It was business as usual for the United States, which rolled to a 4-1 lead over the International team after opening day foursomes play in the 11th Presidents Cup at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club-Korea in Incheon, South Korea.
The Americans lead the series, 8-1-1, with their only defeat coming in 1998 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.
“I think they all realize it’s a long series right now,” U.S. Captain Jay Haas cautioned. “Kind of like shooting a low round in the first round of a tournament. There’s a lot of golf to be played. So I don’t think that anybody’s getting too giddy.”
Rickie Fowler of Murrieta and Jimmy Walker got the U.S. going with a 5-and-4 victory over Anirban Lahiri of India and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.
“I feel like we all fed off each other and it was a really good start to the week,” Fowler said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes defeated Adam Scott of Australia and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, 3 and 2; Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson beat Australians Jason Day and Steven Bowditch, 2 up, and Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson downed Danny Lee of New Zealand and Marc Leishman of Australia, 4 and 3.
The Internationals earned their only point when South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace beat Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed, 3 and 2.
Bill Haas and Chris Kirk sat out the first day of play for the Americans, while Charles Schwartzel of South Africa, who was ill, and Sangmoon Bae of South Korea did not play for the Internationals.
In Friday fourball play, Spieth and Johnson will play Oosthuizen and Grace, Fowler and Walker meet Lee and Bae, Johnson and Mickelson go against Day and Scott, Holmes and Watson take on Leishman and Bowditch, and Haas and Kirk will face Jaidee and Schwartzel.