The Presidents Cup continues in Charlotte on Friday when the two sides leave the foursomes behind and focus on four-balls for a session of better ball action on a day where the Internationals need to fight back after a poor start to the competition.
USA lead 4-1 heading into the Friday four-balls and if they win this session they will be halfway to the magic number to retain the cup. You feel if they Internationals are to have any chance this weekend they have to win this session.
Jordan Spieth & Justin Thomas vs Adam Scott & Cameron Davis
Match tees off at 16.35 BST
The opening four-balls match of the Presidents Cup sees the dream American pairing of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas leading the way for USA when they take on the Australian duo who surely should have partnered each other on Thursday in the form of Adam Scott and Cameron Davis.
You would have to say that the American pair rode their luck in the foursomes on Thursday but got the job done and it will be interesting to see if they build confidence from the victory. In theory, the Australians should be a good pairing with Davis long enough to go after the course and Scott solid enough from tee to green to stay in play while Davis goes on the attack but the form of Scott on Thursday was a worry. He was ordinary at best and if he doesn’t stay in play then Davis is going to have his work cut out beating the two Americans on his own. I wouldn’t want to back Spieth and Thomas at the prices but I’m not really rushing to oppose them either.
Scottie Scheffler & Sam Burns vs Sungjae Im & Sebastian Munoz
Match tees off at 16.50 BST
The second match of the day sees the world number one Scottie Scheffler back out alongside his friend Sam Burns despite them being the only American team to lose on Thursday. They go up against Sungjae Im and Sebastian Munoz.
I think heading into the week the big question was how Trevor Immelman was going to get the Colombian into the battle and who he would partner him with and having him with Im makes a lot of sense because the Korean doesn’t do too much wrong and should be in play on most of the holes to allow Munoz some freedom to go and attack the golf course which is when he plays his best golf. Pairing Scheffler and Burns up again seems to be a call to put right what went wrong on Thursday. I think they win this but they’ll need to play a lot better than they did and as a result I’m happy to let them win if they’re good enough.
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Kevin Kisner & Cameron Young vs Mito Pereira & Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Match tees off at 17.05 BST
The middle match of the second session of play sees two players who sat out the opening day getting their first taste of the Presidents Cup 2022. Kevin Kisner is the American who sat out Thursday and he partners Cameron Young against the Chilean player Mito Pereira and South African ace Christiaan Bezuidenhout, the latter playing his first match of the weekend.
This is an interesting match because I think it is fair to say that this course, especially the way it is setup, doesn’t suit the shorter hitters of Kisner and Bezuidenhout so the winner of it could be determined by which one plays the best of Young or Pereira. Young had Morikawa’s iron play to assist him on Thursday but doesn’t have that luxury here while Pereira was probably held back by the stone cold putter of Taylor Pendrith for much of Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised if the International pairing get something out of this one but all the rumours that Pereira is soon off to LIV puts me off getting too involved.
Patrick Cantlay & Xander Schauffele vs Hideki Matsuyama & Tom Kim
Match tees off at 17.20 BST
The penultimate match of the session is the standout one of the day as the perfect American pairing of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele go up against the star Asian pairing of Hideki Matsuyama and Tom Kim in a real good looking clash.
This is very much a match to enjoy rather than bet on because Cantlay and Schauffele do little wrong in this format of the game while Matsuyama and Kim should combine nicely to put down a real challenge to the USA pair. Cantlay and Schauffele have won the Zurich Classic together so they know all about playing four-balls but Kim has the potential to be special and if Matsuyama stays in play and allows the youngster to do his thing then this could be a really great match. I’ll watch it rather than bet on it.
Billy Horschel & Max Homa vs Corey Conners & Taylor Pendrith
Match tees off at 17.35 BST
The final match of the day sees two men who partner each other for the first time out on show when the former World Matchplay champion Billy Horschel pairs up with Max Homa to face the Canadian pairing who should also have played on Thursday in Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith.
Given that Horschel has such a good record with Sam Burns I’m a little surprised he is out alongside Homa and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the pair struggle despite Horschel’s strong match play record. I think the Canadian pair look ideal for four-balls. Conners is so good from tee to green that he should allow Pendrith to unleash his length on the course and if Pendrith drives the ball well this match could be in his hands. Pendrith putted terribly on Thursday but if Conners frees him up to run some putts at the hole it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if he catches fire. Conners actually played well himself on Thursday so he can make some birdies here too but Pendrith will be well ahead of both these Americans off the tee and if the rest of his game comes along with him he could lead the Internationals to some rare success here.
Back C.Conners & T.Pendrith to beat B.Horschel & M.Homa for a 3/10 stake at 2.75 with BetVictor
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