Captains avoid Day vs. Spieth singles matchup


INCHEON, South Korea – Sunday’s final singles session will have the clash of two of this season’s major champions, just not the two everyone anticipated going head-to-head at the Presidents Cup.

U.S. captain Jay Haas sidestepped a potential Jordan Spieth vs. Jason Day showdown on Sunday, sending the world No. 1 out to play Marc Leishman in the singles draw.

“I was surprised they put Jordan down opposite Marc Leishman, but obviously they figured out where their strengths are,” said International captain Nick Price.

Instead, Day will play Zach Johnson in the day’s 10th match, a move Haas said was simply a byproduct of how the pairings played out.

“We wanted Jordan in slot No. 8, 9, 10, somewhere in there,” Haas said. “They [Spieth and Day] played the last two days, so not a head-to-head personal battle, but they have played a lot of that golf during the season. So I don't know if it was a make-or-break for the Presidents Cup if they played or didn't play.”

Price also surprised some observers by not putting all of his top performers this week in the front of his lineup, the traditional strategy for a captain whose team is trailing.

Louis Oosthuizen, who went 4-0-0 in team play with Branden Grace, will lead off the Internationals against Patrick Reed, and Adam Scott will face Rickie Fowler in the second match.

But Danny Lee, who didn’t play on Saturday and is winless this week, is in the third match against Dustin Johnson; while Thongchai Jaidee, who also didn’t play on Saturday, is in the fifth match versus Bubba Watson.

“We're only one behind. So if you top-load, if you are three or four or five behind, that's fine,” Price said. “So I don't really believe in top-loading, and Jay didn't top-load, either.”

As evidence to that, Price sent Grace out in the penultimate match against Matt Kuchar and Sangmoon Bae, who is undefeated in team play (2-0-1) and the local favorite at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, in the last match against Bill Haas.

Below is full look at Sunday's singles matchups, which begin at 8:15 PM ET:

• Match 19 - Patrick Reed (U.S.) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (International)

• Match 20 - Rickie Fowler (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott (International)

• Match 21 - Dustin Johnson (U.S.) vs. Danny Lee (International)

• Match 22 - J.B. Holmes (U.S.) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (International)

• Match 23 - Bubba Watson (U.S.) vs. Thongchai Jaidee (International)

• Match 24 - Jimmy Walker (U.S.) vs. Steven Bowditch (International)

• Match 25 - Phil Mickelson (U.S.) vs. Charl Schwartzel (International)

• Match 26 - Chris Kirk (U.S.) vs. Anirban Lahiri (International)

• Match 27 - Jordan Spieth (U.S.) vs. Marc Leishman (International)

• Match 28 - Zach Johnson (U.S.) vs. Jason Day (International)

• Match 29 - Matt Kuchar (U.S.) vs. Branden Grace (International)

• Match 30 - Bill Haas (U.S.) vs. Sangmoon Bae (International)