JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Presidents Cup captain Steve Stricker is out for blood, even though he doesn't want to admit it.
Holding a 3 1/2 to 1 1/2 lead after Day 1, Stricker will send out his best two pairings for Friday fourball matches.
Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed (6-1-2 together) will face Hideki Matsuyama and Presidents Cup rookie Adam Hadwin. Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas will play against Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.
The first pairing was a no-brainer for Stricker. The second is quickly becoming as much of a no-brainer as the first.
“They just love being around one another,” Stricker said of Fowler and Thomas. “It’s kind of a natural pairing and it’s good to see them do so well.”
Fowler and Thomas defeated Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel 6 and 4 in Thursday foursomes while Spieth and Reed easily dispatched of Si Woo Kim and Emiliano Grillo.
Phil Mickelson will get a chance to play another match with his new buddy Kevin Kisner. The two halved their Thursday match against Jason Day and Marc Leishman but the Americans will face the same Australian duo again on Friday.
“We were unanimous that we were going to put them back out together again if Steve had put Kevin and Phil together,” International captain Nick Price said. “Both those teams played some incredible golf today but also hit some pretty loose shots.”
Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman, both Presidents Cup rookies, sat on Thursday but will play together on Friday against Schwartzel and Anirban Lahiri. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka will face Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas in the day’s last match.
Grillo and Kim will sit out for the Internationals. Matt Kuchar and Daniel Berger will not play for the U.S.
11:35AM ET: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed (USA) vs. Hideki Matsuyama-Adam Hadwin (INT)
11:50AM ET: Rickie Fowler-Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace (INT)
12:05PM ET: Phil Mickelson-Kevin Kisner (USA) vs. Jason Day-Marc Leishman (INT)
12:20PM ET: Kevin Chappell-Charley Hoffman (USA) vs. Charl Schwartzel-Anirban Lahiri (INT)
12:35PM ET: Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka (USA) vs. Adam Scott Jhonattan Vegas (INT)