Some similarities to Medinah.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 24, 2022
2012, Europeans win last 2 matches in Saturday afternoon four-ball, cut lead to 4 points, DL3 is US captain
2022, Internationals win last 2 matches in Saturday afternoon four-ball, cut lead to 4 points, DL3 is US captain
2022 Presidents Cup scores, results, standings: Tom Kim steps up as international team rallies on Day 3
The international team has made things interesting at Quail Hollow heading into the final day of action on Sunday
There are a thousand reasons why, through three days of the 2022 Presidents Cup, the United States is likely well on its way to a ninth victory in a row at this event. The most important one -- and the through line for Davis Love III's squad -- is a twosome that finished first on Saturday afternoon and will take a perfect record into Sunday's singles matches.
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth played 64 holes over the first four sessions at Quail Hollow Golf Club and trailed after just two of them. In fact, the duo was 4 UP for as many holes (2) as it trailed, and it was 3 UP or better for more holes than it trailed or was tied. That's difficult to do across any series of matches, but even more so against a handful of the best players in the world.
Spieth chipped in against Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith on Saturday afternoon to touch off a 2-0-0 day that started nine hours earlier when the twosome went out against Sungjae Im and Corey Conners in foursomes. They won both matches 4 and 3, and at the time they finished their afternoon match had won as many points (4) as the entire International team, which is made up of the best players from every country of the world outside of Europe.
They are the first pairing in Presidents Cup history to to 4-0-0 in a single week without letting a single match get to the 18th hole.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 24, 2022
Their point in the afternoon session is the only one the Americans were able to secure. It was a big one -- 11-7 is a lot different than 10-8 -- especially with the horses the U.S. can send out early in the singles matches.
Incredibly, Thomas ran his team play record to 16-4-3 in Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups, and his rip-roaring, club-twirling show remains the epicenter of all U.S. teams, no matter the event. Still, it was Spieth who picked him up in the afternoon with six birdies, including that closing chip in which he had caddie Michael Greller pull the stick and put it right in the middle of the cup.
It gets a bit lost because the "these guys are best friends" rhetoric (and subsequent mockery of that easy narrative) drowns out everything else, but Spieth and Thomas have been awesome together in team events. They went 3-1-0 at the 2018 Ryder Cup, 1-1-0 at last year's Ryder Cup and then 4-0-0 this time around at Quail Hollow, which makes their overall team match play record 8-2-0. Their only team losses together are to Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood at the 2018 Ryder Cup, and to Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia at the 2021 Ryder Cup.
You can point to any number of advantages the U.S. enjoys at the Presidents Cup -- better overall players, more length off the tee, a course where they thrive -- but I keep coming back to this duo and its importance to the vitality of the U.S team. There's nothing like having a pairing you can send out at any time against any competition and be assured that you're going to get a war (and probably a point). Spieth and Thomas are those guys on this team, and they held the rope on a Saturday when the other 10 Americans certainly needed it.
Here is a breakdown of each match from the four-ball session on Day 3 of the 2022 Presidents Cup.
2022 Presidents Cup scores, results
USA: 11 | Internationals: 7
Day 3 -- Four-ball: Internationals 3 | USA 1
|Match||United States||Tee time||International|
Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele
WIN 1 UP
Tom Kim & Si Woo Kim
Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas
Taylor Pendrith & Hideki Matsuyama
Tony Finau & Kevin Kisner
Sungjae Im & Sebastian Munoz
Billy Horschel & Sam Burns
WIN 1 UP
Adam Scott & Cam Davis
Day 3 -- Foursomes: USA 2 | Internationals: 2
|Match||United States||Tee time||International|
Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas
Sungjae Im & Corey Conners
Cameron Young & Collin Morikawa
Adam Scott & Hideki Matsuyama
Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns
K.H. Lee & Tom Kim
Tony Finau & Max Homa
Si Woo Kim & Cam Davis
Match 1: Kim/Kim 1 UP over Cantlay/Schauffele
It was the match of the day and perhaps the match of the 2022 Presidents Cup as the Kim and Kim duo was electric from the word "go". Raising the roof and pumping up the crowd on the first tee, the South Korean tandem was able to hold its own against the American powerhouse of Schauffele and Cantlay.
