Oct. 9, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Former University of Oklahoma All-American Anthony Kim teamed up with Phil Mickelson in a 3 and 2 win in the opening foursomes match of the eighth Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco, Calif., leading the U.S. squad to an early advantage that it would not relinquish on Thursday.
Thanks in part to Kim and Mickelson, the U.S. team held a 3 1/2-2 1/2 lead after the opening day of play. The momentum in the tightly contested opening match changed in favor of the American side when Kim set up Mickelson with a 6-footer to square the match at No. 13. Mickelson would drain the putt and also convert an 18-footer on the par-3 14th to take a lead the Americans would not let slip away.
The International Team had led through much of the match before the tide had shifted, as the U.S. tandem poured in four consecutive birdies on the back nine.
Said Barker Davis of the Washington Post:
"Surging from 1 down through 12 holes on the 7,137-yard, par-71 course, Mickelson and Kim erupted with the match in the balance, carding four consecutive birdies to dispatch the Internationals when Weir failed to match Kim's midrange birdie salvo at the 16th. The comeback set the tone for an afternoon in which the U.S. rallied to win or to halve after deficits in three of the six alternate-shot matches."
Overview: This match changed dramatically on the back nine. The International Team had held the upper hand -- albeit never more than a 1-up advantage -- through the first 12 holes. Then Anthony Kim set Phil Mickelson up with a 6-footer to square the match at No. 13 and the lefthander poured in an 18-footer on the par-3 14th to take a lead the Americans would not relinquish. Mickelson and Kim wanted to go out first and they responded -- fighting their way back into the match and grabbing the momentum.
Key moment: Four consecutive birdies on the back nine turned the tide in the American's favor. The U.S. trailed 1 down at the 12th hole before they started pouring in putts.
Quotes: "A.K.'s wedge shot (turned things around). We just needed one little thing to go our way and he hit it to about 3 feet. We needed something to ignite us." - Phil Mickelson
"Well, that is nice of him to say. But we've all got to know i had to weigh about 400 pounds out there. Phil did a nice job of picking me up." - Anthony Kim
Updated Presidents Cup player records: Phil Mickelson (12-13-9 overall, 6-6-2 Foursomes); Anthony Kim (1-0-0 overall, 1-0-0 Foursomes); Mike Weir (11-8-1 overall, 3-5-1 Foursomes); Tim Clark (4-6-1 overall, 1-4-0 Foursomes).