Australian duo combined for a birdie on the first eight holes and lost 3 points. They eventually started dropping putts around the bend, making four in a row from numbers 9 through 12, but only picked up one hole.
Any chance of a return was nullified on the 229-yard, par-3 14th, where Thomas hit his tee shot 3 feet out.
The resulting birdie gave the United States a 3 lead with four to play, and they remained dormant after a wild Spieth by the 15th. With Thomas in the water on the par 4, Spieth’s second shot hit the creek rocks to the left of the green and carossed across the putting surface. He chipped at 12 feet and made the par putt to even the holeshot. After losing the 16th hole, Spieth won the match with a birdie from 20 feet on the par-4 17th.
Match 7: Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (US) equalize Sungjae Im/Sebastian Munoz (INT)
Scheffler and Burns were the only American pair to fall on Day 1, losing the final four holes of their foursome. They lost a lead to the back nine again on Friday, but not the game.
Trailing 2, the International won the 13th hole to cut their deficit in half. I then participated in the 14th par-3, forcing Scheffler to do a 10-foot sidewinder to tie the hole. That’s exactly what the Masters champion did. On the next hole, Im drilled a 33-footer for a birdie and Burns followed with a 22-footer to match. On the par-5 16th, it was Scheffler who first made a 9-footer for a birdie and Im responded with a 5-footer to tie.
After halving the 17th hole, Scheffler had a 9-footer to win the game. He died on the lip and both teams earned a proper draw.
Match 8: Kevin Kisner/Cameron Young (US) equalize Mito Pereira/Christiaan Beziudenhout (INT)
It was the only match of the day where an international team was leading at all times. The split was never more than a hole difference and tied after Young won the 14th hole with a par.
Deadlocked on the next three holes, Young and Kisner both birdie putts to win the match. Kisner left his 30-footer 5 feet short, while Young’s 26-footer slid harmlessly.
Full score of the Presidents Cup match
Match 9: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (US) beat. Hideki Matsuyama/Tom Kim (INT), 3 and 2
Poor Hideki. He drew against the Cantlay/Schauffele team in the day 1 foursome and lost with Adam Scott, 6 and 5. A new partner and a new format didn’t have much effect on the final result.
The American duo combined for four birdies and an eagle on the first eight holes to build a 5-up advantage. Kim birdied late to prevent the game from being a blowout, but the result was never in doubt. Schauele finished things off with a birdie in the 16th.
Game 10: Billy Horschel/Max Homa (US) def. Corey Conners/Taylor Pendrith (INT), 1 place
Making his long-awaited cup debut, Horschel teamed up with fellow rookie Homa to take a 2-out 10-hole lead. The Canadians, however, won the 11th and 13th holes to tie.
It stayed that way until Homa drilled a 13-footer for a birdie to win the 17th.
Homa then stuck his approach shot from 11 feet on the par-4 18, but Pendrith dropped a 14-footer for a birdie past him. In clutch fashion, Homa also nailed his putt to win the match.