Presidents Cup 2011: Matching Firepower for the Saturday Foursomes

Carlos TorresContributor INovember 18, 2011

Mickelson and Furyk have been a force to be reckon with at this Presidents Cup.
Mickelson and Furyk have been a force to be reckon with at this Presidents Cup.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Day three in the Presidents Cup means double session day. They will be playing five foursome matches and five four-ball matches.

That means that two players from each squad will sit on each session. And the performances of the previous two days helped the Team Captains in making their picks.

Today's matches are of the utmost importance. The USA Team enters with a seven-to-five lead over the International Team. With 10 points at stake it's time to put your best pairings together and go get them.

For the looks of the pairings in the foursomes, Team Captains Fred Couples (USA) and Greg Norman (International) are not messing around and are going all out in the first session.

By now all the players have played the course twice, and under different sets of conditions. And they have seen what each can do, so the study session is over.

It's time to go execute.

We already saw yesterday how all the matches were much more contested and were decided in the final holes. You can expect more of that today as the stakes and the pressure keep rising.

Here are the matches for today's foursomes:

Match USA Players International Players

Webb Simpson

Bubba Watson

Robert Allenby

Geoff Ogilvy


Bill Haas

Matt Kuchar

Ernie Els

Ryo Ishikawa


Hunter Mahan

David Toms

Retief Goosen

Charl Schwartzel


Dustin Johnson

Tiger Woods

K.J. Choi

Adam Scott

17 Jim Furyk

Phil Mickelson

Aaron Baddeley

Jason Day

The two players sitting the session for the USA are Steve Stricker and Nick Watney. For the International team it will be the South Koreans, Kyung-tae Kim and Y.E. Yang.

I believe the captains got it right, as they have been the players that up to this point have not been able to produce for their respective pairings, plus we will see the players that have been producing so far.

Couples sends Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson to the opening match once again. They have been playing solid and will face Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy. Both Aussies played very well yesterday, and will be trying to get the crowd going early with this match.

This opening match set the tone for the rest of the foursomes.

The only change in the USA Team will come in the second match, where Bill Haas will pair with Matt Kuchar to face Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa. Haas has been very steady and Kuchar played stellar yesterday.

Els and Ishikawa have lost twice to Simpson and Watson. On Thursday it was Ishikawa who was playing subpar, while yesterday Els was off his game. If both can play well it will be a tough match.

Hunter Mahan and David Toms get a rematch against Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel, this time in a foursome. Yesterday if they would have played a foursome, instead of four-ball, the Americans could have won that match, or at least came out with a tie.

That match will be key in the result of this first session as it looks like it could be the most contested.

The one where all eyes will be, once again, will feature Tiger Woods. He will pair again with Dustin Johnson and will be going for round two against K.J. Choi and Adam Scott. We all remember the opening day crushing Woods got from them.

Expect a different match today. Woods didn't show up on Thursday, but yesterday he was carrying Johnson through the field as it was basically a Woods-Baddeley match play.

Choi and Scott complement each other very well, and will not be an easy match. But the pairing in a foursome of Woods with Johnson will be different that in the four-ball. We can see how slowly but surely Woods' fire is coming back, and he has plenty of incentive to win today.

The most important match of the foursomes will be the last one. The top pairings on each side will face-off as Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson will play against Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day.

You just can feel the emotion that these two teams will infuse in the crowd with the way they have been playing. It will be key for each team as it will build momentum towards the four-ball session.

Furyk and Mickelson have been stellar and you can see their focus and determination on the field. Baddeley and Day are a great complement to each other. This match where experience meets talented youth will be worth the price of admission.

Live Coverage for today on the Golf Channel starts at 3:00 pm.

- Carlos Torres

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