Internationals and U.S. mainly keep faith with Cup pairings

Fri Oct 4, 2013 6:58am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - The Internationals kept faith with the same combinations from Thursday's fourball matches while the United States made only a few minor tweaks for Friday's opening foursomes at the Presidents Cup.

With holders the U.S. leading by 3-1/2 points to 2-1/2 after the first day of the biennial team competition, the Internationals are under pressure to flourish in an alternate-shot format which has traditionally been their Achilles heel.

"It has generally been very hard for us in foursomes, it's the hardest format of the lot, without a doubt," Internationals captain Nick Price told reporters after he and his opposite number Fred Couples had announced their pairings for Friday.

"Alternate shot, you're playing basically half a round. But you know, the two guys, the teams, have to get on with each other and spur each other on. I can only do so much.

"We've got 12 wonderful ball-strikers. I'm not going to lose faith in those teams. I felt that they all played pretty well today. I've got confidence in our pairings, if some don't work well tomorrow, then we'll switch on Saturday a couple of them."

For the second day in a row, Price will send out Australian Jason Day and Canada's Graham DeLaet in the top match, and they will face Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in Friday's foursomes.

South African Ernie Els and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge take on Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan before South Africans Branden Grace and Richard Sterne meet veteran Steve Stricker and 20-year-old Cup rookie Jordan Spieth.


International team captain Nick Price (L) poses next to the Presidents Cup with U.S. team captain Fred Couples before first round play begins in the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes