DUBLIN, Ohio (Reuters) - Key United States pairing Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley returned to winning ways at the Presidents Cup on Friday with a 4&3 win over Internationals Jason Day and Graham DeLaet.
The American pair won all three of their matches at last year’s Ryder Cup but began at Muirfield Village with a defeat to South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in Thursday’s fourball that stung.
“After losing yesterday’s match, our first match we’ve lost together, we were both pretty devastated. It felt horrible,” said Bradley.
“So we were ready to go out and win this match today and we played really well.”
A two-and-a-half hour rain delay in play meant that only two matches finished on Friday but the crowd were treated to some outstanding golf from Mickelson and Bradley.
Australian Day and Canadian DeLaet won the first hole with a birdie and they held the lead until the par-5 fifth when Bradley turned on the style.
Taking a hybrid, Bradley magnificently drove 273 yards over water to the green and Mickelson coolly holed the eagle putt from 15 feet to bring the match to all-square.
It was the turning point in the contest as the Americans won four straight holes to take total control.
“I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate‑shot, we complement each other so well.
“We both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other. And it’s fun to hit a 270‑yard hybrid to eight feet. It’s fun, whenever Phil is off the green, I half expect him to chip it in every time, he seems to come close,” said Bradley.
The pair made six birdies and an eagle and the only signs of vulnerability came towards the end as Bradley missed a short putt on the 13th and then on the next hole produced a wild drive.
But by then the match was all but won thanks to the scintillating front nine.
“It reminded me of The Ryder Cup last year, just kind of getting excited and hitting a lot of great shots and feeding off each other and never allowing them to get a hole,” said Bradley.
“If they were to beat us, they were going to have to make birdie or better, and we are very difficult to beat when we do that,” he said.
Editing by Gene Cherry