Cumberland Times-News

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October 4, 2013

Americans hang on to take lead in Presidents Cup

Lead 3 1/2-2 1/2 after the first day

(Continued)

“I had good rhythm early on and when we went back out (after the delay), I was just a little bit tight and didn’t make very good swings,” Mickelson said.
The Presidents Cup began with fourballs for the first time since 1996, which should have favored the Internationals. Instead, the Americans won their first fourballs session in 10 years, dating to the second day in South Africa.
Still, this was a moral victory for the International team.
“At the break, I just spoke to most of the guys and said, ‘Hey, the U.S. has had everything go their way the front nine, and just be patient,”’ captain Nick Price said. “And what a comeback they made.”
Muirfield Village was set up for birdies, and there were plenty of them. Ten of the 12 teams were at least 8-under par in their rounds.
The exceptions were Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, who were only 3 under in the shortest match of the day. They lost, 5 and 4, to Woods and Matt Kuchar. The Americans used a handshake from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and they used it a lot.
“That was definitely all me,” Kuchar said. “That stems from ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.’ I figured this guy was the perfect Carlton.”
Woods turned out to be a decent partner, too. Kuchar was his 19th partner in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, and it was a solid debut. Kuchar won at Muirfield Village in June, while Woods is a five-time Memorial champion.
“We both have the low stroke averages in this tournament’s history,” Woods said. “Put us together and we feel very comfortable how to play this golf course.”
Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson in the anchor match were 3 up through three holes and never looked back. Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, the only all-rookie team for the International side, were 2 down after 10 and never got any closer. The match ended on the 15th hole.

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