Internationals will fight until the end

CHARLOTTE - International captain Trevor Immelman has vowed to fight on in the Presidents Cup after a rampaging United States side humbled them 4-1 on Thursday.

"We're going to keep fighting," the South African said.

"It's what we do. Nobody here expects us to win. We've got to have that belief deep down.

"We're up against maybe the strongest American team ever assembled on paper. We've got our work cut out for us, but like I said, we will keep going. We will keep going until they ring the bell."

The Internationals, with a record eight Presidents Cup debutants in their 12-man team, started as massive underdogs against a US squad featuring nine of the top 15 in the world rankings.

But the hosts, winners of the past eight editions of the team golf showdown, were forced to hold off three of four late rallies by their global rivals in the foursomes (alternate shot) matches at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele thumped the hugely experienced International duo of Australia's Adam Scott and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama 6&5 in Thursday's opening match to set the tone for the Americans.

But the following matches were tighter affairs.

Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa beat Koreans Kim Joo-hyung and Lee Kyoung-hoon 2&1.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated South Korea's Im Sung-jae and Canadian Corey Conners by the same score.

The pairing of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns registered the only Day 1 loss for the United States after dropping the final four holes to allow Australian Cameron Davis and South Korea's Kim Si-woo to snatch a 2-up win.

The Internationals nearly trimmed the deficit further in the final match between Americans Tony Finau and Max Homa and Canadian Taylor Pendrith and Chile's Mito Pereira, which was tied heading to the 18th.

But they faltered to allow Finau and Homa to run out 1-up winners.

"We're very pleased with the start," US captain Davis Love said.

"The guys played great, and then some matches like this one with Tony and Max they ground it out.

"We've just got to keep trying to just win every match and every session and let the outcome take care of itself."

REUTERS, AFP

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2022, with the headline Internationals will fight until the end. Subscribe