With a sweep of the afternoon fourball matches Friday on foreign soil, the U.S. took an early lead at the PGA Cup and holds a 6-2 advantage over Great Britain & Ireland after Day 1.
After splitting the morning foursomes matches 2-2 at Slaley Hall in Hexham, England, the Americans won all four afternoon matches, a run that was capped by a 2-up victory by Bob Sowards and Mike Small, who also serves as the men's golf coach at the University of Illinois. Sowards and Small both contributed two points to the American effort Friday, winning in both the morning and afternoon, as did club pros J.C. Anderson and Kelly Mitchum.
Play will continue Saturday with the same schedule in place, four morning foursomes matches followed by four fourball matches in the afternoon, with the overall competition decided by 10 singles matches on Sunday.
Originated in 1973, the PGA Cup is a biennial, Ryder Cup-style event pitting PGA club professionals from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland against each other. The Americans have won the competition each of the last three times, including a 17 1/2 to 8 1/2 win in 2011 at CordeValle Golf Club.