The two teams traded birdies for most of the front nine. A mental mistake from the internationals on the par-3 10th saw the U.S. lead extend to 2 UP but was quickly rectified with an eagle on the par-4 11th – Tom's second of the day on that hole.
They kept their foot on the gas, and after exchanging birdies on the par-5 12th finally tied the match when Si Woo connected from 22 feet for another birdie on No. 13. Tom was set up to take control of the match a couple holes later, but he was upended when Schauffele converted an unlikely birdie attempt from off the green to retake the lead.
The American edge was short-lived as the internationals won No. 16 to draw even yet again. While the stage was taken from Kim on 15, it was his and his alone on the 18th green as the 20-year-old Korean connected from 10 feet to secure an all too crucial full point for the internationals.
Match 2: Spieth/Thomas 4&3 over Matsuyama/Pendrith
Expect anything different? At the start it felt as if vintage Hideki was going to be present after he stuck his approach shots on the first two holes. Converting the first, he failed to connect on No. 2 and instead saw Spieth take the hole from him and Pendrith. The putter was ultimately Matsuyama's downfall as he received little-to-no help from his Canadian counterpart.
Four birdies from Spieth and Thomas on the front nine was enough to command a 3 UP lead after the front nine. Steady golf from fended off any thought of a comeback from there as this group closed out their match on No. 15 -- just as they did in the morning session. The partnership improved to 4-0-0 on the week.
Match 3: Im/Munoz 3&2 over Finau/Kisner
If the internationals fall short this week, Immelman may hang his head wondering why he did not play this duo in foursomes. After tying Burns and Scheffler on Friday, Im and Munoz were at it again on Saturday.
Grabbing the lead with a Munoz birdie on the par-3 fourth, the two were in constant control of this one. Kisner was not a ton of help throughout the afternoon but did contribute an eagle on the par-5 seventh to draw square.
Im added birdies on the par-4 eighth and the par-4 11th to grab a 2 UP lead and Munoz broke the backs of the U.S. with one of his own on the 13th. A couple exchanges later, and the internationals closed the match out on 16. Im and Munoz played their 34 holes of four-ball together in 18 under.
Match 4: Scott/Davis 1 UP over Burns/Horschel
After shedding the partnership of Scheffler, Burns was a man possessed alongside Horschel. The men who played the Zurich Classic and QBE Shootout together looked right at home next to each other with Burns taking the lead. The LSU product carded three birdies on his front nine and had the Americans tied heading into the homeward half. Burns added birdies on 11, 12 and 14 to finally grab a 1 UP lead over the Australian pair.
Horschel had an opportunity to double the margin on the 15th but was unable to capitalize. This left the door open for the internationals, who stepped right on through with an eagle from Davis on the par-5 16th to draw even and a birdie from his blade on 17 to grab their first lead of the match. He added another on the last to play his final three holes in 4 under and make this Presidents Cup a legitimate contest heading into Sunday singles as the U.S. lead has been trimmed to 11-7.
Last 3 drives for Cam Davis:— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 24, 2022
No 4-point singles comebacks at the Presidents Cup, but it's happened twice at the Ryder Cup. 11-7 now possibly in play entering the final day.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 24, 2022
Cam Davis comes up clutch
The young Australian carded a big bird on the par-5 16th to tie the final match of the day. With two matches on the course tied, if the internationals can somehow win both, they head into tomorrow down 11-7 and with a chance. Pressure golf right now.
Im and Munoz win 3&2 over Finau and Kisner
Pretty impressive stuff from these two as they collected 1.5 points in two matches. They were 18 under in 34 holes of four-balls together and took it to the Americans when the internationals needed it the most. This could be a partnership to pegged when looking at future Presidents Cups.
Par 3s won this week through 4 sessions:— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) September 24, 2022
USA - 24
Internationals - 7