The United States stormed back from a rough start to the Presidents Cup, cutting the International team lead down to 6.5-3.5 through Day 2.
The world squad built its largest opening-session lead in event history at 4-1, but the Americans won two and tied one of five foursome matches (alternate shot) Friday in Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia. All five U.S. teams trailed at different times, but the squad showcased great resolve to fight back in this competition.
American player-captain Tiger Woods was the only winner on Day 1 alongside partner Justin Thomas, and the duo came through again with a one-up win against Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An.
The United States team has won the Presidents Cup seven straight times and now has momentum on its side going into the final two days of competition, but there is still work to do with a three-point deficit.
Day 2 Results
Adam Scott/Louis Oosthuizen (INT) def. Matt Kucher/Dustin Johnson (USA): 3&2
Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) def. Joaquin Niemann/Adam Hadwin (INT): 1 UP
Abraham Ancer/Marc Leishman (INT) def. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (USA): 3&2
Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas (USA) def. Hideki Matsuyama/Byeong Hun An (INT): 1 UP
Rickie Fowler/Gary Woodland (USA) tied Cameron Smith/Sungjae Im (INT)
Full results available at the tournament's official site.
For most of the day, it appeared as though the International team was going to come through with another dominant performance.
Though the matches were mostly close, the internationals separated themselves with their clutch putting:
No one was more impressive in this regard than Cameron Smith, who set the tone from the beginning of his first Presidents Cup match:
In addition to Smith, several other young players are on their way to being breakout stars from the world team.
Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman combined for six birdies in a win over Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson.
However, the Americans were extremely clutch down the stretch with Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas each making huge putts on the 18th to win their matches.
Woods and Thomas showed great chemistry during their win:
Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland then closed out the day by halving their match against Smith and Sungjae Im despite trailing for 16 of 18 holes. It was enough to finish the day even despite nearly losing as many as four or five matches.
The two teams will now prepare themselves for a busy third day of action with two rounds set for Saturday. Players will compete in fourball in the morning, followed by more foursome play in the afternoon.