Presidents Cup 2017: Live updates -- Daniel Berger clinches cup for the Americans with halve at the 15th hole
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Well, there's still 12 singles matches left to play, and the American team just needs one full point from them to clinch the Presidents Cup. It's a beautiful day in New Jersey at Liberty National, and despite the lopsided scoreboard, the crowds are out in full force, and they may even be graced with the presence of President Donald Trump.
There's still plenty to play for, and stranger things have happened in sports. An International comeback from 14 1/2-3 1/2 would be just about the strangest thing ever though.
5:44 p.m.: Fittingly, Phil Mickelson ends the Presidents Cup with a two-putt par to beat Adam Hadwin 2-and-1, making the final score 19-11 in favor of the U.S. It's the Americans 10th Presidents Cup victory, and seventh in a row.
5:37 p.m.: For the second straight day, Anirban Lahiri battles back in his match, this time earning a half a point against Kevin Kisner. It's now 18-11 with one match left to finish.
5:21 p.m.: Rickie Fowler, who was sent out last, finished off Emiliano Grillo before the two matches ahead of his reached the 17th hole. A 6-and-4 thumping that gives the U.S. another full point, extending their lead to 17.5-10.5.
At the 14th, Phil Mickelson continues to put on a short game show. He leads Adam Hadwin 3 up with three to play.
Mickelson's partner all week, Kevin Kisner, takes a 2 up lead on Anirban Lahiri with two to play. Looks like the final two points will go to the U.S.
5:12 p.m.: Another full point goes to the Internationals as Jhonattan Vegas defeats Jordan Spieth 2-and-1. The Venezuelan was one of the few bright spots this week for the International team, despite what his 1-4 record indicates. As for Spieth, he's now 0-5 in singles matches in his Ryder and Presidents Cup career. Shocking stat for the three-time major champion.
4:58 p.m.: Even though it's been clinched, there are still plenty of matches finished and ones still on the course. But the International team is attempting to make it respectable, with full points from Charl Schwartzel (1 up over Matt Kuchar), Louis Oosthuizen (1 up over Patrick Reed) and Adam Scott (3-and-2 over Brooks Koepka). Branden Grace was also able to earn a half point from his match against Dustin Johnson. This brings the total to 16.5-9.5 in favor of the Americans with four matches to play, three of which the U.S. currently leads.
4:27 p.m.: Si Woo Kim refused to go down without a fight, but Daniel Berger was finally able to close the deal at the par-4 17th and win the match 2-and-1. It's officially 16-6 America, making it officially time to pop bottles:
4:02 p.m.: With a par at the 15th hole, Daniel Berger halves the hole and guarantees at least a half a point for the Americans, clinching the cup.
3:53 p.m.: First full point of the day goes to the International team after Jason Day wins his match 2-and-1 over Charley Hoffman. Hard to believe, but it's Day's first won match in his last 10 Presidents Cup matches.
Berger and Kim both find the green at the 15th. Kim needs to make and a miss from Berger to keep the International team's slim hopes alive.
3:46 p.m.: While Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama's match has been impressive, so has the match between Daniel Berger and Si Woo Kim. Down three at the par-4 14th, Kim holes a 40-footer for birdie and goes wild. But Berger answers again, draining a bomb of his own. A win or a halve will at the 15th from Berger will clinch the cup. Impressive week for the Presidents Cup rookie.
3:42 p.m.: Kevin Chappel's birdie putt from off the back of the 18th green comes up juuusst short. Marc Leishman's slides past, and they halve the hole and the match to give the U.S. a 15-4 lead. They have at least clinched a tie .. for now.
3:34 p.m.: At the 17th, Marc Leishman struggles with the putter this time, and Kevin Chappell gets the match back to all square. Chappell can clinch the Presidents Cup for USA with a win at the par-3 18th.
3:30 p.m.: Shades of Firestone for Matsuyama:
The International team could have used that all week.
3:23 p.m.: Could be a little while before the Americans grab the clinching point. Kevin Chappell just three-putted the par-3 16th and now trails 1 down to Marc Leishman with two holes to play. Behind them, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama each lead their respective matches 2 up. Then there's Charl Schwartzel two groups behind, leading Matt Kuchar 4 up through 11 holes.
It may be Daniel Berger who gets it done, leading Si Woo Kim 2 up with six to play. If American fans are getting nervous, they shouldn't be. USA leads four of the remaining seven matches, including the second to last on the course. Phil Mickelson is in top form, leading Adam Hadwin 3 up after five holes.
3:10 p.m.: Don't you dare tell Si Woo Kim his team is 11 points down, and that he's 2 down in his match against Daniel Berger:
This Patrick Reed-esque shush came after Kim halved the par-4 11th with a birdie against Daniel Berger. Guy's pumped!
3:05 p.m.: The best match on the course has been between Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama, who have combined for 15 birdies and an eagle. This was at 11:
At the short par-4 12th, they matched with birdies again. Thomas is playing some great golf, but still finds himself 2 down to the No. 3 player in the world.
Marc Leishman's tee shot finds the water at the par-4 15th, giving Kevin Chappell and opportunity to square that match up with three to play.
2:50 p.m.: After sprinting out to a 2 up lead through eight, everything has gone wrong for Kevin Chappell. He's lost three out of five holes since and now trails Marc Leishman 1 down through 13 holes. The Internationals now lead all three of the first three matches, but trail in six of the final nine.
2:42 p.m. :Speaking of Si Woo Kim, he holes a birdie putt at the ninth, and it looked like he would cut Berger's lead in half. But Berger answers with a long birdie conversion of his own and stays 2 up.
2:40 p.m.: The Internationals are in good shape in the first three matches, leading in two and all square in the other. But Daniel Berger is building on his momentum from Saturday, taking a 2 up lead on Si Woo Kim through eight holes. If Kim can make a comeback, all of a sudden the International squad has a chance to grab a few points from the early matches. Anything is possible .... (kidding).
