Saturday, September 30, 2017

USA leads 8-2 in Presidents Cup after two days

International side being outclassed

As the cliche goes, it got late early. The Presidents Cup is, in all likelihood, over before we ever get to the weekend at Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, New Jersey. 
The USA leads by a whopping 8-2 margin, which in these team match play events is an insurmountable lead. Only 10 of the 30 points available have been decided, but that's not really how these team match play events work. You need to win the early sessions, and if you don't, you need to at least keep it close. The International side, which is 1-9-1 in this competition since it was founded in 1994, has failed to keep it close.
The Americans lead 8-2 after the first two days and two sessions worth eight points. That is a rout and there is no way to characterize it otherwise. 
Friday's Four-ball session was supposed to be an opportunity to rebound, a format that has recently benefitted the International side compared to the brutal Foursomes format. 
Instead, the USA won four of five matches and halved another to take a 4.5 to .5 romp into an 8-2 lead going into the weekend. That's not at all close when it comes to those international match play exhibitions.
Saturday brings the first double session of the week. The Ryder Cup, of course, is a three-day event that prefers double sessions over the first two days before getting the traditional Sunday singles
The Presidents Cup, by contrast, splits up the sessions over the first two days, adding a day to make it a full four-day event. There were five matches on Thursday and another five on Friday. On Saturday, however, we have a double session from sun-up until about 6 p.m. ET.
It starts with a Foursomes session in the morning. The good news for the International side is that it's only four matches. That means captain Nick Price could put four players on the bench, and, in theory, limit the usual International exposure to its traditional lack of depth. 
On the bench will be Si Woo Kim, Charl Schwartzel, Anirban Lahiri, and Hideki Matsuyama. That Matsuyama, the No.3 player in the world and ostensibly the leader of the International side, has to sit out a session — any session at all the entire week — should be indicative of just how dire this thing is heading into the weekend. 
Hideki is not playing his best golf, and the Internationals need him to be Hideki.
Here's your line-up for the morning session (USA time) on Saturday:

Session 3 — Four Foursomes Matches — 7 a.m. ET Thursday

  • 7:02 a.m. ET — INTL Jason Day/Marc Leishman vs. Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed
  • 7:13 a.m. ET — INTL Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin vs. USA Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar
  • 7:24 a.m. ET — INTL Jhonattan Vegas/Emiliano Grillo vs. USA Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner
  • 7:35 a.m. ET — INTL Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace vs. USA USA Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas
NBC will have the full coverage on the weekend. Typically, this would be an occasion to split the coverage with their Comcast sister, Golf Channel. But here, they will go live at 8 a.m. ET and carry the TV coverage until 6 p.m. ET, when the TBD lineups finish the afternoon Four-ball session. Here's your media schedule:

Saturday's Day 3 coverage




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