Spieth, Johnson paired for Presidents Cup foursomes

Wed Oct 7, 2015 3:50am EDT
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By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - Danny Lee and Marc Leishman received the golfing equivalent of a 'hospital pass' on Wednesday after the International duo were served up to America's world number one Jordan Spieth and big-hitting Dustin Johnson for the Presidents Cup foursomes.

Thursday's opening foursomes, where players hit alternate shots with the same ball, also sees the Internationals' 2013 pairing of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama reunited to face Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes.

South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are up against Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed and Asian pair Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee play Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker. Australian duo Jason Day and Steven Bowditch will take on Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson.

The Presidents Cup, which is played for every two years by the United States and a team of international players minus Europeans, continues on Friday and Saturday with foursome and four ball fixtures before 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The United States have been the dominant force in the Cup, winning eight of the 10 previous editions with one tie. Their only defeat came in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.

After U.S. captain Jay Haas and his International counterpart Nick Price decided the matchups, it was the pairing of Spieth and Johnson that had the media buzzing at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.

Spieth, a captain's pick two years ago, has blossomed into the world's best player this year, claiming two majors among his five wins and ending the year with a flourish with victory at the Tour Championship last month.

Dustin Johnson returned to the Tour after taking time off in 2014 for personal reasons and had three top 10 finishes in the majors, including a heartbreaking near miss at the U.S. Open when a missed three-foot putt handed the title to Spieth.   Continued...

U.S. team member Jordan Spieth hits out of a bunker on the sixth hole as his team mate Dustin Johnson (R) looks on during the practice round for the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji