The good news from a Canadian perspective is that Adam Hadwin looked right at home in his Presidents Cup debut on Friday, alongside Hideki Matsuyama for the International team in Friday four-ball play at Liberty National.
The American team of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed took a brief 1-up lead on the second hole when Reed eagled, but Matsuyama birdied the fourth to bring it back to all square, then birdied six and eight to send him and Hadwin on to the back nine at two up.
The Americans narrowed the International lead to 1-up on the 12th, but Hadwin birdied the next to restore the 2-up lead and continued to make timely putts as Matsuyama struggled off the tee.
Birdies by Reed and Spieth on 15 and 16 brought it back to all square. Despite a dramatic putt by Spieth on 18 that seemed to be at least partially in the hole, the match ended halved.
It was the one bit of positive news for the Internationals in Jersey City, N.J., on Friday when the Americans won four of the five matches to take a commanding 8-2 overall lead into the weekend.
“We’re pretty fresh off a disappointing day where they stole most of our points, but you know, we are some of the best players in the world.” said Hadwin, who will tee it up with Adam Scott in Saturday morning foursomes.
“It’s obviously going to be a tall task. They are playing well and they also are some of the best players in the world, but stranger things have happened. People have come from further back. I think tomorrow morning will be a big morning for us if we can get a 4-1 in the morning or something, we can claw our way back into this.,” he said
“We’ve got all night to figure it out. Like I said, we’re some of the best players in the world, and yeah, it’s a six-point lead, which seems like a lot, but you never know. We’re going to come back, focus, ready to play tomorrow and we’ll see if we can’t turn the tides,” he added.
“We were up against two very good players, two of the best in the world. We made a few putts when we needed to. We had a chance, a couple up with five to play, and they made a couple putts, got the momentum on their side,” said Hadwin.
“I think we were a little fortunate to have Jordan miss two putts inside 20 feet. He doesn’t normally do that, but we were able to sneak out a half. We ham-and-egged it a little bit today,” said Hadwin.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” he said￼
For the leaderboard and tee times for Saturday morning foursomes, click here.