Americans at home in tough Aussie conditions

You could be forgiven for thinking it was the American Team who look more comfortable in trying conditions at Royal Melbourne.

On the International team bus this morning, Norman said players were excited to see the conditions had turned nasty and most agreed it would be difficult for the US Team. The Internationals wanted Royal Melbourne to play hard for the Friday four-ball’s to try and erase the two point deficit from the Thursday foursomes.

Instead, they’ve found themselves in the same position they were on Thursday evening, two points down.

You would expect the Americans to struggle to come to terms with the words “hot” and “northerly” in the same sentence, let alone play golf in those conditions. But they started the opening hours the way they finished yesterday, streaking ahead in four matches after six holes.

Bubba and Webb win again
Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson complimented each other beautifully with a combination of big hitting and accurate iron play. They beat the combination of Els and Ishikawa 2 and 1, and one would expect Norman to split that pairing for the Saturday matches, with Ishikawa looking out of sorts with his irons play.

The second match featuring Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley was as wild as the conditions. It was tough to watch as all players missed putts on the extraordinarily fast greens and Jason Day barely hitting one all day. The highlight of the match came on the 15th hole.

With Tiger Woods looking at a long eagle putt, Baddeley played one of the shots of the tournament from a greenside bunker that led to a birdie putt. Seconds later, Woods went within millimetres of dropping the eagle but the Baddeley birdie meant the Interntionals halved the hole and won the match on the final hole.

Furyk and Mickelson, Kuchar and Stricker were never behind in their respective matches. The shaky pairing of Allenby and Yang was a strange choice by Norman and it proved to be a bad one.< The other two International points came from the pairings of Schwartzel and Goosen, and Ogilvy and Choi. The South Africans never had worse than a two hole lead from the third hole where Goosen's par was good enough. Ogilvy grabbed a win on the final hole after he and Choi never trailed all day. Let’s not forget how good this American team is.
For all the recent talk of Europeans dominating international golf, the American’s aren’t far from matching the likes of McIlroy, Donald and Westwood with a bunch of long hitting, determined golfers. Expect the names Watney, Johnson, Watson and Simpson to dominate major leaderboards for years to come. We should be privileged to have seen them just before their prime.

The Americans are in the box seat going into the weekend, which has been forecast bring much more benign conditions. Supposedly, much more to their liking.

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