It almost got ugly early at the 2017 Presidents Cup. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas dusted Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel 6 and 4 seemingly before anyone had a chance to settle in to watch the golf. The U.S. went on to win the next two matches that finished before the Internationals took one and split the last. The final result from Liberty National on Thursday was a 3.5 to 1.5 U.S. lead after the first session.
That’s bad news for the international team because the U.S. has never lost after winning the first session. It also has one of its deepest teams ever, and the Americans haven’t tasted defeat since 2003 (and never in the U.S.). This had the makings of a rout from the start of the matches on Thursday, and it feels even more like that going into Friday.
For starters, the international team has no answer for the heavyweight duo of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Those two, who didn’t even play all that well, smacked rookies Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo around 5 and 4 to claim point No. 2 for the Americans. Reed said afterwards that Spieth calms him down and reiterated the magic they’ve made in global team events.
“It’s easy to get going,” Reed told Golf Channel. “Driving by the Statue of Liberty, you have the national anthem right before I play; usually when I get to go on to that first tee, I’m hyped up, and this guy brings me down. He’s really calm and let’s me ease into it.”
Another dominant duo for the U.S. side was Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar. They beat Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas 1 up even though they didn’t make a single bogey on the day.
“These are really hard conditions,” Kuchar told Golf Channel. “Just found out that we were bogey-free today, which is amazing. In alternate-shot, in these conditions, not to make a bogey and for us to just win 1 up, that’s a heck of a battle that we had with those guys. They played some really good golf, and…