2:25 p.m.: Leishman and Chappell both hit it tight at the 11th and make birdie. Their match remains at all square.
All 12 matches are on the course, with each team leading four and four at all square. Internationals look to be in good position to gain the first point though, with Charl Schwartzel leading Matt Kuchar 5 up through seven holes. Pretty impressive stuff from the 2011 Masters winner, who lost 6-and-4 and 6-and-5 in his only two matches of the week.
2:11 p.m.: Wacky situation at the par-3 10th, where Kevin Chappell's tee shot found a TV tower:
After weighing the options, for an oddly long time, Chappell finally conceded the hole. He and Marc Leishman are now all square.
1:57 p.m.: Hideki Matsuyama has not been himself since the PGA Championship, but he's showing flashes of his mid-season form that saw him shoot a final-round 61 at Firestone to win the WGC-Bridgestone. Check out this absolutely ridiculous shot at the par-4 sixth that led to a birdie:
That gave him a 1 up lead on Justin Thomas. Unreal shot.
Kevin Chappell, who looked like he was on a mission to clinch the final point early, now just leads 1 up through nine against Marc Leishman.
Meanwhile, Jason Day grabs the lead in his match against Charley Hoffman. Internationals now have three flags on the board, including Charl Schwartzel's 3 up lead on Matt Kuchar. Can you say rally?!
1:40 p.m.: Like they have all week, the putts are beginning to fall for the Americans. Justin Thomas holes one at the fifth to square up his match with Hideki Matsuyama.
Up at the sixth, Charley Hoffman does the same, rolling in a long birdie putt and getting his match with Jason Day to all square. Of the eight matches on the course, there's four red flags on the board, three all square and just one Internationals lead. Hard to say, but it's starting to feel like the chances of a miraculous comeback are looking slimmer and slimmer.
1:24 p.m.: Seven matches are now on the course, with the U.S. leading in three and the Internationals in two, including Hideki Matsuyama's match with Justin Thomas. Matsuyama has won two straight holes to take a 1 up lead on the PGA champion.
Charl Schwartzel, who has struggled mightily this week, wins the first two holes in his match against Matt Kuchar. Could this be the day the South African makes it past the 14th hole? Off to a good start.
1:01 p.m.: After pulling off what NBC analyst Johnny Miller called a "10 out of 10" shot, Marc Leishman can't convert on his short eagle putt at the par-5 fourth. Kevin Chappell gets up and down to match his birdie, halve the hole and keep his 2 up lead.
At the second, Matsuyama two putts for birdie and putts the pressure on Thomas, who had just hit a poor chip shot, leaving him a long putt for birdie to halve the hole. No problem for JT, who knocked it in to stay 1 up.
12:43 p.m.: Kevin Chappell is wasting no time trying to grab the point he and Charley Hoffman missed out on late Saturday afternoon to close out the International team. He makes birdie at the par-4 third to take a 2 up lead on Marc Leishman.
12:40 p.m.: The third match of the day is off, and Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama each hit their approach shots close. Matsuyama's putt missed, and Thomas pours his birdie in to take a 1 up lead. The Americans lead two of three matches early.
12:30 p.m.: Jason Day plays an absolutely perfect hole, finding the fairway with his drive and sticking his approach to gimme range. Charley Hoffman concedes, and Day takes a 1 up lead. Perhaps some momentum for the International team? Not quite.
Up ahead at the par-5 second, Kevin Chappell holes out from a greenside bunker for eagle. He goes 1 up on Marc Leishman.
12:20 p.m.: Chappell and Leishman halve the first hole with pars. Jason Day and Charley Hoffman's match tees off right behind them.
At least Fred Couples is doing his best to get the people going:
12:09 p.m.: The first match is underway, and it's off to an ugly start. Kevin Chappell and Marc Leishman both pull their drives well left on the first hole, but each stayed dry.
6:11 p.m.: And in a showing of sportsmanship, Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman conceded a 2-footer for par to Anirban Lahiri, which locks up the 1-up victory for the Internationals.
That's the only full point the Internationals have earned all Saturday, and it guarantees that Sunday will matter, albeit just to maintain a statistical chance. The Internationals would need to sweep all 12 singles matches on Sunday to win the Cup.
At least, it'll add a little intrigue to the matches on Sunday. Still, it was an entertaining Saturday -- with rules fiascos, hilarious celebrations from Justin Thomas and Hoffman/Chappell and a ton of American birdies.
Let's hope for the same tomorrow.
5:57 p.m.: Everything is happening now in this Lahiri/Kim vs. Hoffman/Chappell match.
And then, this:
Look at Chappell's caddie!
The Internationals maintain a 1-up leading heading to the final hole, locking up at least a half point.
We saw four POOR shots from these four on the par-3 18th hole -- it'll be a scramble drill at the last hole of the day.
5:50 p.m.: Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson have clinched their match, 3 and 2. Now it's all on Lahiri and Si-Woo Kim.
5:37 p.m.: Anirban Lahiri just rolled in a 16-footer for birdie at the 16th hole to give the International squad a lead for the first time in about an hour. Lahiri and Kim are now 1-up on Hoffman and Chappell.
The Internationals need that point to keep the outcome mathematically possible tomorrow.
5:31 p.m.: Si-Woo Kim just birdied the par-4 15th hole to square up the match against Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell. That's looking like the International side's best chances of trying to prevent the Americans from clinching the Cup today.
The match heads to the par-3 16th with some pressure on the International duo to earn some points for their team to avoid the guaranteed loss.
5:20 p.m.: It's looking more and more possible that this could be wrapped up after today.
Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are 2-up playing the 15th hole, and Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell are 1-up with four to play.
