September 28, 2017 / 8:47 PM / a year ago

Golf-U.S. strike first against Internationals at Presidents Cup

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Another Presidents Cup, another poor start by the Internationals as the United States won the first foursomes match on the opening day at Liberty National on Thursday.

The International team has lost the opening session at the past five stagings of the biennial event, and it seemed destined for another early drubbing as the five matches headed onto the back nine in strong, gusty winds.

The American duo of Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler drew first blood, thrashing the International team of Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel 6&4.

The International pairing won the second hole, but it was all one way traffic after that as the Americans won the next three holes and were never challenged.

The Americans also seemed destined to post another point, with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed 4-up after 12 holes against Kim Si-woo and Emiliano Grillo.

The other three matches were all square early on the back nine, with the International team badly needing to win two of them to stay within touch.

International captain Nick Price emphasised before the event the importance of a strong start, but that was easier said than done.

At the most recent Cup two years ago, the U.S. led 4-1 after the opening foursomes, setting the foundation for a one-point overall victory despite not winning any of the final four sessions.

The International team, comprised of players from the rest of the world except Europe, also trailed after the first sessions in 2013, 2011, 2009 and 2007.

The International team has only one overall victory (1998) and one tie (2003) in 11 stagings of the event. (Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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