Oct
4
2013
Friday’s hit list at the Presidents Cup: Closer than most
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

 

More bromance!

I thought they weren’t into fist-bumping?

Aside from the crappy weather and delays — which we’re pretty used to this year on the PGA Tour — this Presidents Cup is much more intriguing than most expected. We thought it’d just be another American blowout, like every other year, except 1998 when the Internationals captured their lone win.

While there are four matches in the Friday foursomes sessions still in progress, the first two were completed, with the Americans and Internationals each securing a point. The score currently stands with U.S. 4.5, International 3.5.  #1) This really should be #5, but let’s just get it out of the way. Here’s what’s happening tomorrow: Restart of the second session at 7:35am ET; Captains will pick the pairings for the third session of Saturday four-balls at 8:00am and the first match will tee off an hour after the remaining matches in Friday foursomes are completed.

“That still gives us the opportunity to try to finish both rounds tomorrow before dark,” said Steve Carman, tournament director of the Presidents Cup. “Our original plan was to try to finish about ten minutes to 6:00 for television so that hour delay would make it ten minutes to seven, which is about 20 minutes before sunset.  So that’s in an ideal world obviously.”

Let’s hope Saturday works out ideally, but as you may have heard, the forecast is predicting awful storms for Sunday, so what’s the worst case scenario? If they’re not able to complete all five sessions by sundown, play will continue on Monday.

“If we don’t finish by sunset on Monday, then the team with the most points at that point would be declared the winner,” said Carman, who wasn’t 100% sure about that but 99% certain (which is good enough for me at the moment).  “I’ll have to pull the document out. I came a little unprepared.  I just came from the captains and I didn’t have it with me.

“But I’m pretty sure that’s accurate, is at sunset Monday night, the point totals would determine the Cup.”

Factoid: There were 22 events that had some sort of a suspension/delay on the PGA Tour during the 2013 season, including round two at the Memorial Tournament.

#2) Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson’s bromance and butt-slapping/grabbing celebration: Bradley and Mickelson defeated Jason Day and Graham DeLaet 4&3. The Americans were 6 up with 6 to play, but of course, Phil decided to make it interesting and the Internationals won the next two holes to take it to no. 15.

Phil and Keegan played fantastic on the front nine, though. Every putt they made was followed by some sort of butt slap.

awkwardkeegan

 

The pair had a putt on no. 9 to shoot 29, but had to settle with 30. That’s pretty impressive for any round, but especially for alternate shot. You’ve really gotta gel and that’s something Phil and Keegan have perfected, along with Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.

“I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well,” said Bradley in the U.S. team presser.  “And I was saying that I think that we both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other.

“It’s fun to hit, you know, a 2700yard hybrid to eight feet.  It’s fun, whenever Phil is off the green, I half expect him to chip it in every time, he seems to come close.  I just think alternate shot, we are having so much fun and we are really energized to play good golf.  And after losing yesterday’s match, our first match, we’ve lost together  we were both pretty devastated.  It felt horrible.  So we were ready to go out and win this match today and we played really well.”

Said Phil on Keegan’s second shot on no. 5: “He hit the most beautiful hybrid dead straight, eight feet right of the pin, and it went to the back fringe and couldn’t have been an easier 15 foot putt downhill that felt great to make that putt, and take advantage of the great shot he had just hit.  That was a big momentum boost.

“Jason Day had just knocked his third shot to a foot that we conceded that birdie to him, and so they ended up losing a hole to birdie; that’s always tough to take.  But it feels good to do.”

Bromance

Adorable.

#3) Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar’s bromance continues to work its magic: Remember when I told you on Wednesday that they were nine-under in 12 holes, six of which they played alternate shot? Yeah, their games appear to really complement each other a la Phil and Keegan. Woods and Kuchar were SIX-UNDER on the front nine today. (I still think Tiger likes Kooch’s caddie Lance Bennett more than Kooch, though.)

Woods and Kuchar haven’t closed out Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, but they’re in good shape. The lovebirds are three-up with six to play.

“We had a great day,” said Kuchar. “7-under through 11 was just incredible golf, hard to believe that these guys are really giving us a great match, they are playing good golf as well.  Been a fun match and it’s been fun for me to have Tiger as a partner.  Some of the shots into the par 5s, he’s hit some incredible fairway woods into the par 5s and making my job pretty easy.”

Added Tiger: “We are playing well, both of us are playing well.  I hit a couple loose iron shots this afternoon, but made a couple good putts and just kind of put the heat on these guys, 7under through 11, that’s not bad alternate shot.

“It’s just one of those days where both teams are really playing well, and still got our work cut out for us tomorrow.”

Pshhhh, that’s true, but Tiger and Kooch in alternate shot, or heck, any type of team play? I’ll take that duo all day long.

Brendon de Jonge for MVP

Brendon de Jonge for International MVP

4.) Brendon de Jonge is definitely the rookie of the week so far. The Zimbabwean was a captain’s pick of fellow Zimbabwean Nick Price, who was criticized for passing up Tim Clark. Looks like Price made the right choice, no?

“Nick was in a very difficult situation,” said Els, referring to Price passing up Clark. “When you have captain’s picks, always somebody is going to be disappointed.  And obviously in this case it was Tim Clark.  But you know, the question went around, and you know, it’s not my decision; it’s not the player’s decision, it’s the captain’s decision.

“Our views were asked and it was raised.  I obviously supported Brendon, because of his play, the way he’s playing, you know, the way he hits the golf ball and the way it suits this golf course.  He hits a power cut and Jack Nicklaus was quite renowned for this, so he’s got a perfect game for this golf course, so that’s where I was going.”