That possibility will make for an awkward Sunday, with the Cup already clinched by the Americans. There's still a chance the Internationals can eek out a halve in one of these matches. Anirban Lahiri and Si-Woo Kim are the best chance for the Internationals against Hoffman and Chappell.
5:01 p.m.: The U.S. has wrapped two more full points with victories by Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed (2 and 1) and Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger (3 and 2).
Make that 13 1/2 to 2 1/5. Ouch.
And there's this... double ouch.
4:54 p.m.: A par make by Charley Hoffman on the 13th hole has put the Americans 1-up in the only match that the Internationals didn't trail in. Ouch.
That's now leads in all four matches for the Americans. This could be really be clinched on Saturday.
4:50 p.m.: What started out as a promising session for the International team hasn't stayed that way.
The Americans lead in three matches now, with Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman AS against Anirban Lahiri and Si-Woo Kim through 12. That lead was 2-up for the Internationals at one point.
The most impressive comeback is Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger reversing what was a 3-up lead for the International team of Hideki Matsuyama and Jhonattan Vegas. JT and Berger are now 2-up with 3 to play.
4:30 p.m.: Justin Thomas continues the dramatics for Team USA. And his latest highlight comes again at the 14th hole -- the site of where he holed his bunker shot yesterday.
Is that any good? What a performance thus far this week by the Player of the Year. It's tough to argue with anyone who calls JT the best player in the world right now.
4:07 p.m.: People are weighing in on the Spieth penalty. And fans aren't happy with the result.
Even though Oosthuizen's ball was rolling way past the hole, with Day was out of the hole, Spieth picking up Oosthuizen's ball while it was moving is still a loss of hole in match play. For better or for worse.
3:45 p.m.: Spieth and the Americans are disqualified from a hole for picking up a moving ball, even though a birdie had already been conceded. Rules of golf, everybody.
3:30 p.m.: The NBC crew is talking about the "tremendous growth" of Oosthuizen's beard, in case you wanted to know how the afternoon session is going.
3:26 p.m.: After stumbling the first five holes, Daniel Berger has roared back. Sinks a 30-footer to even things up heading to the 11th. Three matches are now squared.
3:15 p.m.: Louie knocks in a bird at the 11th to even up his match with Speith and Reed. Zero U.S. flags on the board at the moment.
3:10 p.m.: (as the winds crash the 10th) Johnny Miller: "Whoever hits first has no chance." Justin Thomas proceeds to stuff it to four feet.
2:57 p.m.: Internationals could tie the DJ-Brooks match with an upcoming birdie attempt from Leishman, and Day-Shrek are just one back of Spieth-Reed. They also lead in the other two matches. It's not interesting yet, but they're at least knocking on the door for the first time all weekend.
2:50 p.m.: Good for Jason Day. Backs off the shot at 10 due to the wind, hears it from the crowd. Proceeds to stick it to six feet. Day makes the bird to cut the deficit to one.
2:43 p.m.: Spieth rolls in a bomb for bird on the par-5 ninth, walking it in for the final six feet. Throw in the damn towel.
2:40 p.m.: Give Oosthuizen credit: dude is grindin' this week, playing a lot better than his record states. But to rack up the Ws, you need help from your teammates, and Shrek simply hasn't received said assistance.
2:32 p.m.: Let's take a live look at Kevin Kisner, who has the afternoon off:
2:23 p.m.: Spieth birdies the eighth to increase their lead to 2 Up. Not what the Internationals hoped for when pairing Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.
2:16 p.m.: Leishman misses a four-footer on the fourth, as DJ and Koepka take a 2 Up lead. Still early, but looking like the U.S. will only need to win two of the 12 Sunday matches for the title.
2:05 p.m.: Save for his miraculous recovery shot on the first, Berger's been all over the place this afternoon. Does right the ship with a birdie at the fifth, gets one back for the U.S.
1:55 p.m.: Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are 1 Up through six holes. Starting to think the U.S. has found something special with these two.
1:45 p.m.: The dream of closing out the match before Sunday singles is dying. Berger and Thomas are currently three down through four holes.
1:38 p.m.: Johnny Miller just said the key to fourball is having both players putting for birdie. I mean, he's not wrong.
1:20 p.m.: Hey, the Internationals are mounting a charge! Two flags on the early board. Granted, they're down nine points, but—like the small person in high heels says—every little bit helps.
1:10 p.m.: Hideki Matsuyama is up one with Vegas, not that you would know it by his play. He finds the bunker off his drive, and his second shot is well short of the green. Luckily for these two, Berger has already picked up and Thomas fanned his shot well right of the green.
1:03 p.m.: Both Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson begin the afternoon session with rockets down the first, while the International combo of Marc Leishman and Branden Grace find the hazard on the left.
12:44 p.m.: It may appear to be over, but we've still got four four-ball matches to go on Saturday at Liberty National. So far so good for the International team, who take a 1 up lead in the opening match thanks to a Louis Oosthuizen birdie.
The match behind them, Jhonattan Vegas and Daniel Berger match with birdies and it's all square through one. Berger's was a litttttle bit more impressive though...
11:35 a.m.: After Grace holed a testy par putt at the 18th, Justin Thomas followed up with a par putt of his own to halve the match. It's now 11.5-2.5 USA. The fat lady isn't just singing, she's screaming, begging and pleading for someone to call off the fight.
11:27 a.m.: Grace and Oosthuizen had a chance to win their first hole since the par-4 sixth, needing only a par at the 17th to take a 1 up lead. Grace missed, and they head to 18 all square with Thomas and Fowler.
11:15 a.m.: Kevin Kisner holes a birdie at the par-4 17th and ends the match. He and Phil Mickelson defeat Jhonattan Vegas and Emiliano Grillo 2-and-1 and give the Americans an 11-2 lead. If Oosthuizen and Grace can't even salvage at least a half a point, it'll be a clean sweep for the Americans in the morning session. Oof.
