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The Tour Report

October 4 2013

11:43 AM

Foursomes a struggle for Int'l Team

Friday morning on-site update from Muirfield Village

Prior to the second day of The Presidents Cup, Mark Immelman and Fred Albers from PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM describe the format difference between Four-ball and Foursomes.

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

DUBLIN, Ohio -- In the previous three Presidents Cups, the U.S. has outpointed the International Team 25.5 to 7.5 in Foursomes. That includes a 10.5 to 0.5 thrashing in Foursomes in 2007.

On Friday, the Americans -- already ahead by one point after Thursday's Four-ball matches -- will look to extend their domination in the alternate-ball format at Muirfield Village.

The U.S. owns a commanding 58-27-5 overall record in Foursomes. Only once has the International side won the Foursomes -- in 1998 when Peter Thomson's team went 7-2-1 in the two sets on the way to its only Presidents Cup win.

The last time the Internationals won one of the two Foursomes sets was in 2005, when they opened The Presidents Cup with a 3.5-2.5 advantage after the first day of Foursomes.

"It has generally been very hard for us in Foursomes," said International Captain Nick Price. "It's the hardest format of the lot, without a doubt. Alternate-shot, you're playing basically half a round.

"But I think the individuals have got to get together... get with each other and spur each other on."

Price had hoped to use the switch in scheduling formats this week, in which he requested that the matches start with the Four-ball format, to get a jump on the Americans. It didn't exactly happen that way, as the U.S. grabbed the lead, but the Internationals rallied late on Thursday to at least stay close.

He thinks his group of 12 players this year can provide better competition in the Foursomes format.

"We've got 12 wonderful ball-strikers here," Price said. "I'm not going to lose faith in those teams, to be honest. I really think that they are all ready to take their games to the next level, so to speak, team-wise."

If the Internationals can just stay close to the Americans on Friday -- say, split the six matches -- it would be a moral victory.

"Even if it's a 3-all, that would be big for us," said Charl Schwartzel, who will team with fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen against Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar. "In the past, we've fallen a long way behind from the start (with Foursomes)."

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