After two days of the Presidents Cup, the United States have positioned themselves to win their fifth-straight title.
Play had to conclude early on Friday because of darkness. Only two matches were able to finish with the US and International teams splitting the results. It meant the US would be carrying a one-point lead into Saturday's play, via PGA.com's Twitter account.
Play halted by darkness at Presidents Cup, USA leads 4.5 to 3.5 with 4 matches to finish up early Saturday morning. #PresCup— PGA.COM (@PGA_com) October 4, 2013
The PGA Tour released what will be the tentative schedule for when the second round of play will finish off and Day 3 officially begins.
Saturday @PresidentsCup schedule: Restart Foursomes at 7:35a ET. Captains draw Fourballs at 8am. Fourball competition to begin 8:33a ET.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 5, 2013
Normally each captain will select his team's pairings for the next day. With Day 2 getting pushed into the weekend, it was decided that those pairings won't be revealed until Saturday morning, via Presidents Cup Twitter account.
[UPDATE] Captains will not do Four-Ball draw tonight. After Captain meeting, determined best interest of competition to pair tomorrow, 8am.— The Presidents Cup (@PresidentsCup) October 5, 2013
Here's a quick preview for what should be an action-packed day of the Presidents Cup.
When: Saturday, Oct. 6
Where: Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, Ohio
|Saturday, Oct. 5||9 a.m.-6 p.m.||NBC|
|Sunday, Oct. 6||12 p.m.-6 p.m.||NBC|
Presidents Cup official website
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How Will Friday's Matches Finish Up?
It could very well remain a one-point lead for the United States when the third round of play begins on Saturday.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley won the first match on Friday, while Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge leveled the scoring by picking up a victory in match No. 2. Alas, those were the only two that were able to get in before play ended because of darkness.
The United States are up big in two of the four matches. Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker are 3 up on Branden Grace and Richard Sterne going into the 15th hole, while Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar have a three-hole advantage on Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel with six holes left.
On the other side, the International team look to have one point locked up, courtesy of Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott's huge four-hole lead on Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson after 11 holes.
You wouldn't expect any of those three matches to change dramatically in such a small period of time.
The only match in doubt is Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker vs. Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman. The Internationals have a one-hole lead, so it's by no means safe.
Getting a two-point lead after two rounds would be huge for the United States, just as keeping the difference to one point would be great for the International team.
Can the International Team Take the Lead Going into Sunday?
The history of the Presidents Cup has been littered with American victories. Since the tournament's inception in 1994, the US has won a total of seven titles to the International team's one. The 2003 Presidents Cup ended as a tie, so nobody can claim that title.
It's quite a contrast to the Ryder Cup, where the European team has won seven of the last nine tournaments.
In order for the Internationals to end the United States' hegemony, they have to take the lead on Saturday. If they're still looking up at the US by Sunday, the Internationals are pretty much done. It's hard to imagine them overtaking the United States on the final day, on American soil.
Unfortunately for them, the US players are looking like a cohesive unit and captain Fred Couples has done very well pairing the right guys together.
Looking at Saturday's results, a team win for the Internationals is a bridge too far on Day 3.