11:11 a.m.: Nick Price and Steve Stricker are in the media center announcing the Saturday afternoon four-ball pairings. Price picks four teams that are entirely new partnerships this week but Stricker decides to break up the Thomas-Fowler bromance and the Mickelson-Kisner tandum. (Mickelson and Fowler are actually sitting in the afternoon.) Suffice it to say, the mood for Price was sobering. Asked about trying to stay positive, Price admits: "It's very hard. These guys are trying. It doesn't look like we're trying but they're trying hard."
11:08 a.m.: Grillo and Vegas birdie the 16th to get the match back to 1 down with two to play. Back at the tee, Thomas and Grace both miss the green. Fowler and Oosthuizen will have a chip-off to see if anyone can break the tie in this match.
10:56 a.m.: Mickelson and Kisner are conceded a birdie the 15th hole to take a 2-up lead on Vegas and Grillo, meaning all three U.S. teams have birdied the hole on Saturday morning.
10:49 a.m.: You know things are going well for the U.S. when the TV commentator says: "This is the kind of 20-footer to win a match you like." Oh, and then Kuchar obliges by rolling in said 20-footer for birdie to win his match with DJ, 4 and 3, over Scott and Hadwin. U.S. leads 10-2. Time to break out to bookmark thesaurus.com to look for more synonyms for runaway.
10:30 a.m.: Reed-Spieth officially capture the Americans first point, closing out Day-Leishman 4 and 3. So the attention turns to Match 2 where DJ and Kuchar just went 3 up with four holes left against Scott and Hadwin. The International side is four over on the day, a score that wouldn't cut it against any competitor.
10:18 a.m.: Make that a 3-up lead with four to play for the Reed-Spieth duo with a par that wins the 14th hole. So much for Day-Leishman sparking the Internationals.
10:02 a.m.: Finally, a positive sign of life from the International team as Louis Oosthuizen rolls in a bomb of a birdie putt at the 11th to square the match with Fowler and Thomas. But just as that happens, Patrick Reed holes a birdie putt to give he and Spieth a 2-up lead over Leishman and Day through 13.
9:50 a.m.: The break for the Aussies doesn't pay off as they lose the hole to Spieth and Reed, who now lead 1 up. The Americans now lead in three matches of the four matches. Internationals desperately need to kick it into another gear to salvage this morning session.
9:46 a.m.: Jason Day's wayward drive at the drivable par-4 12th finds its way inside a temporary movable obstruction, behind a scoreboard. He and Leishman may have lucked out though, and they'll get relief. Leishman's approach finds the green and they will get a birdie look.
9:38 a.m.: At the par-5 ninth, Fowler's eagle-chip rolls out to gimme range, setting up a birdie and a win on the hole. He and Thomas take a 1 up lead, giving the Americans the edge in two matches.
9:24 a.m.: Grace and Oosthuizen make one ugly double bogey at the par-4 eighth, which squares up the match with Thomas and Fowler. Not long ago, the Internationals led in three matches. They are now down in one and all square in three.
9:20 a.m.: DJ drains a birdie at the par-5 ninth, giving he and Kuchar a 4 up lead on Hadwin and Scott. Don't want to say that one is over but.....
9:15 a.m.: After Mickelson puts one in the middle of the fairway at the eighth, Kisner stuffs the 96-yard approach shot to two feet, leading to a winning birdie putt. They square the match with Grillo and Vegas.
In the last match, Fowler and Thomas win the par-3 seventh with a par, cutting Grace and Oosthuizen's lead to 1 down. Team USA is beginning to gain some momentum.
9:06 a.m.: Jordan Spieth holes a birdie at the par-5 ninth and gets the home crowd into it. He and Reed have now squared their match with Leishman and Day as they head to the par-3 10th.
9:04 a.m.: With a par at the par-3 seventh, Emiliano Grill and Jhonattan Vegas take a 1 up lead over Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner. Meanwhile, Oosthuizen and Grace take a 2 up lead over Fowler and Thomas with a birdie at the par-4 sixth. The International now lead three of four matches.
8:51 a.m.: Leishman and Day get away with a halve after Spieth and Reed three-putt for bogey. That match remains 1 up Internationals.
Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar only needed par, but they got a birdie at the par-3 seventh, and now lead Hadwin and Scott 3 up through seven. As it stands, the Internationals are in good shape, but they'll need Hadwin and Scott to chip away and make that match interesting.
8:43 a.m.: Just when things were looking up for the International team, Day's drive goes way right at the eighth and Leishman has to hack it out into a greenside bunker. Behind them, Adam Hadwin and Adam Scott have gone 2 down and just found the water with their tee shot at the par-3 seventh. Not good!
8:34 a.m.: A few yards off the green at the par-3 seventh, Jason Day strikes a perfect chip that finds the cup for birdie. This forced Spieth to have to make to halve the hole, and his putt came up just short. Leishman and Day take a 1-up lead through seven.
8:16 a.m.: All four matches are on the course early this morning. And after rough International starts, three of them are at all square, including Day and Leishman vs. Spieth and Reed after the Aussies take the par-4 fifth. Right behind them, Adam Hadwin holes a birdie putt to square up he and Adam Scott's match against Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson. The Phil Mickelson/Kevin Kisner vs. Emiliano Grillo and Jhonattan Vegas match is also all square, and they are through three holes.
The International lead the final match after Branden Grace drains a par putt to win the third hole. He and Louis Oosthuizen take a 2-up lead over Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. Thinks are looking up for the Internationals … at least a little.
7:23 a.m.: In the second morning foursomes match, Adam Scott of the International side hits his approach shot into the water left of the green on the first hole. Seriously, was the six-point deficit not enough of a hole to dig out of? Hearing that traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike to Liberty National is suddenly turning around.
