New year, new order, new first-day format. Same result.
The board is all red early in the first day of Four-ball action at the 2013 Presidents Cup. The American side leads in all six matches, and has pretty much from the first hole at Muirfield Village. The International team is not playing particularly poorly, but the U.S. team is firing darts into receptive greens and rolling in putts when they're not tucked close against the pin.
Graham DeLaet and Jason Day led things off for the Internationals, taking a 1-up lead on the first hole against Brandt Snedeker and Hunter Mahan. But the U.S. duo quickly got things back to square on No. 2, and then jumped in front a hole later.
That first-hole lead for DeLaet and Day has been the only time the Internationals have led in a match, and it lasted only 10 minutes. In every single one of the remaining five matches, the U.S. team took the lead on the very first hole.
It has to be a deflating start for Nick Price and the International team. Price lobbied the PGA Tour to switch the format from the more difficult Foursomes to Four-ball on the first day, the aim being to avoid the first-day deficits that have plagued the Internationals in recent blowout Presidents Cup losses.
Instead, the opposite has happened through the front nine of the first day and the Americans are rolling. Even this early in the session, it's safe to say the Internationals will likely be in another hole after the first day. Can they mitigate the damage and avoid a 6-0 whitewash? Here's a snapshot of the match board so far:
|Match Progress||International Pairing||USA Pairing|
|USA 2 up thru 7||Jason Day & Graham DeLaet||Hunter Mahan & Brandt Snedeker|
|USA 1 up thru 7||Adam Scott & Hideki Matsuyama||Bill Haas & Webb Simpson|
|USA 1 up thru 6||Louis Oosthuizen & Charl Schwartzel||Phil Mickelson & Keegan Bradley|
|USA 1 up thru 4||Ernie Els & Brendon de Jonge||Steve Stricker & Jordan Spieth|
|USA 1 up thru 4||Angel Cabrera & Marc Leishman||Matt Kuchar & Tiger Woods|
|USA 3 up thru 3||Branden Grace & Richard Sterne||Zach Johnson & Jason Dufner|