Day 1 of the 2013 Presidents Cup was one of the most drama-filled days of the entire 2013 golf season. There were memorable comebacks, disappointing collapses and dominant performances, all resulting in a 3.5-2.5 advantage in Team USA's favor.
Which players are under the most pressure entering Day 2?
|United States||International Team|
Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan
During the first day of action at the 2013 Presidents Cup, Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan jumped out to a 3-up lead on the sixth hole. After Jason Day and Graham DeLaet brought the deficit down to 1-up, Snedeker and Mahan held that lead until the 15th hole.
From there, Snedeker and Mahan collapsed, and the U.S. lost the match.
That loss places an extreme amount of pressure on Mahan and Snedeker, who have to be feeling the effects of a disappointing final four holes. If that is the case, Snedeker and Mahan cannot allow that hangover to follow them into Day 2.
If it does, Team USA could be in trouble.
Snedeker and Mahan are two of the most trusted players on the American roster, which is what makes their late-match struggles so troubling. There's reason to believe in the American pair's ability to turn thing around and bounce back, but Day 1 was discouraging.
The pressure is mounting on Team USA.
Bill Haas and Webb Simpson
Team USA had two collapses during Day 1 of the 2013 Presidents Cup, and one of them involved Bill Haas and Webb Simpson. Despite owning a two-stroke advantage with just four holes remaining, Haas and Simpson ended up halving their opening-day clash with Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama.
That ended up being the difference between a 4-2 lead and a 3.5-2.5 lead.
With Team USA up only one point instead of two, the duo of Haas and Simpson will need to respond with a stronger performance. The key for these Americans will be to close out their next match as well as they opened Day 1.
After earning a 2-up lead after eight holes, it became a matter of Haas and Simpson being unable to shut the door on their opponents.
The International team tied it up on 11, but Haas and Simpson regained the two-stroke advantage on 13. After the International squad tied it up on 16, Team USA again took the lead on 17 but blew a golden opportunity to close out on 18.
It was a confusing day for Haas and Simpson, and they will feel the pressure the next time they're on the green.
Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman
Angel Cabrera is one of the most revered competitors in the professional golf world today. He's won two major championships and five European Tour titles, and he went to a playoff at the 2013 Masters against Adam Scott.
Marc Leishman is only 29, but he finished fourth at the Masters and 12th at the PGA Championship in 2013, and he won the 2012 Travelers Championship. With the rapid rise of Australian golfers, he is alongside Jason Day as the next in line behind Adam Scott.
Unfortunately, Cabrera and Leishman didn't put those world-class abilities on display against Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods.
Kuchar and Woods dominated the match, winning 5 and 4 en route to what was an easy point for Team USA. As Kuchar and Woods played a bogey-free round with eight birdies, Cabrera and Leishman often played it safe and failed to keep pace.
The International team is only trailing by one point, but if it's going to turn things around, it needs Cabrera and Leishman to step up on Day 2 and beyond.