7:12 a.m.: Conversely, the Americans look like they're not resting on any laurels. Spieth hits his approach shot to four feet and has the birdie conceded after the Internationals needed 5 to get to the green.
7:08 a.m.: We said the International side needs a hot start, right? Well, Marc Leishman hasn't warmed up yet (it is 50 degrees right now on the first tee, so literally that might be the case). Hitting the opening tee shot in his foursomes match with countryman Jason Day, Leishman pulls his driver into the water after American Patrick Reed is safely away with his drive as he partners again with Jordan Spieth. Rut row!
5:27 p.m.: Phil Mickelson with an absolute dagger! Lefty bangs the birdie putt, Leishman misses, and he and Kisner take the match 1 up. It's now 8-2 USA after two days of play. Don't want to say it's over yet but, yikes. Going to be a tall task for the International team this weekend.
5:20 p.m.: Dustin Johnson finishes strong, holing a birdie putt at the par-3 16th to win the match. He and Brooks Koepka defeat Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Scott 3-and-2, giving the Americans a 7-2 lead.
At the 18th, Kevin Kisner's tee shot finds the drink, but Phil Mickelson knocks his on the green. Marc Leishman hits the green as well, setting up a putt-off with Mickelson for the match, unless Jason Day holes his greenside chip shot first.
5:15 p.m.: After Leishman and Day made par, Kevin Kisner and Phil Mickelson needed to save par for a halve at the 17th. Kisner missed, but Mickelson was able to convert, keeping the match at all square with one hole to play. For the second straight day, this match will reach the 18th hole. Been quite the dogfight.
5:06 p.m.: Dustin Johnson holes a 20-footer for birdie at the 15th and shows some rare emotion with a big uppercut fist pump. He and Brooks Koepka now lead Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas 2 up through 15.
Meanwhile, the Kisner/Mickelson vs. Leishman/Day match heads to the 17th all square. Safe to say the International team has to salvage a full point from that one.
4:46 p.m.: Jordan Spieth had a look for birdie to win the match at the par-3 18th, and it came so, so close to dropping. It lipped out and Spieth gets the par concession to earn he and Patrick Reed a half a point. A crushing blow to Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin, who held a 2 up lead with just four holes left. Americans now lead 6-2.
4:30 p.m.: A rare miss for Jordan Spieth at the 17th to win the hole. He and Reed halve and head to the 18th all square with Adam Hadwin and Hideki Matsuyama, who desperately need to earn a point for the International team.
4:27 p.m.: Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler deal Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen their first loss as a team in the Presidents Cup with a 3-and-2 victory. The U.S. has taken the first two points of Friday's matches, giving them a commanding 5.5-1.5 advantage. Do or die time in the final three matches for the International team. Must win (all three of them) is an understatement.
4:19 p.m.: The first point of the day goes to the Americans as Charley Hoffman bangs in a birdie putt at the par-4 13th. He and Kevin Chappell defeat Anirban Lahiri and Charl Schwartzel 6-and-5, giving the U.S. a 4.5-1.5 lead.
At the 15th, Louis Oosthuizen misses his birdie putt after Justin Thomas makes his. He and Branden Grace are now 3 down with 3 to play.
4:13 p.m.: Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace have done an excellent job of keeping pace with the strong pairing of Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, but haven't been able to gain much ground. At the 15th, Oosthuizen sticks his approach, and Thomas does the same right after. Going to be tough to even halve this match for the South African team, let alone win it.
In the group in front of them, Spieth drains a birdie putt at the par-3 16th, squaring up the match. All of a sudden, the match that the International team looked to have in hand now comes down to the final two holes. Spieth and Reed are in position to steal a crucial point.
In the final match, Dustin Johnson makes birdie at the short par-4 12th, giving he and Koepka a two up lead. The U.S. now leads in three matches, including Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell's match, which they lead 5 up. Things are looking pretty bleak for the International team, especially if Spieth and Reed complete their comeback.
4:01 p.m.: Patrick Reed's birdie putt at the par-4 15th finds the center of the cup to cut Adam Hadwin and Hideki Matsuyama's lead to just 1 up with three to play. Big finish coming up in this match.
3:54 p.m.: Justin Thomas provides the roar of the day with a hole-out from the bunker at the 14th for birdie. Unfortunately, it wasn't only good enough for a halve after Louis Oosthuizen converts on his birdie putt. JT and Rickie Fowler take a 2 up lead to the 15th.
3:35 p.m.: Brooks Koepka inject some life into the quietest match of the day with a birdie at the par-3 10th. He and Dustin Johnson take their first lead of the day and go 1 up over Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas. All five matches are now through 10, with the U.S. leading in three of them. Pressure is on for the Internationals to gain some ground.
3:24 p.m. : Boom! Kevin Kisner makes birdie at the par-4 11th to get he and Mickelson their first win of the day. They're just 1 down to Marc Leishman and Jason Day.
At the 12th, Justin Thomas makes a wild birdie after missing the fairway left. Branden Grace was able to halve the hole with a birdie of his own and stay 2 down to Fowler and Thomas.
Anirban Lahiri and Charl Schwartzel, who got off to a terrible start, finally show some life at the pesky par-3 10th, each stuffing their tee shots and making birdie. They are now 4 down to Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman. Lot of work to do to make that match interesting.
Just when Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed began to gain some momentum, they lose the 13th to Adam Hadwin and Hideki Matsuyama, who get back their 2 up lead. As it stands, both teams lead in two matches, while the DJ/Koepka vs. Vegas/Scott match remains all square through nine.
3:05 p.m.: Leishman and Day were able to save par, while Mickelson's birdie putt just slid by. The Aussies keep their 2 up lead heading to the 11th hole.
Up ahead at the 11th green, Louis Oosthuizen saves a par and halves the hole to stay just 2 down to Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.
Meanwhile, at the 12th, Adam Hadwin rolls in a huge birdie putt to put the pressure on Jordan Spieth, who stepped up and rolled his in as well. He and Reed remain 1 down through 12.
