Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

The Americans are trying to claim their ninth straight Presidents Cup title. The International team would have to stage the biggest comeback in the event’s history. The first team to 15Β½ points wins the Presidents Cup.

Here is some of the best action from Sunday:

Match of the day … so far

The best match on the course — or at least the most heated — might be Justin Thomas vs. South Korea’s Si Woo Kim. JT was irritated that Kim didn’t concede a 3-foot putt to him earlier in the match and now emotions are running high.

Kim credit for taking down Thomas for the International team’s first point on Sunday. Fellow South Korean Tom Kim’s energy seems to be infectious, as Si Woo Kim was animated after making several big putts, including a birdie on the 18th hole that won the match.

Tough breaks for Matsuyama

Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, caught a terrible break on the 18th hole. His tee shot leaked left and hit a marshal in the knee. His ball bounced another 20 yards left, leaving him a difficult second shot around a large oak tree. Matsuyama blasted his shot to the back of the green, where he nearly holed out on the third. He halved the hole and the match against Sam Burns.

Sunday’s first point

The first American point for Sunday is on the scoreboard, thanks to Jordan Spieth‘s 4 and 3 victory over Australia’s Cam Davis. Spieth won six of the last seven holes in the match to give the U.S. a 12-7 lead. Remarkably, it is the three-time major winner’s first singles victory in the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. Spieth is just the sixth player to go 5-0-0 in a Presidents Cup. He is the first American to do it since Jim Furyk in 2011.

Let’s race

It’s not quite running with the bulls, but the race for seats at the first tee grandstand was something to behold at Quail Hollow on Sunday morning.

Watch where you’re swinging that

Justin Thomas hasn’t done much wrong this week, but slamming his wedge into his ankle probably was a painful one.

The swag of Tom Kim

South Korea’s Tom Kim has looked more than ready for the big stage at the Presidents Cup this week. The 20-year-old PGA Tour rookie is soaking up the attention.

Circle of life stuff

It wasn’t exactly Rafiki raising Simba on Pride Rock in “The Lion King,” but Jordan Spieth received quite an ovation when he raised his infant son, Sammy, to the crowd at the first tee at Quail Hollow on Sunday.

Matches and tee times

The Americans need 4Β½ points to win the Presidents Cup for the ninth consecutive time. The International squad needs 8Β½ points in Sunday’s singles matches to prevent that from happening. Here are the singles matches for Sunday (all times are ET):

12:02 p.m.: Justin Thomas (U.S.) vs. Si Woo Kim (INT)
12:14 p.m.: Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Cam Davis (INT)
12:26 p.m.: Sam Burns (U.S.) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (INT)
12:38 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott (INT)
12:50 p.m.: Scottie Scheffler (U.S.) vs. Sebastian Munoz (INT)
1:02 p.m.: Tony Finau (U.S.) vs. Taylor Pendrith (INT)
1:14 p.m.: Xander Schauffele (U.S.) vs. Corey Conners (INT)
1:26 p.m.: Cameron Young (U.S.) vs. Sungjae Im (INT)
1:38 p.m.: Billy Horschel (U.S.) vs. K.H. Lee (INT)
1:50 p.m.: Max Homa (U.S.) vs. Tom Kim (INT)
2:02 p.m.: Collin Morikawa (U.S.) vs. Mito Pereira (INT)
2:14 p.m.: Kevin Kisner (U.S.) vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (INT)

Max Homa is fired up

Best from Round 3

Big finish for the International team

Local college golfer takes in the action

Two-time NBA champ and North Carolina A&T golfer JR Smith is in the house with Brooklyn Nets guard Seth Curry.

Trees? Not a problem

More from Tom Kim

Master classes

You knew past Masters champions Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama had too much pride to mail it in at the Presidents Cup. After losing in their matches on each of the first two days at Quail Hollow Club, including an ugly 6 and 5 loss to Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele as a tandem in Thursday’s foursome, Scott and Matsuyama are doing good work on Saturday. They won five straight holes in their match against Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young to go from 2 down to 3 up with four holes to play.

What a debut for Kim

South Korea’s Tom Kim is a rising star on the PGA Tour, having already won the Wyndham Championship at 20 years old. He’s playing with a lot of confidence in his Presidents Cup debut, too. That’s not walking it in — that’s walking it off!

No putters needed

On Friday, the Americans seemingly couldn’t miss anything with their putters. On Saturday, they don’t even need their golf balls to be on the green to hole out, as highlighted by Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa.

