Don’t concede this Presidents Cup to the United States just yet.
After a dominating start by the U.S. on the first day of competition, the International team rallied Friday to win three matches and halve another to cut the Americans’ lead to 5 1/2 – 4 1/2 entering the weekend.
In four-ball competition, the International team got a 4 and 3 victory from Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace over Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson; a 1-up victory from Danny Lee and Sang-Moon Bae over Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler; and a 2 and 1 victory by Charl Schwartzel and Thongchai Jaidee over Bill Haas and Chris Kirk.
Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson halved their match against Adam Scott and Jason Day while the lone American victory Friday came from Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes who won 2-up over Steven Bowditch and Marc Leishman.
In the session’s most peculiar twist, Mickelson and Johnson lost the same hole twice in their match, costing the U.S. side a half point. With the match square through six holes, Mickelson violated the one-ball rule when he changed to a firmer ball on the seventh hole.
Rules official disqualified Mickelson from the hole, assessing a one-hole penalty for the violation. Johnson made a par on the hole while the International team made a birdie, dropping the U.S. team 2-down after being even in the match one hole earlier.
Mickelson was not allowed to finish the seventh hole after the violation was discovered. Rules officials later acknowledged he should have been allowed to finish the par-5 after hitting his tee shot in the fairway.
Saturday Foursomes Pairings (Times EDT)
6:05 p.m.: Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace (Int.) vs. Patrick Reed-Rickie Fowler (U.S.)
6:16 p.m.: Adam Scott-Marc Leishman (Int.) vs. Bubba Watson-J.B. Holms (U.S.)
6:27 p.m.: Sang-Moon Bae-Hideki Matsuyama (Int.) vs. Bill Haas-Matt Kuchar (U.S.)
6:38 p.m: Jason Day-Charl Schwartzel (Int.) vs. Jordan Spieth-Dustin Johnson (U.S.).