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Thomas-Fowler, Reed-Spieth lift United States at Presidents Cup

01 October 2017

Throughout the years, the Presidents Cup has developed a reputation for a lack of passion.

Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Hadwin, International, halved with Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth, United States.

The breakthrough finally came on the 15th hole, when another Thomas birdie put the Americans 3-up, followed by a pair of match-ending pars from the duo on No. 16.

Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell coasted to a 6&5 win over Presidents Cup debutants Charl Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri.

World Number 1 Johnson caught fire on the back 9 and wrapped up the match for the USA on the 16th winning 3 & 2.

Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, giving the South Africans their first loss in six matches. Spieth and Reed were forced to forfeit the hole as a result, and Oosthuizen and Day took a 1-up lead even though they lobbied with the rules official that Spieth and Reed not be penalized.

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Further wins arrived for the hosts after Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka beat Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Scott 3&2, while Kevin Kisner and Phil Mickelson edged Marc Leishman and Jason Day with a one up triumph.

A player must not (i) take an action with the intent to influence the movement of a ball in play or (ii) alter physical conditions with the intent of affecting the playing of a hole.

The International team's only success was in Australia in 1998.

Hoffman and Chappell, who sat out Thursday's opening foursomes, were 3-UP after four holes before birdies at the eighth and ninth saw them hit the turn with a five-hole advantage. 8 and 4 in the world, respectively - will be back out on the course again for Saturday morning's foursomes. "They came into this event riding a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence, and they really get excited to play these team events and it's showing".

Given their friendship, their homes in proximity, their frequency of practice rounds, Thomas and Fowler give the USA a formidable team not just for this week, but for future Cups to come.

"We'll see how it goes", said Price, whose team just hasn't had the firepower to rebound against a US team that has combined for 17 US PGA Tour titles this season, including the three most recent major championships.

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The Internationals were able to avoid a clean sweep, but they trail by nine points heading into the afternoon four-ball session, where they will likely need a clean sweep themselves to have a chance in Sunday's singles matches.

The Americans took an early lead, but the global pairing were not giving up, squaring the match up before holding a one-up lead late on.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Thomas holed out from a bunker on No. 14 and wound up halving the hole when it looked as though the lead would be cut to 1 up.

In amongst that he virtually left Schwartzel one-out against the Americans with a string of bad shots.

This had the trappings of the closest match of the day, with each team winning two holes on the front nine and the match all square going to the back. Meanwhile, Stricker smartly rolled out the duo of Spieth and Reed, who always step up when they're wearing the colors of Team USA.

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Thomas-Fowler, Reed-Spieth lift United States at Presidents Cup