With 25 mph winds from the north on Friday, Royal Melbourne Golf Club played completely different then it did on Day One Thursday.
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The change in the conditions made it difficult for everyone, but again the cream rose to the top with two U.S. pairings, Bubba Watson/Webb Simpson and Jim Furyk/Phil Mickelson earning two points.
Individually on the International side, only K.J. Choi has earned two points, one with Adam Scott in Thursday’s foursomes and with Geoff Ogilvy in Friday four-ball.
With that as a backdrop to the amount of success by both sides, here are my predictions for Saturday morning’s foursomes.
MATCH 13 (3:00 p.m. EST; 7:00 a.m. local time)
WEBB SIMPSON/BUBBA WATSON (-110) vs. ROBERT ALLENBY/GEOFF OGILVY (-110)
Analysis: Simpson/Watson are 2-0-0 after two days at the Presidents Cup, but Saturday is a whole different thing with larger, probably more vocal crowds and – with their current undefeated record – likely an afternoon four-ball match is in their future.
If there is a weak link in the pairing it is Allenby. A cold putter and some loose shots on Day One cost him his foursomes match with Retief Goosen. Ogilvy has played well, garnering 1.5 points, but he earned those points with Charl Schwartzel and K.J. Choi, not Allenby.
Prediction: United States
MATCH 14 (3:12 p.m. EST; 7:12 a.m. local time)
BILL HAAS/MATT KUCHAR (-150) vs. ERNIE ELS/RYO ISHIKAWA (+130)
Analysis: Both Haas and Kuchar have earned points, but have not played together. Els and Ishikawa have played together in the first two sessions and have lost both matches.
Els has clearly been the mentor for Ishikawa and according to Captain Norman, Els wanted to be paired with Ishikawa for a third time.
Will the third time be the charm? Clearly the odds favor the US. pair for a good reason.
Prediction: United States
MATCH 15 (3:24 pm, EST, 7:24 am local time)
HUNTER MAHAN/DAVID TOMS (-110) vs. RETIEF GOOSEN/CHARL SCHWARTZEL (-110)
Analysis: This match is a rematch from Friday afternoon when Mahan/Toms lost to Goosen/Schwartzel, 2 and 1.
The Mahan/Toms team won their foursomes match on Thursday against K.T. Kim/Y.E. Yang, 6 and 5.
The rematch will be foursomes, not four-ball, but the result will likely not change.
MATCH 16 (3:36 p.m. EST; 7:36 a.m. local time)
TIGER WOODS/DUSTIN JOHNSON (+110) vs. ADAM SCOTT/K.J. CHOI (-130)
Analysis: Woods vs. Scott, Part II . . . another rematch with a slight change, as Johnson replaces Steve Stricker.
Woods played better in Friday four-ball with Johnson, but still lost and is the only player on the U.S. team not to have earned any points in the first two sessions and it is unlikely that the change, especially after the drubbing Scott and Choi put on Tiger on Day One (a 7-and-6 win).
MATCH 17 (3:48 p.m. EST; 7:48 a.m. local time)
PHIL MICKELSON / JIM FURYK (-110) vs. AARON BADDELEY / JASON DAY (-110)
Analysis: One of the hottest U.S. pairs this week, Mickelson/Furyk have wins against Robert Allenby/Retief Goosen and Adam Scott/K.T. Kim. In Thursday’s foursomes, the U.S. duo played almost flawlessly, but on Friday the putts didn’t fall as easily, but they still won. Running the table is nothing new to Mickelson, with a record of 11-1-5 in his last 17 matches and is undefeated in his last 10 matches.