Oct
3
2013
Thursday’s four-ball mid-afternoon top five: Red rules, bro shakes and pet squirrels
By Stephanie Wei under Presidents Cup
Lindsey Vonn and former President George W. Bush on the first tee

Lindsey Vonn and former President George W. Bush on the first tee

Well, so much for that fast start the International team needed in Thursday’s four-ball matches! When play was suspended at 2:38pm due to inclement weather in the area, the Americans were up in five matches and all square in one of them. Not surprising.

I know THERE’S A LOT OF GOLF LEFT, but the Internationals have fared decently in the four-ball format in past Presidents Cups, while they’ve struggled tremendously in the foursomes (alternate shot). 

In the last four Cups, the U.S. has dominated the Internationals 25.5 to 7.5 in foursomes, while the Internationals lead the Americans 18.5 to 14.5 in four-balls.

Maybe the weather delay was just what the Internationals needed to regroup. They have their work cut out for them, though.

So far, the top five of the day:

*Tiger Woods’ girlfriend Lindsey Vonn and President George W. Bush were hanging out on the first tee. Vonn walked with Fred Couples’ girlfriend Nadine Moze to support her “man.” Woods birdied three in a row, nos. 5-7, before the horn blew.

I’m pretty sure the fans were most excited to see Vonn. I kept hearing, “There she is, there she is!” or “She’s walking up if we want to see her!”

*Tiger and Kuchar’s dorky (yet awesome) bro-shake a la Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (via Shane Bacon):

*Steve Stricker‘s back might be a little sore after carrying Jordan Spieth today. Just kidding. However, I walked that group, Match 4 (Stricker/Spieth vs. Ernie Els and Brendon deJonge), and Spieth was really struggling and frustrated with himself. It appears he has a case of the pulls — the shots he’s missing have been left. After hitting a poor drive on the par-5 5th, the 20-year-old rookie looked down at the ground and muttered to himself, “What are you doing, man?”

Before Spieth hit his third shot, Stricker said in passing to Spieth something like, “You’re taking the fun out of it!”, in attempt to encourage his partner. It may have worked as Spieth knocked it pretty close, but missed his birdie putt. However, of course, Stricker made his 8-footer, so they halved the hole.

Then on the par-4 6th, Spieth dropped a 35-foot putt for birdie, which may have been what he needed to turn the momentum around. Stricker is still on fire, though, birdieing the last two holes nos. 7 and 8 to remain 2-up in the match.

It seemed like Jordan just wants to play well almost too badly. It’s his first time on this kind of stage, and as mature as he is, it’s a whole different level than previous teams matches where he’s participated.

*Brendon de Jonge, a Presidents Cup rookie and captain’s pick, deserves a shout-out for his fine play. Besides the first hole, de Jonge has been carrying his partner Ernie Els.

Assistant Captain Love: Animal Lover

Assistant Captain Love: Animal Lover

*Assistant captain Davis Love III was feeding a baby squirrel nuts out of his hand. The squirrel appeared very hungry. I asked Love if he was giving the critter jerky (Davis is *obsessed* with KingMade Jerky, which is really, really good — it’s like crack) and he said, “Oh, no, no, we can’t spare any jerky, but he can have all the nuts he wants.” Classic Davis.

Here is Davis and his new friend when Match 4 was on no. 7:

*Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel arrived to the first tee in crazy wigs. The South African duo got awful haircuts in the team room, so they were poking some fun at themselves. You see, the Presidents Cup is all about business…

Louis and Charl arrive to the first tee

Louis and Charl arrive to the first tee

Speaking of which Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, the South Africans have birdied five of the last seven holes to take a 1 up lead over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. So, there’s one match with blue on the scoreboard.

This is what it looked like when the horn blew:

Scoreboard

The best thing that could happen is the Internationals turn things around and go up in some of the matches, so they don’t get completely battered by the Americans going into foursomes on Friday.