THE PRESIDENTS CUP
Presidents Cup: Day 2 match recaps
December 12, 2019
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- December 12, 2019
- Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott put the first point of Day 2 on the board for the International Team. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The International Team still leads the Presidents Cup, but the momentum is with the United States.
The U.S. made three back-nine rallies, salvaging 2 ½ points out of matches where the International Team held a late lead. Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas holed dramatic birdie putts, and Fowler sank a key par putt, to allow the U.S. to crawl within three points of the International Team.
The Internationals will start Saturday’s double session with a 6.5-3.5 lead. It’s just the third time in Presidents Cup history that the Internationals have led after two sessions, and this three-point lead is its second-largest after two sessions.
Here’s a closer look at what happened in Friday’s Foursomes matches.
DAY 2 FOURSOMES
MATCH 1: INTERNATIONAL WINS, 3 and 2
Louis Oosthuizen/Adam Scott (International) def. Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (U.S.)
Holes won: International 6, U.S. 3
Holes led: U.S. 8, International 6
Recap: Kuchar got the U.S. Team on the board by holing a 13-foot birdie putt on the first hole. He made a 20-footer on No. 5 to give his team a 2-up lead. The United States was still 2 up after seven holes, but it didn’t win another hole the rest of the match. The International Team won three of the next four holes, taking the lead with Scott’s 8-foot birdie putt on 11. The International team tacked on wins at 13 and 14. Scott and Oosthuizen are both 2-0 this week.
MATCH 2: U.S. WINS, 1 UP
Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (U.S.) def. Adam Hadwin/Joaquin Niemann (International)
Holes won: U.S. 6, International 5
Holes led: International 6, U.S. 3
Recap: Cantlay holed a big putt for the United States, sinking a 14-footer for birdie on 18 to give his team its first win of the session. It was Cantlay and Schauffele’s first lead since the 11th hole. The Internationals had the early lead, winning the first hole after Niemann hit his approach to 8 feet. The International Team was still 1 up after eight holes, but the U.S. birdied 9 to square the match at the turn. The International Team took a 1-up lead with a birdie at the par-3 14th, where Niemann hit his tee shot to 5 feet, but they couldn’t keep it. The U.S. birdied the next hole, though, and added another at 18.
“It was a hard-fought match all day,” Cantlay said. “We played really well, both sides. Fortunately we came out on top. That putt was just a little right-to-left and really fast, so just had to get it started.”
Patrick Cantlay's clutch birdie putt on No. 18 at the Presidents Cup
MATCH 3: INTERNATIONAL WINS, 3 and 2
Abraham Ancer/Marc Leishman (International) def. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (U.S.)
Holes won: International 7, U.S. 4
Holes led: International 13, U.S. 1
Recap: Simpson stiffed his approach shot at No. 1 for an opening birdie. The Internationals won the next two holes, though, and were still 1 up after seven holes. Ancer holed a 40-footer on 8 to give his team a 2-up lead. The U.S. won the next after Simpson stiffed another approach, but Ancer holed a 10-foot birdie putt to win the 10th. The Internatioanls added wins at Nos. 12 and 14 to take a 4-up lead and guarantee at least a half-point. They closed it out on the 16th hole. Reed is now 1-5 in his last six matches in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, and Reed-Simpson is 0-2 as a team this week.
Abraham Ancer's lengthy birdie putt on No. 8 at the Presidents Cup
MATCH 4: U.S. WINS, 1 UP
Justin Thomas/Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Byeong Hun An/Hideki Matsuyama (International)
Holes won: U.S. 5, International 4
Holes led: U.S. 6, International 3
Recap: It was déjà vu for the U.S. Team as Thomas sank the same birdie putt on 18 that Cantlay did. This one, too, was to give the U.S. a 1-up win and flip a match that the International Team led on the back nine. Thomas and Woods hadn’t led since the sixth hole. The International Team took the lead by winning Nos. 6-8. The International Team regained its lead after An drove the green on the 11th hole, but the U.S. squared the match two holes later. They halved the remaining holes until the last one. With the win, Woods tied Phil Mickelson for most matches won in Presidents Cup history (26) and most foursomes wins (12) in Presidents Cup history.
Justin Thomas drains birdie putt to win their Foursomes match at the Presidents Cup
MATCH 5: TIED
Rickie Fowler/Gary Woodland (U.S.) tied Sungjae Im/Cameron Smith (International)
Holes won: U.S. 5, International 5
Holes led: International 16, U.S. 0
Recap: The International Team won the first hole and led the entire match until losing the 17th hole to a United States birdie. The U.S. won 16 and 17 with birdies after Fowler and Woodland each staked approach shots within 10 feet of the hole. The teams halved the final hole, allowing the United States to salvage a half-point on another match where the Internationals couldn’t hold onto a late lead.
“Momentum is huge,” Woodland said. “That was a huge half-point. Any time you can scrape out something; we did it. Now we have to regroup. We have 36 ahead of us tomorrow and hopefully go out and flip this a little bit.”