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Presidents Cup 2013 Standings: Day 1 Highlights, Twitter Reaction and More

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 03:  Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team celebrate a birdie putt on the sixth hole during the Day One Four-Ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 3, 2013 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 4, 2013

It seemed as though we were headed for total American domination on Thursday at the Presidents Cup, but the Internationals used a weather delay to regroup. The Americans still wound up winning the day, though, 3.5 to 2.5 with clutch play down the stretch.

Thursday was the first of two fourball competitions in the event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. If the Americans don't win the competition, many will look back at the squandered early leads on Day 1 as the reason for the failure. For now, they hold the advantage.

Here's a look at the results from Thursday.

It takes 17.5 points for one side to win the event, and Couples' team got off to a fast start. Jason Sobel had a playful idea for Couples to explore in the event his team clinched the win before Sunday.

He was obviously a bit premature with is comment, even in jest. From the looks of the picture from Golf.com's Twitter account, three of Couples' biggest stars were loose and sharp the night before the event:

Woods and Dufner at least played relaxed on Thursday. The same can't be said for Mickelson. His team was one of the American twosomes that didn't win their matchup.

Match play is a different animal. Some players have what it takes to excel in this format, and some don't. Sobel reminds fans not to get overly excited about the Americans narrow win on Day 1.

Here's a look at who shined and who fell short in each of the six matches.

 

Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker vs. Graham DeLaet and Jason Day

The Hero—Day

Oct 3, 2013; Dublin, OH, USA; Jason Day tees off on the first hole during the Thursday four ball matches of the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

This was a hard choice because DeLaet was more consistent, but with the match on the line, Day won the 18th to give the internationals a huge point. It capped a big comeback considering the Americans actually led for 12 holes in the match.

Yahoo! Sports' Shane Bacon captures Day's clutch putt.

 

The Goat—Mahan

Both Mahan and Snedeker are equally to blame for blowing what was once a three-up lead. Day and DeLaet simply outperformed them with the money on the line.

 

Bill Haas and Webb Simpson vs. Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama

The Hero—Scott

Oct 3, 2013; Dublin, OH, USA; Adam Scott on the 18th green during the Thursday four ball matches of the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Without the Aussie's stellar play, Haas and Simpson would have run away with this one. Matsuyama did win the 18th hole with a birdie, but Scott's six birdies and an eagle kept the team in position to obtain the half point.

 

The Goat—Simpson

After a birdie on the first hole, Simpson wasn't a factor the rest of the day. Impressive play by Haas carried the Americans, but in the end Scott got help from Matsuyama and Simpson didn't step up.

 

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley vs. Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel

The Hero—Schwartzel

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 03:  Charl Schwartzel of South Africa and the International Team makes birdie on the 17th green to defeat the team of Mickelson/Bradley 2&1 paired with Louis Oosthuizen during the One Four-Ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Cl
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The 29-year-old South African had seven birdies on the day. He and his countrymen Oosthuizen took control of the match midway through and coasted to a win. Their play keyed the beginning of the Internationals' resurgence.

Randall Mell of the Golf Channel recognizes the South Africans giving the International team their first lead of the day.

 

The Goat—Bradley

Aside from an eagle on the seventh hole, Bradley didn't do much all day. The Americans will need a stronger effort from him over the next three days to secure a win.

 

Steve Stricker and Jordan Spieth vs. Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge

The Hero—Stricker

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 03:  Jordan Spieth (L) and Steve Stricker of the U.S. Team celebrate on the 18th hole during the Day One Four-Ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 3, 2013  in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Perhaps only Scott was as good as Stricker on Thursday. He had eight birdies, and his ability to save par on the 18th hole secured the match for the Americans. The official PGA Tour account admires Stricker's clutch play.

 

The Goat—Els

Known as one of the greatest match-play competitors in history, Els didn't make his presence felt until the 17th hole. He put pressure on Stricker and Spieth with a birdie there, but wasn't a major factor overall.

 

Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods vs. Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman

The Hero—Woods and Kuchar

Both men were solid, combining for eight birdies. They held the lead for 14 holes and were never in serious danger. Woods and Kuchar enjoyed the spoils of the victory Fresh Prince of Bel-Air style:

 

The Goat—Cabrera

Cabrera looked like a deer in headlights most of the day. He left Leishman all alone to battle two of the game's best players. He didn't win a hole all afternoon.

 

Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner vs. Branden Grace and Richard Sterne

The Hero—Johnson

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 03:  Zach Johnson (L) and Jason Dufner of the U.S. Team celebrate a birdie on the ninth hole during the Day One Four-Ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 3, 2013  in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty I
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

In a complete rout, Johnson's three early birdies established a lead that Grace and Sterne couldn't erase. It was never close as Johnson and Dufner played well, but Johnson deserves the recognition for shining when the match was still competitive.

 

The Goat—Sterne

Neither Sterne nor Grace was great on Thursday, but the latter put up a bit more of a fight. Sterne's bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5 helped to put the International team in a hole. Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press gives a hint as to how poorly teams of Grace and Sterne and Cabrera and Leishman played.

 

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