The Saturday foursomes are underway at Royal Melbourne, with the Americans leading 7-5 over the Internationals entering the third session. Curious if the Internationals will figure out how to play foursomes since the Americans have always dominated them in the alternate shot format. Two guys on each team sit out, so there only five matches instead of six.
U.S. captain Fred Couples benched Steve Stricker (good call, especially since he’s been struggling with that nagging injury) and Nick Watney. Meanwhile, Greg Norman, the leader of the Internationals, sidelined K.T. Kim and Y.E. Yang (how racist! — totally kidding. They haven’t exactly been the strongest guys).
Here’s the lineup:
*Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson (U.S.) vs. Robert Allenby-Geoff Ogilvy (International)
*Bill Haas-Matt Kuchar (U.S.) vs. Ernie Els-Ryo Ishikawa (International)
*Hunter Mahan-David Toms (U.S.) vs. Retief Goosen-Charl Schwartzel (International)
*Tiger Woods-Dustin Johnson (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott-K.J. Choi (International)
*Jim Furyk-Phil Mickelson (U.S.) vs. Aaron Baddeley-Jason Day (International)
Things to watch for:
*Match 1: Can the Aussie local knowledge duo take out the American wonder boys? Maybe — if it’s God’s will.
*Match 2: The winless Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa are paired together for the third time. Huh? Really? They’re both playing pretty badly, but apparently Ernie requested to continue his partnership with the 20-year-old Japanese golfer. Ryo’s probably the best putter on either team, but he’s been struggling this year. My Japanese photog friend said he predicted Tuesday Ryo would lose every match because of his below-average season (with the exception of Firestone). As for the Americans, Kuchar and Haas are teamed up for the first time. I wonder how this duo will work out? Pretty well so far! (2-up through 9)
*Match 3: Can Hunter Mahan/David Toms find redemption in their rematch against Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel? Different format today…
*Match 4: Dear lord. Greg Norman certainly is doing his best to get into Tiger’s head. Right after Freddie put Tiger and Dustin Johnson on the board, Norman responded with Adam Scott and K.J. Choi. Yikes. With the way Tiger and Dustin have been putting, this could get ugly. The trouble is Dustin’s ballstriking has been off, too — he only hit 5 fairways yesterday. To Tiger’s credit, he found 11 fairways in the second session. Both are missing three-footers like it’s their job today. Shock, I know. Somehow, they’re 1-up through 8 over Scott and Choi in a not-so-pretty match. There’s only been one hole won with a birdie and the rest have been taken with pars.
*Match 5: It’s the oldies (but undefeated goodies) vs. the young guns. Baddes.com redeemed himself in yesterday’s fourball (after choking with that chunk-shank drive off the 18th tee in the first session). Day hasn’t had his game. But Phil has been playing well enough to carry Furyk a bit. In fact, Phil only has one loss in his last 17 Presidents Cup matches. Now why can’t he perform like this at the Ryder Cup???
I’m wondering who’s sitting in the afternoon four-ball…
Alright, please share your predictions, observations, prognostications, etc.
(AP Photo/David Callow)