Presidents Cup Birdies and Bogeys: Friday

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Presidents Cup Birdies and Bogeys: Friday

October 09, 2015

Photo By: AP

Photo By: AP

Photo By: NOCUT

Photo By: AP

Photo By: AP

Photo By: AP

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: The International Team

We should all be grateful for the Internationals' 3.5 to 1.5 showing in fourballs, if only for restoring some relevance to an event that risked being devoid of any competitive worth after Day 1. In winning its first session since 2011, the Internationals pulled back to within a point and grabbed the all-important momentum factor heading into Saturday's marathon double session.

Birdie: Phil Mickelson

A lesser man would have packed it in after the unfavorable ruling at the seventh. Phil displayed admirable fortitude in battling back, and his holed bunker shot at the 12th was one of the more remarkable shots in Presidents Cup history. While there's still two days of action left, Phil has already justified his selection as a captain's pick.

Photo By: AP

Bogey: Phil Mickelson

The one-ball stipulation might be archaic, but it's far from obscure to professionals. "Rules is rules," as Bobby Bowden once said, and Mickelson dropped the ball, literally and figuratively.

Photo By: AP

Birdie: Sang-Moon Bae

Bae's conspicuous absence from Thursday's opening session risked alienating the home crowd. But the native South Korean (right), whose golf career is about to be interrupted by mandatory military service, made the most of his debut in the fourballs. His 12-foot birdie putt clinched a big point for the Internationals, and brought some needed life to this event.

Photo By: NOCUT

Bogey: Jason Day

Day upped his play from Thursday, rolling in the types of putts that stimulated his late-summer run. Nevertheless, the fact he was gifted a two-hole advantage at the seventh and failed to win the match is disconcerting. For the Internationals to have a chance this weekend, Day needs to get his game in shape, and fast.

Photo By: AP

Birdie: Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace

Break up the South Africans! Shrek and Grace won for the second straight day. While Oosthuizen's 60-foot bomb will make all the highlight reels, it was Grace that was the hot hand on Friday, dropping birdie after birdie with the flatstick. Oh, and Friday's butt-whopping came at the expense of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. Not too shabby.

Photo By: AP

Bogey: Golf rules and group official

It wasn't as bad as this week's Lions-Seahawks gaffe; conversely, this incident gets a "what the hell?" on two fronts. The first was the group official telling Phil he was disqualified from the hole, when, technically, he wasn't. The second: Common sense. Winning two holes...on one hole? C'mon. Throw in the undeserved indignation from the head rules official when questioned on TV by the verdict, and this ordeal gets two thumbs down.

Bogey: Adam Scott

We had an idea that Scott was going to struggle on the greens, as the Aussie made the switch from his long putter this week. However, these short-game woes, even by his low standards, have been amplified with Scott switching from cross-handed to the claw grip during his Day 2 match. Worse, these issues are seemingly affecting the rest of his game; Scott was mostly dead weight to Day in their match. Presumed to be one of the International team's frontline players, don't be surprised if Scott sits out in one of Saturday's waves.

Photo By: AP

Bogey: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson

To their credit, the duo won their first match of the event. Unfortunately, they could not replicate their success on Friday. After holding a 1-up lead through the first seven, Spieth and Johnson were smoked down the homestretch, ultimately losing 4 & 3. Spieth was especially out of sorts, failing to work his usual magic with the putter.

Photo By: Getty Images

Birdie: Bubba Watson & J.B. Holmes

The lone bright spot for the Americans on Day 2 was this powerful pair, which notched a second consecutive victory to keep the U.S. in the lead. This time they defeated Marc Leishman and Steven Bowditch in a match they never trailed. Holmes, a last-minute alternate to an injured Jim Furyk, has proved invaluable to captain Haas -- and he's showing that his great play during America's upset victory at the 2008 Ryder Cup (his only other international team experience as a pro) wasn't a fluke.

Bogey: Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler

After winning comfortably on Day 1, the most oft-paired American due of the past two years managed to do something improbable: lose despite never trailing in the match until after the 18th hole. In particular, Walker struggled with wayward drives (Captain Haas removed him from Saturday's foursomes lineup) and neither were able to find the fairway on the finishing par 5, which led to neither making a birdie to match Sang-Moon Bae. For all the talk of this pair playing well together the past two international team competitions, they've won just one match in six attempts.

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