GOLF

USA top foursome on Day 1 to take 4-1 lead

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The 14th Presidents Cup kicked off at Quail Hollow Club on Thursday with five foursome matches.

The United States won the session, 4-1, to take the lead on Day 2, which will feature five four-ball (best-ball) matches. Here’s how opening day went in Charlotte, North Carolina:

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Game 1: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) beat. Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INT), 6 and 5

Scott hit the opener in those games and the International only had the honor for one more hole. Cantlay and Schauffele dominated this game from start to finish winning the third hole with a par and then birdying four times in a five-hole stretch, starting at the par-4 fifth.

Team USA built a 3-in-10 advantage and the veteran international duo offered little resistance on the inside half. Scott and Matsuyama bogeyed numbers 11-13 to give the United States the first point of the competition. Schauffele and Cantlay went 5-0 as a team in foursomes, in the Ryder and Presidents Cups.

Full score of the Presidents Cup match

Game 2: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) beat. Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (INT), 2 and 1

Spieth and Thomas combined for just two birdies, but they never trailed. It was a par, in fact, that provided the most thrilling moment of the game.

Leading 1 of 15e hole, Spieth’s tee shot on the par 4 went left, leaping off a hazard and into the deep rough. Thomas played a great approach shot that went across the putting surface (with the hole in front) and Spieth then nearly pushed the green back. Thomas followed by making the 27-footer for par.

It was also good enough to win the hole and go up 2. They closed it with two more pars. Spieth is now 6-0 in the Presidents Cup foursomes.

Match 3: Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA) defeat. Tom Kim/KH Lee (INT), 2 and 1

Young and Morikawa made it 3-0 for the home side, despite being the only American team to trail through the first four and a half hours on Thursday.

They bugged the second hole to fall 1 and the match was never more than a two hole difference. It was tied on 12 holes, when Young and Morikawa birdied the par-4 13e to take advantage of an advantage they would never give up.

Rookie Young sealed the game with a 26-foot birdie at 17e.

Match 4: Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis (INT) defeated. Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA), 2 place

This one seemed to be similar to Game 1: two good American friends routing an overmatched international tandem. Scheffler and Burns were 3 in seven holes, but Kim and Davis kept snacking.

The visitors won the 15e hole thanks to a double bogey on the US side then wins the 16the hole with a birdie of their own. Another birdie at 17e gave Kim and Davis a 1 lead with one to play.

Kim and Davis needed just one par conceded on the last hole to win their fourth straight hole and give the international team their first point.

Match 5: Tony Finau/Max Homa (USA) beat. Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira (INT), 1 place

This one was tight throughout and its result was huge for both sides.

Tied on 15 holes, Pendrith had to birdie 25 feet at par-5 16e to plug the hole. He did. Homa then had to do a 4-footer for par at 17e to plug the hole. He did.

Par-4 18e, Pereira fired his tee shot into the left rough while Homa found the fairway. After Pendrith placed his second shot in a greenside bunker, Finau played his approach safely to the center of the green, 25 feet to the right of the hole.

Pereira splashed 12 feet out. Homa missed his winning attempt, but secured par for his side, giving Pendrith a chance to tie the hole and the match. He missed, giving the United States a comfortable lead by entering four balls.

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