The United States tightened its already vice-like grip on the 2022 Presidents Cup after Davis Love III’s team won three of Friday’s five fourball matches to extend their lead over the International team to 8-2 on day two.
With a further 21 points on offer at Quail Hollow, the US need just 7½ points to win for a 12th time in 14 matches. The US have won the past eight editions of the event and lead the series 11-1, with one match tied.
“Our backs are up against the wall,” said International captain Trevor Immelman. “We’re going to have to dig deep. But it’s going to have to start with making some putts.”
The US could retain the trophy on Saturday with four foursomes (alternate shot) matches and four fourball matches to be played, before Sunday’s 12 concluding singles matches.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas won the first point of the second day by beating Australian pair Adam Scott and Cam Davis 2&1. Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele defeated Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung 3&2, while Max Homa holed a birdie putt at the last to claim a 1up win with Billy Horschel over over Canadians Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith.
The International team picked up one point on Friday from two halved matches. Colombian Sebastian Munoz won the 18th with a par to ensure he and Sungjae Im earned a half-point against world number one Scottie Scheffler and his partner Sam Burns, while Chile’s Mito Pereira and South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout also ground out a half-point against Cameron Young and Kevin Kisner.
Despite their six-point advantage, US captain Davis Love III said: “We’re not sitting there going, ‘OK, this is great.’ We’ve seen a lot of big leads lost. We’re going to try to be motivated and not really talk about the outcome till the end.”