By The Armchair Golfer
THE U.S. TEAM TOOK a one-point lead over the International squad on Day 1 of the Presidents Cup at Harding Park in San Francisco. Thursday was Foursomes—also known as alternate shot—and all but one of the matches were competitive. On Friday the teams will compete in Four-Ball (best-ball) matches.
Americans Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker romped to a 6 and 4 win over Internationals Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa by making every putt they looked at. Or at least it seemed that way. Anthony Kim and Phil Mickelson and Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson also won for the U.S. side.
Partnering with Ernie Els, Adam Scott holed the winning putt to earn a point against Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair. Vijay Singh and Robert Allenby also got a point for the Internationals. The final match of the day was halved when American Justin Leonard rimmed out a three-foot putt on the 18th hole.
Here’s what I like about watching the Presidents Cup.
I’ve watched a lot of tour golf over the years. I won’t say I have all the tour stops memorized, but I do know a lot of the golf courses, and especially their final nines. However, I know virtually nothing about Harding Park since the pros rarely play there. It’s interesting to watch them attack a different course, especially in a go-for-broke match-play event.
Match play is so rare on the PGA Tour and other world tours that I find it fascinating to watch. I know that, unless it’s the Ryder Cup, match play is a ratings killer. But that’s not my problem. I enjoy it anyway. There’s a whole different vibe. And also a different kind of pressure, as everyone witnessed today on the 18th green.
Ryder Cup Lite
The Presidents Cup isn’t the Ryder Cup, and never will be. That’s fine. The atmosphere is not as intense; the players are loose. It is what it is. I actually like seeing the players display some emotion, smile more and be less robotic. It’s refreshing.