Presidents Cup: US hold 3.5-2.5 lead after Internationals rally in opening fourballs
Last Updated: 04/10/13 1:29pm
David Livingstone & Peter Oosterhuis look back on the first day of the Presidents Cup.
USA lead the Presidents Cup after day one but only by a point after a gutsy fightback by Nick Price's Internationals narrowed their advantage to 3.5-2.5.
It looked at one point as if the Americans might whitewash the visitors 6-0 in Thursday's fourballs at Muirfield Village in Ohio after going up in all six matches following a rush of early birdies.
Day Two Foursomes
Keegan Bradley & Phil Mickelson v Jason Day & Graham Delaet
Bill Haas & Hunter Mahan v Brendon De Jonge & Ernie Els
Jordan Spieth & Steve Stricker v Branden Grace & Richard Sterne
Webb Simpson & Brandt Snedeker v Marc Leishman & Angel Cabrera
Tiger Woods & Matt Kuchar v Charl Schwartzel & Louis Oosthuizen
Jason Dufner & Zach Johnson v Hideki Matsuyama & Adam Scott
Click here for Day One scores
But a near 90-minute weather break due to electrical activity nearby and a brief deluge allowed the Internationals to take stock and they slowly fought their way back.
Despite going out in the penultimate match, Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar put the first point on the board for Fred Couples' hosts as they beat Argentina's Angel Cabrera and Aussie Marc Leishman 5&4.
But the lead was short-lived after the Internationals rallied superbly in the top three matches.
Jason Day holed a 15 footer at the last to make it 1-1, earning a big hug from playing partner Graham DeLaet of Canada after their combined 10 birdies were just enough to defeat Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker.
The Americans had been three up after six holes at one point in that match.
South African duo Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen put the Internationals 2-1 in front as they took the major scalp of Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.
Again, it looked bleak for the Internationals when they went two down after seven but three birdies in four holes around the turn and a Schwartzel birdie on 17 proved good enough.
Masters champion Adam Scott and Japanese youngster Hideki Matsuyama trailed Webb Simpson and Bill Haas from the very first hole and, despite pulling level at 11, were again two down after 14.
But helped by a chip-in Scott eagle on 15 and a brilliant second by Matsuyama to inside two feet at the last they halved the match after playing the final five holes in five-under.
US PGA winner Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson were always in control of their match with South African debutants Branden Grace and Richard Sterne and coasted to a 5&3 victory to level the match again at 2.5pts apiece and Steve Stricker and youngster Jordan Spieth looked odds-on to win the final match out on the course after taking an early lead over Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge and moving two up with two to play.
However, Els finally holed a putt at 17 to stay alive and the impressive de Jonge, who made eight birdies, looked poised to win the par four 18th and tie the match after he was the only one of the quartet to find the final green in two.
But just as the Internationals were thinking of a 3-3 overnight scoreline, Stricker played a superb bunker shot from a plugged lie before rolling in a three footer to give the US a narrow one-point lead.
You can follow all the action from Muirfield Village from 6.00pm tonight live on Sky Sports 1.