The question facing the two Presidents Cup captains as they made their selections for Saturday morning’s foursomes pairings were uniquely opposite. For Steve Stricker, he had to shake his head, think hard and wonder who do I sit out from the American lineup. For the Internationals’ Nick Price, he had to shake his head, think hard and wonder who do I actually play.
Not surprisingly then, the four matches will consist of some familiar duos on both sides. The U.S. will lead with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, who’ll try to make up for grabbing only a half-point on Friday afternoon. And in the anchor match, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler will see if they can continue the Baker’s Bay bromance and run off another blowout win. Mix in flat-liners Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar and the Batman and Robin combo of Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner, and well, Stricker’s work couldn’t have been easier.
For Price, it’s come to this: Despite having the No. 3-ranked player in the world, Hideki Matsuyama, the reigning Players Championship winner, Si Woo Kim, and a former major champion, Charl Schwartzel, two days of play at Liberty National suggests he can’t trust any of them if he wants to somehow rally and make the overall match a competition rather than an exhibition come Sunday. His hands tied, Price thus logically brought back the Aussie duo of Jason Day and Marc Leishman (who salvaged a half point together in foursomes on Thursday) and Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, who saw their five match win streak come to an end Friday, but remain the most reliable twosome Price has.
As for teaming Adam Scott and Adam Hadwin and rookies Jhonattan Vegas and Emiliano Grillo in the other two groups, should anyone question the decision, we’ve got to think Price would have just one response: Got any better ideas?
SATURDAY MORNING FOURSOMES
7:02 a.m.: Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed vs. Jason Day/Marc Leishman
7:13 a.m.: Matt Kuchar/Dustin Johnson vs. Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin
7:24 a.m.: Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson vs. Jhonattan Vegas/Emiliano Grillo
7:35 a.m.: Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas vs. Branden Grace/Louis Oosthuizen