DUBLIN, Ohio – Another rain delay cut short some exceptional golf Friday in the Presidents Cup.
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley shot 30 on the front nine at Muirfield Village, an astounding performance in foursomes. Only some sloppy play allowed the match to go 15 holes in a 4-and-3 win over Jason Day and Graham DeLaet.
We were down but, boy, on 5 we just turned it on and played some of our best golf, Mickelson said.
Right behind them, Brendon de Jonge began to emerge as a star of the International team. He teamed with Ernie Els and they never trailed in a 4-and-3 win over Hunter Mahan and Bill Hass, going 8 under when the match ended at the 15th.
This guy, he played beautiful and we both played well today, Els said.
The Americans had a 4 1/2 -3 1/2 lead, though four matches were still in progress when darkness descended on Muirfield Village.
For the second straight day, storms interrupted play and left a bleak outlook for finishing Sunday. Heavy rain – and the time it took to get small pools of water out of the bunkers and fairways – led to a delay of nearly three hours.
The other four matches – the Americans were up in two, the International led the other two – were to resume this morning.
Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar were 6 under through eight holes and still had only a 1-up lead over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Oosthuizen missed a short par putt on the ninth to lose another hole, and the former British Open champion made an even greater blunder on the par-3 12th. After Woods went long of the green, Oosthuizens 7-iron leaked to the right and hopped into the water. The Americans won with a bogey and were 3 up with six holes to play when they stopped.
Steve Stricker and 20-year-old Jordan Spieth seized control of their match when Spieth made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth, and the Texan made another key birdie on the 12th. They were 3 up with four holes remaining.
What looked to be the decisive match of the foursomes session was Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, who overcame an early deficit and were 1 up with five holes remaining against Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. The International team had control of the other match. Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott lost only one hole and were 4 up with seven holes remaining against Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.
Today is the busiest day for the Presidents Cup, with five fourballs matches early and five foursomes matches late. It concludes with 12 singles matches Sunday, though the forecast is not any better, especially for Sunday.
One thing was becoming clear through the relentless appearance of clouds – the course Jack Nicklaus built has been groomed for birdies.
In 80 holes on Friday, there were 51 birdies and two eagles.
EUROPEAN: In Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France, Britain and Ireland trimmed Continental Europes lead to one point in the Seve Trophy after the second day of fourballs.
Nicolas Colsaerts and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano equaled the biggest winning margin in the tournaments history with a 6 and 5 win over B&Is Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher to help Europe lead 5 1/2 -4 1/2 .
But Paul Kasey and Simon Khan beat Mikko Ilonen and Thorbjorn Olesen 3-2, Jamie Donaldson and Marc Warren won 4 and 2 against veterans Thomas Bjorn and Miguel Angel Jimenez. David Lynn and Scott Jamieson overcame Italians Francesco Molinari and Matteo Manassero by just one hole.
Gregory Bourdy and Joost Luiten beat Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Wood by the same margin.
LPGA: In Beijing, American Jessica Korda shot a 5-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Reignwood Classic.
Korda, who shared the first-round lead with Na Yeon Choi of South Korea, bogeyed the first hole before picking up the first of her seven birdies on the fourth. She finished at 14-under 132 for two rounds.
Chinas Feng Shanshan shot a 64, with nine birdies and no bogeys. She was tied for second at 12 under with Stacy Lewis of the United States, who had seven birdies in a bogey-free 66.
Choi shot a 71 and was a stroke back at 11 under. She was followed by top-ranked compatriot Inbee Park, who was 9 under after shooting a 68.