MELBOURNE, Australia – The one constant for the International team at the Presidents Cup has been the team’s historically slow starts that at least partially explain the side’s 1-6-1 record in the biennial matches.
Friday’s 3-3 draw, however, was a sign of progress at least for International assistant captain Frank Nobilo despite a two-point deficit through two days of play at Royal Melbourne.
“Historically we always seem to take a couple of days to get into it,” Nobilo told GolfChannel.com. “All of a sudden we’ve got all of our players up on the green and they are into it. It just takes a little bit more time.”
A large part of that rebound can be attributed to Aaron Baddeley’s play in fourballs. The Australian, reeling after losing a 2-up lead with two holes to play against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar on Thursday, rolled in several clutch putts in his fourball match against Tiger Woods and Johnson to secure a 1-up victory.
On Thursday night Nobilo said it was the support of his teammates that helped Baddeley recover from his opening loss.
“Even when you lose a point you learn,” Nobilo said. “There’s nothing worse than losing a match you feel like you should have won. You feel bad. The guys who have been there said, ‘Look, how did you feel? It was your first Presidents Cup, how did you feel?’ It was actually pretty neat. To come back the very next day is tremendous.”
If there has been one questionable move on the part of the International team this week it has been the play of Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa, who are 0-2 this week and scheduled to play again in the morning’s second foursome game on Saturday.
“Last time we tried to look so much into the pairings and today we tried to make sure we had someone with everyone that had played the golf course,” Nobilo said. “Ryo struggled today, like a lot of people. It was such a brutally tough day it was hard to gauge. It was one of those days where you look and maybe you might have split up some people. You always second-guess yourself. But we would have been exposed in other areas.”
“(Yang and Kim) had a tough day today,” Nobilo said. “Yesterday it looked like a little lack of knowledge of the golf course and today they couldn’t learn anything really. It was just hang on.”
Watch wall-to-wall coverage of the Presidents Cup live on Golf Channel. Tournament air times: Golf Channel Friday 4PM-midnight and Saturday 6:30PM-12:30AM. NBC coverage Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at noon. (Note: all times are ET)