On the opening day of the 2019 Presidents Cup, the International Team took an astonishing 4-1 lead, with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas providing Team USA its only win in fourball.
In the first match of fourballs, Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas paired up. They faced Joaquin Niemann and Marc Leishman, won the first two holes, and stayed ahead till the end, securing a 4&3 victory.
It was precisely how the heavily favored Americans were supposed to handle the Presidents Cup. But the Woods/Thomas win would be the US team’s only point of the day.
The American team was favored in all five matches. However, in the second match, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele lost 1 down to Sungjae Im and Adam Hadwin. Three more losses followed.
As reported by casino.org, Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau lost 2&1 to Byeong Hun An and Adam Scott while Patrick Reed, and Webb Simpson 1 down to CT Pan and Hideki Matsuyama, as well as Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson lost 4&3 to Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer.
This was the best start for the International Team in 14 years. Team leader Adam Scott said,
“This is the start we needed. We haven’t seen this for a while. We’ve got to try to keep this lead now as long as possible, and hopefully the week runs out.”
Team USA was the clear betting favorite to win the Presidents Cup outright at -240 before round one. That’s implied odds of 70.59 percent, a $100 bet netting $41.67.
The Internationals were long underdogs at +280. That represents an implied chance of 26.32 percent, with a $100 bet netting $280.
After an astonishing 4-1 fourball, the outright line is even, both teams listed now at +105 (implied odds 48.78 percent, $100 winning $105).
Woods, the US captain who selected himself as one of his four captain’s picks, was his team’s only positive takeaway on Thursday. In what was a rather masterful performance in his 24th Presidents Cup match victory, the 43-year-old made six birdies.
Asked what clicked between he and Woods, Thomas answered,
“Tiger was working well between the two of us.”
“He played great. I didn’t really take advantage of the opportunities I had, and that’s what you have a partner for. It’s nice knowing that, and it’s nice because I know he’s playing well.”
Later on Friday, Woods and JT will pair up once more in foursomes.
On Friday, the US will look to bounce back in foursomes play.
The format of this match is alternate shot, where one player tees off, and then his teammate hits the next shot. Each match is worth a total of one point.
- Adam Scott/Louis Oosthuizen (-110) vs. Matt Kuchar/Dustin Johnson (+145)
- Adam Hadwin/Joaquin Niemann (+180) vs. Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (-130)
- Abraham Ancer/Marc Leishman (+125) vs. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (+110)
- Hideki Matsuyama/Byeong Hun An (+180) vs. Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas (-135)
- Cameron Smith/Sungjae Im (+115) vs. Rickie Fowler/Gary Woodland (+115)
- For all five matches, a tie scenario is at +550.