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Weeks: A case of trying not to get steam-rolled on Day 2

Bob Weeks
10/4/2013 8:56:17 PM
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Most days, you'd win money shooting thee-under par on nine holes of alternate shot. That's what the Double Ds - Graham DeLaet and Jason Day - did in foursomes play at the Presidents Cup on Friday.

But instead of pocketing any winnings, they were staring at a scoreboard that showed them three down to Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. All the Americans did was fire a 30 that included a stretch where they went five under over a four-hole stretch from the fifth to the eighth.

"We were three under through nine and we were three down," said DeLaet, shaking his head in disbelief. "There's not much more that you can do. It's unfortunate but we still have two more days."

The Canadian-Australian partnership once again jumped out to a quick lead when Day rolled in a birdie on the first hole. The teams split the next hole with birdies and only a silky sand shot that led to a par saved the U.S. team from going down two.

On the par-3 fourth, the Internationals seemed ready to grab another point but after a sloppy bunker shot from Mickelson, Bradley made a clutch putt for par for a half.

"I did not hit a very good bunker shot," admitted Mickelson. "I hit it eight feet by the hole and to see Keegan make that putt, that was a big momentum boost for us.

"We would have been 2-down if it doesn't go in and I thought instead that that momentum boost really propelled us to the next stretch that we started on five."

The Americans caught fire after that and for DeLaet and Day, it was a case of just trying not to get steam-rolled.

"It's difficult," said DeLaet of trying to keep up with Mickelson and Bradley, "We just tried to keep giving ourselves chances but unfortunately we just weren't hitting the shots. They played great. They played better than us today and deserved to win."

The Bradley-Mickelson partnership has been a good one; the duo teamed up at last year's Ryder Cup to win three matches although they lost their opener on here on Thursday.

"I think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well," said Bradley. "I think we really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other."

The International duo fell six down after the 12th, but managed to hang on for a few more holes before being closed out 4&3.

"I think we had a good game plan," said DeLaet of the alternate shot format he and Day formulated. "We clicked well together, the two of us, but unfortunately we just didn't play our best."

Of the two, however, it was Day who struggled. After hitting every fairway in the first round, he missed three of the eight on Friday and struggled to match DeLaet for shot value.

Once again, rain halted play for more than two and a half hours, leaving a soggy and saturated Muirfield Village Golf Course. Players utilized lift, clean and place for the post-rain portion of play.

The course wasn't the only thing soggy after the rain. Some of the fans that remained obviously passed their time in the beer tent and there were a few incidents of unruly behaviour.

Angel Cabrera was forced to back off a putt three times when fans yelled as he was about to putt. The Argentine rolled the ball into the cup and then fist-pumped in the general direction of the noise.

Only two of the six matches finished before play was called due to darkness. Ernie Els and Brendan De Jonge took a 4&3 decision over Bill Haas and Hunter Mahan to equal the day's tally and each side led in two of the remaining four matches.

The most pivotal of the matches appears to be the one between Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, who hold a slim 1 up lead over Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.

Play will resume at 7:35 Saturday followed by five four-ball matches and then another five foursome matches in the afternoon.




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