Presidents Cup, Capsules
Capsules on the fourballs matches Thursday at the Presidents Cup:
Jason Day and Graham DeLaet, International, def. Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker, United States, 1 up.
DeLaet gave the International team the fast start it wanted, though it was only one hole - a 12-foot birdie putt on the first. Mahan answered with a birdie as the Americans won four of the next five holes to seize control. Day made a pair of birdies and the Americans twice failed to make birdie on par 5s. DeLaet's 4-foot birdie putt on the 16th gave the Internationals the lead, but the Canadian missed from 6 feet on the 17th, and Snedeker made from about the same distance to square the match. Snedeker and Mahan both missed the 18th green. DeLaet secured his par, and Day won the match in dramatic fashion with a 20-foot birdie putt.
Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama, International, halved with Bill Haas and Webb Simpson, United States.
In the best match of the day, it was only fitting it ended in a tie. Both teams shot 11-under 61. The Americans never trailed. Simpson made birdie on the opening hole and Haas birdied No. 8 for a 2-up lead. Scott's birdie on the ninth and up-and-down birdie on the 11th squared the match. Haas birdied the next two holes for the Americans to take another 2-up lead, only for the International side to answer when Scott chipped in for eagle on the 15th and Matsuyama holed a short birdie putt on the 16th. Haas made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 17th for a 1-up lead, and Matsuyama followed with an approach to 2 feet for birdie to halve the match.
Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, International, def. Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States, 2 and 1.
Mickelson opened with a birdie for a quick lead, he made another birdie on the fourth to regain the lead, and Bradley's eagle on the seventh hole gave the Americans a 2-up lead. Oosthuizen and Schwartzel traded birdies on the next two holes to square the match before the rain delay, and then the South Africans took their first lead with a birdie on the par-5 11th. Bradley missed a good birdie chance on the 12th as the teams halved five straight holes. But on the 17th, Schwartzel hit his approach into 5 feet and made the putt to close out the match. It was the first loss for Mickelson and Bradley, who went 3-0 as a team in the Ryder Cup last year.
Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth, United States, def. Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge, International, 1 up.
Jordan Spieth was in the water twice in three holes, but he had a good partner. Stricker won the first and third holes with a birdie, and Spieth came up just as big in the middle of the match. He made a 25-foot birdie putt with de Jonge in tight for birdie on No. 10, and he made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 12th to halve another hole. De Jonge did most of the work for the Internationals to keep it close. The Americans were 2 up after Els missed a 5-foot birdie putt that would have won the 16th. Els, however, finally made his first birdie on No. 17 from 12 feet to keep his side in the match. On the 18th, Spieth hit into the water and Stricker was buried in the face of a bunker. De Jonge had 18 feet for birdie. Stricker blasted out to 3 feet for par and de Jonge missed his birdie putt that would have halved the match.
Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods, United States, def. Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, International, 5 and 4.
Woods had his 19th partner in team competition in Matt Kuchar, and they brought a little "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" to central Ohio with their handshake after every birdie. And there were a lot of birdies at Muirfield Village. Kuchar rolled in a short birdie putt on the first hole, Woods made birdie on the sixth and the Americans were on their way. Cabrera and Leishman were the least productive International team, going only 3-under par through 14 holes. The match turned when Cabrera missed a 3-foot par putt on the 10th hole for fall 3 down. The match ended with pars on the 14th.
Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner, United States, def. Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, International, 5 and 3.
The only all-rookie pairing - Sterne and Grace - didn't know what hit them. Johnson birdied the first. Dufner birdied the second. Johnson birdied the third. Just like that, the Americans were 3-up and were on their way. The Internationals didn't win a hole until No. 10 when Grace made birdie, but they failed to birdie the par-5 11th to lose another hole, and then it was just a matter of time. Johnson birdied the 14th, and the Internationals conceded birdies on the 15th to close out the match.
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