De Jonge and Ernie Els beat Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan 4&3 and led the entire match.

“(Brendon’s) played great, he’s had a great year and he’s played himself into this team, and I said to Pricey after playing with Brendon in Boston in the final round and saw the talent in the man, and we are playing now, said Els. “He played unbelievable yesterday. He almost took them on by himself.

“Today we both played quite nicely, and you know, the birdie we made at the start of play this afternoon, you know, that was big, because Hunter made a putt down the hill and Brendon made a putt on top of him.  That was probably the key putt.”

Brendon also said he felt like he wanted to prove to everyone that he belonged on the team and he sure has done just that. He credited playing with the veteran Els, who has had an incredibly calming effect on the Presidents Cup rookie.

5.) Jordan Spieth appears to have found his game on Friday: Spieth and his partner Steve Stricker are 3 up with four to play (five-under through 14 holes), so if they halve the next hole tomorrow morning, they are dormie and will walk away with at least half a point.

Stricker and Spieth won an important point on the 18th hole in Thursday’s fourball session, with Stricker doing most of the work, but in alternate shot, it’s definitely a complete team effort.

After the rain delay, Stricker made a birdie on no. 10 and then Spieth rolled in his own on no. 12 — the 20-year-old rookie seems to really, really enjoy that hole (unlike most players — it’s an extremely challenging one).

“(Jordan’s putt on 12) was key and he made a nice putt at 8,” said Stricker on keeping their momentum rolling. “He made a nice 15-footer at 8 to win that hole, and yeah, so we’ve been putting the pressure on them all day and we’ve just got to finish it off.”

******

Finally, the scoreboard at the moment…

scoreboard

 

TOTAL SCORE: PARTIAL

United States 4.5, Internationals 3.5

Second Day – PARTIAL SCORES

Foursomes – United States 1, Internationals 1

Completed Matches

Match 7     Phil Mickelson/Keegan Bradley (U.S.) defeated  Jason Day/Graham DeLaet(International), 4 and 3

Match 8     Ernie Els/Brendon de Jonge (International) defeated Bill Haas/Hunter Mahan (U.S.), 4 and 3

 

In Progress Matches

Match 9     Steve Stricker/Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 3-up thru 14 on Branden Grace/Richard Sterne(International)

Match 10 Angel Cabrera/Marc Leishman (International) 1-up thru 13 on Webb Simpson/Brandt Snedeker (U.S.)

Match 11 Matt Kuchar/Tiger Woods (U.S.) 3-up thru 12 on Louis Oosthuizen/Charl Schwartzel (International)

Match 12  Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (International) 4-up thru 11 on Zach Johnson/Jason Dufner (U.S.)

Note: Presidents Cup rookies (11) are in bold

******

Updated individual player records

 

International Team

 

Angel Cabrera

4-7-3 (The Presidents Cup: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013)

1-4-2 (Four-Ball)

1-3-0 (Foursomes)

2-0-1 (Singles)

 

Jason Day

2-4-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)

2-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-2-1 (Foursomes)

0-1-0 (Singles)

 

Brendon de Jonge

1-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

1-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Graham DeLaet

1-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

1-0-0 (Four-Ball)

0-1-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Ernie Els

18-17-2 (The Presidents Cup: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

8-6-1 (Four-Ball)

7-7-1 (Foursomes)

3-4-1 (Singles)

 

Branden Grace

0-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Marc Leishman

0-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Hideki Matsuyama

0-0-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-0-1 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Louis Oosthuizen

1-0-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

1-0-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Charl Schwartzel

4-1-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)

3-0-0 (Four-Ball)

0-1-1 (Foursomes)

1-0-0 (Singles)

 

Adam Scott

10-13-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

5-4-2 (Four-Ball)

3-6-1 (Foursomes)

2-3-0 (Singles)

 

Richard Sterne

0-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

United States Team

 

Keegan Bradley

1-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

1-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Jason Dufner

1-0-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

1-0-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Bill Haas

1-4-2 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)

1-1-1 (Four-Ball)

0-2-1 (Foursomes)

0-1-0 (Singles)

 

Zach Johnson

5-5-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2007, 2009, 2013)

2-2-0 (Four-Ball)

3-1-0 (Foursomes)

0-2-0 (Singles)

 

Matt Kuchar

2-3-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011, 2013)

2-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-1-1 (Foursomes)

0-1-0 (Singles)

 

Hunter Mahan

8-7-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

2-4-0 (Four-Ball)

4-2-1 (Foursomes)

2-1-0 (Singles)

 

Phil Mickelson

19-15-10 (The Presidents Cup: 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

7-5-5 (Four-Ball)

10-6-2 (Foursomes)

2-4-3 (Singles)

 

Webb Simpson

3-2-1 (The Presidents Cup: 2011)

1-1-1 (Four-Ball)

2-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-1-0 (Singles)

 

Brandt Snedeker

0-1-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

0-1-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Jordan Spieth

1-0-0 (The Presidents Cup: 2013)

1-0-0 (Four-Ball)

0-0-0 (Foursomes)

0-0-0 (Singles)

 

Steve Stricker

12-8-0 (The Presidents Cup: 1996, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

6-3-0 (Four-Ball)

4-3-0 (Foursomes)

2-2-0 (Singles)

 

Tiger Woods

21-14-1 (The Presidents Cup: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)

6-9-0 (Four-Ball)

10-3-1 (Foursomes)

5-2-0 (Singles)