Egg-cellent from the bunker

The International team hasn’t had much to cheer about this week, but this is one of the best greenside bunker shots you’ll ever see from South Korea’s K.H. Lee. Nothing like fried eggs for breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Best from Round 2

Team USA for the win

Luck is on the Americans’ side

As if the Americans needed anything else, they’re getting all of the good bounces on Friday, as well. Spieth’s second shot on the par-4 15th should have been in the creek, but it took a fortunate bounce off a rock and somehow ended up bouncing over the green. He got up and down for par and halved the hole.

Hometown team in the house

Twitter drama

One of the reasons the International team is currently taking a beatdown is that many of the best players it expected to have on its roster were ruled ineligible after playing in LIV Golf events. That includes Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann and Louis Oosthuizen. LIV Golf CEO and chairman Greg Norman wished the International team well on Twitter. Team captain Trevor Immelman didn’t seem amused, responding, “LOL.”

“Look, any of you that have known me for the longest time know that I’m an extremely open and honest person,” Immelman said. “I pretty much say it exactly as I’m thinking it. What I said was exactly what I was doing when I read that tweet. I was laughing out loud.”

A sweet spot

The Americans are loving the par-5 seventh hole at Quail Hollow. Three of the five U.S. teams carded eagles on the hole, with Burns, Young and Patrick Cantlay all making eagle putts. Burns sank an 80-footer, the longest putt of his PGA Tour career. Two International team players, South Korea’s Im and Japan’s Matsuyama, made birdies on the 527-yard hole, but still lost to eagles.

JT is still dabbing

The dab might have gone out of style a few years ago, but Justin Thomas is still doing it. He threw up a quick dab after sinking a birdie putt on the par-3 fourth hole. Thomas, an avid Alabama football fan, surely wasn’t honoring former Auburn and Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton, who was the king of the dab in the NFL.

Presidents at the Presidents Cup

Rowdy at the first tee

Best of Round 1

A little bit of luck

An inch either way and this Max Homa shot would have gone straight into the water. Instead, it hit the most conveniently placed rock possible. Homa and Tony Finau managed to salvage par out of it.

We’ve all been there

Not exactly what Justin Thomas was intending with this shot out of the bunker. It could have been worse!

Faces in the crowd

They don’t call it the Presidents Cup for nothing. According to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are planning to attend the four-day tournament at Quail Hollow Club this weekend. Cooper told reporters that President Joe Biden might also be coming Sunday. “I think that will just add to the aura of the event,” Cooper said. Cooper watched players tee off of No. 1 in a suite with former North Carolina and Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams.

No bounces allowed

Weather a factor?

The wind is howling at Quail Hollow Club, as a storm system is starting to blow through Charlotte. Xander Schauffele had to remove his hat before hitting his second shot from the No. 13 fairway. Temperatures have been in the mid-90s for much of the week. The passing cold front is supposed to drop temperatures by nearly 20 degrees; forecasts call for highs of 75 degrees Friday.

The Justin and Jordan show

The pairing of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth is working out early in their match against Sungjae Im and Corey Conners. On the first hole, Spieth hit his tee shot into the left rough. Thomas made a 7Β½-footer to save par. On the next hole, he hit his tee shot into the pine straw, leaving Spieth with a tricky recovery shot off a bad lie. Spieth knocked it to 10 feet. Then, on the par-3 fourth, Thomas somehow chunked his tee shot, leaving the ball about 44 yards from the hole. Spieth, one of the best scramblers in the game, knocked the second shot to about 4 feet. As Spieth walked up to the green, Thomas patted himself on the back. The U.S. squad was 2-up through five holes after a birdie on No. 5.

Young crushing it

It didn’t take U.S. team rookie Cameron Young long to make an impact. Playing with Collin Morikawa in the third match, Young, one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, crushed a 306-yard drive down the middle of the No. 1 fairway. After Morikawa hit the second shot to 25 feet, Young nearly holed out from the fringe. They made par and halved the hole.

Arrivals and more

Jack Nicklaus was captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team four times and Gary Player captained three squads. Nicklaus was the captain in 1998, which is the only time the Americans have lost this event.

What’s your AIM name?

For years, AOL Instant Messenger was the way to communicate with friends online. Almost everyone who used it probably remembers what they used for a screen name. American golfer and No. 20 Max Homa chose … “nexttigerwoods59.”

That’s the perfect encapsulation of what those screen names were like — goofy, a little lofty, ultimately charming. Scheffler, on the other hand, did not have an AIM name at all — and he had a great explanation as to why not.

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