JERSEY CITY – A report equalling win for Phil Mickelson helped the USA seize an unprecedented second-day lead in opposition to a floundering Worldwide crew on the Presidents Cup on Friday With an Eight-2 lead over captain Nick Value’s Internationals, the Individuals are greater than midway to the 15.5 factors they should win the biennial match play competitors for a 10th time.
Mickelson, the one man to look in all 12 Presidents Cups, rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th gap to seal a 1-up victory with Kevin Kisner over Australians Jason Day and Marc Leishman. The USA gained 4 and halved one other of the day’s 5 fourball matches at Liberty Nationwide Golf Membership, thwarting the Internationals’ bid to bounce again from a two-point opening day deficit. “A extremely special occasion for us,” mentioned US captain Steve Stricker. The Individuals’ six-point lead is the largest ever held after two days of the competitors, which sees 30 factors up for grabs over 4 days.
The US had led by 5 factors on the similar stage in three prior editions, most lately in 2007. With a 24th Presidents Cup match win, Mickelson tied the report held by Tiger Woods — who was watching on the 18th inexperienced in his function as an assistant captain. Leishman and Day had led from the opening gap by the 14th earlier than Kisner squared the match with a birdie at 15 — setting the stage for Mickelson’s heroics.
Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman — two Presidents Cup rookies — set the tone for the USA, thumping Charl Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri 6 & 5 within the first match to complete. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas then delivered a stinging three & 2 victory over the Worldwide powerhouse duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
The 2 South Africans had gained 4 matches on the 2015 Cup, and offered the lone victory for the Internationals on Thursday. For a time on Friday it appeared just like the Internationals might be turning issues round, main early in three matches.
“They simply have lots of struggle in them,” Stricker mentioned. “They hit some nice photographs, made some key putts once they needed to.. When that momentum will get in your aspect, you possibly can really feel it as a crew, and I believe that is what you noticed in the present day.”
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed rallied to halve their match with Japanese world quantity three Hideki Matsuyama and Canadian Adam Hadwin. Matsuyama and Hadwin have been 2-up with 4 to play. Lastly, nevertheless, they have been fortunate to flee with half some extent after Spieth barely missed birdie putts on the final two holes. And world primary Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka pulled away on the again 9 to beat Aussie Adam Scott and Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas three & 2. The US have gained 9 of the 11 prior editions, with one ending in a draw.
However after a slim one-point defeat within the 2015 version in South Korea, there was optimism that the Internationals might pull off the upset, and add a second title to the one they captured in 1998.
Value insisted it was nonetheless potential. “We’re solely 10 factors by 30,” he mentioned. “There’s 20 factors left. There’s lots of golf left.”