Observations on Day 1 Presidents Cup matches

SAN FRANCISCO – The matchups for Thursday’s opening foursomes session of the Presidents Cup have been released:

  • Phil Mickelson-Anthony Kim vs. Mike Weir-Tim Clark.
  • Hunter Mahan-Sean O’Hair vs. Adam Scott-Ernie Els.
  • Lucas Glover-Stewart Cink vs. Vijay Singh-Robert Allenby.
  • Kenny Perry-Zach Johnson vs. Angel Cabrera-Camilo Villegas.
  • Tiger Woods-Steve Stricker vs. Geoff Ogilvy-Ryo Ishikawa.
  • Jim Furyk-Justin Leonard vs. Retief Goosen-Y.E. Yang.

That being the lineup, here are some quick observations:

• You have to love the final International Team pairing. A guy who speaks Korean and a teammate who speaks silence. No need to mic either player.

• Before Greg Norman made his captain’s picks, Ogilvy raved about Ishikawa and insisted he would have made the Japanese teenager a pick. Norman did so, one week later, and now Ogilvy gets to see if his opinion was spot-on.

• No surprise that Norman placed Scott alongside a South African major-winner. But why not Goosen (with whom Scott is 3-0-2) and not Els (with whom he is 1-1)?

• Hey, does Sean Foley have a hand in Fred Couples’ pairings? Two of his prized students – O’Hair and Mahan – are paired together. Very convenient for a swing coach who loves to walk and watch.

• Mickelson and Kim were 1-1-1 as a team a year ago in the Ryder Cup, including a halve against Padraig Harrington and Robert Karlsson in the leadoff match. They’ll go leadoff again this year, but a word of caution: Kim has hardly been the player this year that he was in 2008.

• Woods gets his eighth Presidents Cup partner, Stricker, but one of his opponents is quite familiar: Ishikawa. At the British Open, Ishikawa and Woods were paired for two days and attracted 99.7 percent of the media.

• Allenby (19) and Singh (35) have 54 Presidents Cup matches between them but have never been a team.

• The Cink-Glover team features Nike’s two major-championship winners in 2009.

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