2:55 p.m.: The par-3 10th has wreaked havoc on both teams today. Neither of the first two matches produced a single birdie, and now the Jason Day/Marc Leishman vs. Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson match are struggling with the tee shot as well. Just one ball found the green, and it happened to be Mickelson's, who has a good look at the first potential birdie of the day at the 10th. He and Kisner are still 2 down.
2:52 p.m.: Here come Spieth and Reed! Jordan makes birdie at the 11th, cutting their deficit to just 1 down. Next up, the drivable par-4 12th.
2:47 p.m.: Grace saves par to keep he and Oosthuizen just 2 down. Needed that.
The American rookie team of Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman are playing like experienced veterans. They make birdie at the par-4 eighth and have now opened a 4 up lead over Anirban Lahiri and Charl Schwartzel. If the Internationals don't bounce back, it could be the second straight day Schwarztel doesn't reach the 15th tee.
Behind them, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson make par at the par-3 seventh to square up the match.
2:40 p.m.: The South African super squad of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace have been anything but super in Friday's four ball format. They've won just one hole and are currently 2 down to Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas. At the par-3 10th, Grace and Oosthuizen both missed the green badly and it looks like neither will save par. If they go 3 down through 10, their undefeated record together could be in jeopardy.
2:33 p.m.: Kevin Kisner makes a birdie at the par-4 eighth, but Marc Leishman pours one in right on top to retain he and Jason Day's 2 up lead.
2:27 p.m.: With Matsuyama and Hadwin leading the way, it's shaping up to be a big Friday for the International team. They lead in three of the five matches, and trail 2 down and 1 down in the others.
2:07 p.m.: Faced with an extremely awkward stance on the ninth hole, Jordan Spieth whiffs and falls into a bunker. "That's actually about the worst I could have done," Spieth said. No arguments here!
Well, actually, Spieth getting injured would have been worse. The young star plays on, but he and Patrick Reed are still 2 down in their match against Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin.
1:57 p.m.: Hideki Matsuyama makes another birdie, rolling in a long putt at the eighth hole to extend the Internationals' lead in the first match to 2 up. It's a great sign for captain Nick Price that his highest-ranked player is finally starting to find his groove. Now if Presidents Cup rookie Adam Hadwin could find his game, the duo of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed would be in big trouble.
1:35 p.m.: The boys from the bench of the Team USA team are off to a heckuva start. Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell are 3-up after four holes in their match ... and they're celebrating like they're veterans in this event.
The first-time Presidents Cuppers are in front big early partly due to the struggles of Anirban Lahiri, who has had a roughhhh start (rinsing his opening tee shot, then committing a rules violation after re-hitting a stubbed bunker shot at the second hole -- so he had to sit out the third hole entirely).
But Chappell's birdie at the par-5 fourth hole was reason enough to celebrate the way they did. This newbie team is providing a nice spark thus far on Friday.
1:28 p.m.: Could we have an upset brewing in the first match? Hideki Matsuyama birdies the sixth hole and Jordan Spieth is unable to answer from six feet. The International pairing of Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin grab a one-up lead against the vaunted U.S. duo of Spieth and Patrick Reed.
1:05 p.m.: We have a rules situation at Liberty National! And it's a weird one at that. After Hoffman's eagle putt was conceded on No. 2, Anirban Lahiri had to hole a bunker shot for the halve. He didn't, which ended the hole in a U.S. win. But then Lahiri pulled his ball back into the bunker and hit the same shot again for practice. While players are allowed to practice putts after holes are finished, they are not allowed to practice any other kinds of shots during the competition. What's the penalty? Are you ready for this? Lahiri was forced to sit out the third hole, leaving it all up to Charl Schwartzel. Pretty unusual, but also probably not a big deal considering the start Lahiri was off to. A quick timeout might be exactly what he needs.
12:54 p.m.: Charley Hoffman's tap-in eagle on the second hole gives the U.S. a quick 2-up lead in the day's fourth match.
It's an impressive start for Hoffman, who sat out Thursday and is playing in his first Presidents Cup.
12:48 p.m.: Jhonattan Vegas drains a birdie putt on the opening hole to give the Internationals an early one-up lead in the final match. Good thing, because the Internationals are already losing three of the first four matches. Again, it's early, but after falling behind 3.5 to 1.5 on Day 1, the Internationals can't afford another lopsided session.
12:40 p.m.: Matt Kuchar isn't playing in this session, but he's staying active. In the Liberty National crowd.
12:25 p.m.: Definitely some first-tee jitters for a couple guys playing their first hole of the week. Kevin Chappell finds the wate left and then Anirban Lahiri hits a snap hook into the same hazard.
We hate to say it, but for Lahiri, it was shades of the Players Championship earlier this year when he hit three balls into the water left on No. 18:
Poor Lahiri. His last shot at the Presidents Cup was his infamous three-foot miss on the final hole in South Korea. On the bright side, he's got plenty of time to create some better highlights this week.
12:19 p.m.: The Internationals grab an unlikely early lead in the third match thanks to a lengthy Marc Leishman putt. Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner aren't able to answer with shorter attempts. These two teams played to a draw on Day 1, but there was a lot of volatility with the U.S. leading by three through seven before the Internationals took two late leads.
12:09 p.m.: Captain America strikes! Patrick Reed drains a 20-footer for eagle on the second hole as the Americans draw the first blood on Day 2.
Reed and Spieth take an early one-up lead on Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin, who is making his Presidents Cup debut.
12:05 p.m.: The only match to end in a tie on Day 1 gets a rematch on Day 2 with Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner taking on Jason Day and Marc Leishman again. Like all the other matches on Friday, the foursome is introduced by actor and avid golfer Anthony Anderson. Pretty cool. Well, for the golfers who know his work. We're guessing there are a few players on the International Team who have never seen Black-ish.
