The United States have moved into a 3.5-1.5 lead over their International counterparts after day one of the Presidents Cup in New Jersey.
America, led by team captain Steve Stricker are looking to win the competition for the seventh time in a row and they made a fast start at Liberty National Golf Club, with FedEx Cup champion Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler comfortably beating Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama 6&4 in the opening match of the day.
The US then extended their advantage further when Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed saw off the challenge of international rookies Si-Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo 5&4, before Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar edged out Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas one up in the third match of the day.
Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace did restore some kind of parity for the International team, as they beat Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka 2&1 to maintain their 100 percent record as a pairing in the Presidents Cup.
The final match of the day ended all-square between American duo Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner and their International counterparts Marc Leishman and Jason Day.
So America are well positioned heading into Friday’s four-balls, but International ace Oosthuizen believes his team cannot be discounted as they bid to secure a first win in the event since 1998.
Oosthuizen said: “Today was a grind. It was just one of those, keep it in play – fight, fight until the end.”
The United States are priced at 1.15 to go on and win the event, while the International team are available at 7.00 and the tie is on offer at 15.00.