JERSEY CITY, New Jersey, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Presidents Cup debutantes Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell showed no signs of jitters crushing South African Charl Schwartzel and India’s Anirban Lahiri to leave the United States poised for a four-ball rout of the Internationals on Friday.
The U.S. began the day with a 3-1/2 to 1-1/2 advantage and were threatening to runaway from the International team as Hoffman and Chappell scored a dominating 6&5 victory.
Moments later Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas added to the U.S. advantage with a 3&2 decision over South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
The United States has led after every session since 2005.
Hoffman and Chappell, who sat out Thursday’s opening foursomes, came out flying, 3-up after four holes. With birdies at the eighth and ninth holes, they made the turn at Liberty National with a commanding 5-up advantage.
The Internationals, meanwhile, stumbled out of the starting blocks, Lahiri disqualified from playing the third hole after taking a practice shot out of the bunker at the second.
Players are allowed to practice putting after the holes have been determined but cannot practice shots from anywhere else on the course.
”I took it pretty well, but yesterday was hard,“ said Hoffman, about having to watch the opening matches from the sidelines. ”Kevin and I were biting at the bit to get out there and play.
“It gave us a little more fire and momentum going into today.”
As Hoffman and Chappell walked off to a roaring ovation, Fowler and Thomas were putting the finishing touches on a no less impressive display. (Editing by Andrew Both)