11:57 a.m.: Justin Thomas finds the creek with his opening tee shot, but partner Rickie Fowler splits the fairway to bail him out. Moments later in that match, Louis Ooshuizen finds a water hazard with his approach. But teammate Branden Grace hits his second shot close. It's that kind of ham-and-egging that has carried the two South Africans to a perfect 5-0 record in this event. Well, that and the fact they're both really, really good golfers.
11:35 a.m.: Day 2 gets underway with perfect tee shots by Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Adam Hadwin. Guess that opening drive is a lot easier when three former U.S. Presidents aren't watching. Although, Hideki Matsuyama, going last, sailed one way right into a hazard. Not a good start for the World No. 3, who is coming off a disappointing FedEx Cup Playoffs.
10:35 a.m.: We are one hour away from the start of Friday's four-ball session. Here's a look at the pairings for the five matches:
11:35 -- Patrick Reed/Jordan Spieth vs. Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Hadwin
11:50 -- Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler vs. Branden Grace/Louis Oosthuizen
12:05 -- Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson vs. Jason Day/Marc Leishman
12:20 -- Charley Hoffman/Kevin Chappell vs. Anirban Lahiri/Charl Schwartzel
12:35 -- Brooks Koepka/Dustin Johnson vs. Jhonattan Vegas/Adam Scott
6:03 p.m.: Phil and Kisner didn't make a birdie on the back nine, and that costed them after a three-hole lead at one point in their match against Jason Day and Marc Leishman. Phil had a 7-footer for par to win the match at the 18th, but couldn't convert, meaning the U.S. will lead by two shots after Day 1 at Liberty National.
That's not a bad start for the U.S., but it could've been an even bigger lead for Team USA after Day 1. As much as it's disappointing for the Aussies not to take the full point, they'll probably consider themselves lucky for Phil not to seal the deal with the putt there on the par-3 18th.
5:54 p.m.: Phil Mickelson and Jason Day both miss the green at the finishing par-3 18th hole -- both in not-so-great spots. Day came up short in the thick rough, Phil's ball hit the green and rolled off to the right.
Kevin Kisner and Marc Leishman will have their work cut out for them to scramble for par for the match.
5:50 p.m.: An errant tee shot by Marc Leishman put the International squad in a bad spot on the 17th hole, and that led to a bogey -- which means we're all-square heading to the 18th hole.
Day couldn't make a 20-footer for par, so par wins it for Phil and Kisner.
Let's see who can make some fireworks happen at the par-3 18th hole (usually the fourth at Liberty National).
5:35 p.m.: That lights-out match between Phil/Kisner and Day/Leishman is nearing the end as two pars at the 16th hole will bring the match to the 17th hole with the International duo 1-up.
The way this has gone so far -- don't expect this to be closed out with a couple of pars.
5:27 p.m.: Anddd the Internationals are on the board! Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen earn the win over Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, 3 and 1, to put the Internationals on the board.
The most exciting match of the day now will determine how Day 1 ends. Leishman and Day are 1-up on Phil and Kisner with three holes to go...
5:22 p.m.: A close match between Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar vs. Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Scott went down to the last hole, but a halve on 18 gave DJ and Kuch a 1-up win over the Internationals.
That's a 3-0 lead thus far for Team USA -- but the Internationals hold the lead in the final two matches. They need to hold both of those leads to avoid going down back after the first session.
5:07 p.m.: The South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Brendan Grace went 4-0 at the last Presidents Cup, and they're off to a hot start here at Liberty National. They're now 2-up with three to play over the former Florida State tandem of Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger.
4:56 p.m.: This Mickelson/Kisner vs. Day/Leishman match has been electric over the past hour. A Phil/Kiz win at the 13th hole (usually the 17th hole at Liberty National) puts the match back to All Square.
That's the sixth straight hole that either side has won a hole without any pushes. They're all knotted up with five holes to play -- expect some fireworks down the stretch.
4:45 p.m.: That's two wins for the American squad from their young guns. Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed make the U.S. lead 2-0 over the International side with a decisive win.
How about this: Rickie Fowler is the oldest out of those four victorious U.S. squad members thus far. At age 28 -- this team is loaded with some young talent ... in case you never heard that before.
Of course, Spieth and Reed have been favorites on social media since their success together in U.S. team competitions going back to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in 2014. So cue up the memes after their W.
4:40 p.m.: The comeback continued for the Aussie super team of Jason Day and Marc Leishman, actually grabbing the lead after back-to-back wins at 10 and 11, but Mickelson and Kisner got one back at 12 to put the match at AS.
Then we were graced with this moment at the 13th hole with Kisner looking for a hero shot. This was amazing:
4:14 p.m.: The FedEx Cup champion and PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas remains the hottest golfer on the planet, teaming with Rickie Fowler to rout Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel, 6 and 4, to lead the matches.
The Internationals, though, are mounting a pretty strong comeback. The Mickelson/Kisner 3-up lead against Day/Leishman is now gone after another birdie from the Aussie duo after 11 holes. That's quite the reversal -- and it all happened quickly.
There are now three matches at AS, with Spieth and Reed still 4-up.
What looked like a rout by the Americans in three matches have been reversed quite a bit with holes to go in four matches on Thursday.
3:55 p.m.: How about this comeback that Marc Leishman and Jason Day are mounting? They've gotten the match back to 1-down after this amazing shot from Leishman -- and an even more amazing celebration by the Aussie ... with a Canadian, fan? So cool.
Leishman's one of the most down-to-earth guys you'll meet on the PGA Tour. And the fact he just celebrated with a Canadian fan after holing that chip just confirms that fact. Amazing from the winner of the BMW Championship earlier this month. That squad is playing well in trying to reverse one of those big-time outcomes.
3:38 p.m.: This is not an ideal spot to be ... Jhonattan Vegas can surely smell the sweet smell of the Hudson River playing this recovery shot.
That didn't go so well -- but to be fair, Adam Scott put him in that spot on the par-3 10th hole.
Scott and Vegas were the only International team leading in their match but not any longer. Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson are now AS heading to 11.
3:27 p.m.: Those two 4-up leads for the U.S. are down to 3-up leads, as Matsuyama and Schwartzel trimmed their match with JT and Rickie; and Grillo and Si-Woo Kim are no three bcak Spieth and Reed
But there are now three 3-up leads, as Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner have increased their margin over Jason Day and Marc Leishman. The Internationals are going to have to do some work to level one of those matches, or risk facing a big-time deficit before Day 2.
3:12 p.m.: It's getting dark early in the match of Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas vs. Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama. Rickie and JT are now 4-up through 9 ... and that's not the only match that's 4-up for the Americans right now.
The dynamic duo of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are also 4-up (through 7 holes) after winning four consecutive holes against Si-Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo. Ouch.
3:00 p.m.: Spieth and Reed have now won three consecutive holes to take a 3-up lead on Presidents Cup rookies Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo.
2:52 p.m.: Leishman and Day win their first hole of the match with a birdie at the par-5 fourth and cut Mickelson and Kisner's lead to 1-down.
At the par-4 fifth, the South African pair of Oosthuizen and Grace get second blue flag on the board with a par. They lead 1-up over Berger and Koepka.
Fowler and Thomas halve the eighth with Matsuyama and Schwartzel. They still lead 3-up.
At the par-3 seventh, Dustin Johnson holes out from the bunker for birdie, getting he and Kuchar's match back to all square.
2:43 p.m.: All Fowler and Thomas needed was a par at the par-3 sixth to win the hole after watching Charl Schwartzel's tee shot find the water hazard. They now lead 3-up through seven holes. Spieth and Reed also extend their lead to 2-up through five after making a par to win the par-4 fifth hole.
2:34 p.m. Finally, the Internationals get a blue flag on the board thanks to the Vegas-Scott duo, who just took a 1-up lead with a :birdie at the par-4 fifth. USA now leads three matches, trails in one and are all square in the other.
2:30 p.m.: Oosthuizen and Branden Grace earn their first win of the day at the par-4 third with a par. Their match is now back to all square against Koepka and Berger.
Right behind them, Phil Mickelson nearly holes his approach, setting up a kick in birdie for Kevin Kisner. Unless Leishman and Day can match, they'll likely be 2-down after three holes.
At the par-5 fourth, Patrick Reed ropes a 308-yard 3-wood on the green, leading to a two-putt birdie. Si Woo Kim's short birdie putt just slid by and now they trail 1-down.
2:21 p.m.: Marc Leishman holes a big birdie butt for a halve at the par-5 second. He and Jason Day are 2-down to Mickelson and Kisner.
After going 1-down through two, Fowler and Thomas have won three consecutive holes to take a 2-up lead on Matsuyama and Schwartzel through five holes.
2:15 p.m.: Kuchar rolls in a birdie putt at the par-5 fourth and now he and Dustin Johnson are all square with Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas. Team USA now leads in three matches and are all square in the other two.
1:58 p.m.: The last match is off the tee -- and it has left Jason Day with a start he couldn't have expected when he was envisioning playing this opening hole. Marc Leishman's tee shot found the water at the club's usual fifth hole -- so J-Day was hitting a third shot after dropping from the water hazard.
Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner are looking good to pick one up on the opening hole.
Phil was also looking good -- well, his camera work wasn't -- in an amazing selfie he took with the presidents before his match kicked off. This is a legendary one.
1:46 p.m.: Rickie just provided the (early, yes very early) highlight of the day so far at Liberty National. And his reaction might've been even better than the hole-out.
This just evened the match with him and JT vs. Matusyama and Schwartzel. Classy stuff.
You gotta love Rickie waving to JT after the hole-out. Yep, that was pretty decent, Rickie ... well-done. That came at a clutch time to put the match back to AS.
1:42 p.m.: The dynamic duo of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth are back! But it wasn't exactly the start they had in mind. Reed's first tee shot (at the club's normal fifth hole) went way left -- thankfully coming to rest in a spot where Spieth could play from. Spieth did well to reach the green to scramble for a par and avoid dropping a shot after one hole.
Unfortunately, for the rest of the matches, it hasn't gone that way so far.
Thomas and Fowler went down one early to Schwartzel and Matsuyama after the Internationals won the second hole, and Vegas jarred another birdie putt to put his team 2-up on DJ and Kuchar after two.
1:28 p.m.: The Internationals draw first blood -- Jhonattan Vegas drained a long birdie putt to give him and Adam Scott and early 1-up lead against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar.
Vegas, a rookie in the competition, is showing no signs of Presidents Cup jitters thus far -- as he hit the opening tee shot and drained the first birdie putt for the International squad.
1:05 p.m.: The alternate-shot match is underway with Rickie Fowler striping his driver down the middle of the fairway at the tough opening hole. Charl Schwartzel, who hit the first ball, saw his driver go way right.
But Hideki Matsuyama found the back portion of the green, and Justin Thomas and Rickie couldn't convert for birdie, so the first match is AS after one.
12:50 p.m. First-tee ceremonies are officially underway! This is the first time three past presidents have attended the Presidents Cup at the first tee. Really a special moment with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama overseeing the opening tee shots at Liberty National.
Country-music singer Darius Rucker sang the national anthem at Liberty National. One of the big storylines coming into the week was whether there would be any sort of protest by the U.S. or International players, as we saw in the NFL last weekend, during the national anthem. U.S. captain Steve Stricker said his team would stand, and that they did.
Here are the opening pairings for Day 1's foursomes. The first match-up might be the most intriguing, with strong teams from both squads: Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel against Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler.
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