Prez Cup Tracker: Tiger falters but U.S. in lead

Tiger Woods of the U.S. and Steve Williams, caddie to Adam Scott, shake hands on the first tee during the Day 1 Foursome matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods of the U.S. and Steve Williams, caddie to Adam Scott, shake hands on the first tee during the Day 1 Foursome matches at the 2011 Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia — The handshake between Tiger Woods and ex-caddie Steve Williams was routine. The loss by Woods and Steve Stricker turned out to be the real drama in the Presidents Cup.

Adam Scott and K.J. Choi were relentless Thursday at Royal Melbourne in dishing out the worst loss for Woods in any format of match play. The International tandem won 7 and 6, tying the record for biggest margin of victory in Presidents Cup history.

Woods and Stricker, undefeated two years ago, turned out to be the only weak link for the Americans.

They won three matches handily, and rallied to halve two other matches to build a 4-2 lead after the opening session.

Woods and Stricker, winners of their first six matches together, now have lost their last two — 6 and 5 last year in the Ryder Cup to Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, and 7 and 6 to Scott and Choi. What looked particularly bad about this one is the American tandem didn't win a hole and was the only team that failed to make a single birdie.

The only other match that went 12 holes since the Presidents Cup began in 1994 was when David Frost beat Kenny Perry by the same score in singles in 1996.

"Unfortunately, they got off to a quick start and we just couldn't keep up," Woods said. "We kept falling to the wrong side of these slopes. The golf course is so difficult, it's hard to make up shots."

Two of the six matches went the distance. Geoff Ogilvy and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel lost a late 2-up lead and had to settle for a halve against Bill Haas and Nick Watney. Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar rallied from 3 down with six holes to play and won the last two holes with pars to earn an unlikely halve.

"It did not look like 4-2 about an hour and a half ago," U.S. captain Fred Couples said. "We'll take that any day."

It was the third straight time in the Presidents Cup that the Americans won the opening session. They are 6-1-1 in this competition, the only loss coming 13 years ago at Royal Melbourne.

The Americans won the other three matches in a rout, led by the opening match of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. They were 7 under through 16 holes in a 4-and-2 win over Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk, together for the first time since Brookline in the 1999 Ryder Cup, won 4 and 3 over Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby. Hunter Mahan and David Toms drilled the Korean duo of Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim, 6 and 5.

"The only hole that they won, we three-putted," Toms said. "So for the most part, we kept the pressure on, hitting fairways, hitting greens, made a few putts. Just a good day overall."

Woods and Williams exchanged a firm, businesslike handshake on the opening hole and otherwise kept their distance. That was about all the drama in what might be the final chapter of this bitter split between player and caddie.

Williams now works for Scott, and just like so many other team competitions, he had the best horse. Scott was crisp off the tee and into the firm greens. He rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt to win the 11th hole, then hit an approach into 8 feet as Choi made the birdie to close out the match.

Scott and Choi never came close to a bogey and were 4 under through 12 holes. Woods and Stricker were 3 over.

"It seemed like we were just a little bit off," Stricker said after his first competition since Sept. 25 at the Tour Championship. "It seemed like I put him in the rough by a foot or so. If you're in the rough here, trying to hit to some of these greens is pretty difficult."

Scott called it a "very pleasing victory," more to do with being home in Australia than anything to do with his caddie.

"A good win, because they were a tough team last time, took a lot of points off us," Scott said. "So it was pleasing to get one up there."

Williams first showed the animosity in the split when he said after Scott won the Bridgestone Invitational that it was the "best win of my life." Then came that night in Shanghai two weeks ago at a caddies' award party, when Williams made a racial comment about Woods while getting roasted for that TV interview at the Bridgestone.

The handshake on the first tee was symbolic — it was strictly business out there.

Williams was on the second tee when Choi was hitting in alternate shot. Not long after Woods arrived to watch his partner, Williams walked up the fairway to join Scott about 40 yards away.

The final handshake also was brief, and it happened much sooner than anyone might have expected. It was the first time in any match Woods has played that he failed to play the 14th hole.

For the longest time, it looked as though the day would end in a tie. International captain Greg Norman did not lose hope.

"We had the ability to go out there and win more points than we did," Norman said. "Day one is day one. It's a four-day event."

- Associated Press

• • •

Check out our Presidents Cup Tracker, complete with a hole-by-hole look at the Tiger defeat as well as how each match unfolded:

UPDATE #41: 1:40 A.M.

Matt Kuchar's birdie putt trickles down the hill and slides by on the right and settles around three feet from the hole.

Jason Day took his time to read the par putt for the Internationals and it doesn't start high enough and comes under the hole, leaving a chance for Dustin Johnson to halve the match.

And he does, so the Americans pick up another half-point and move out to a commanding 4-2 lead after the opening foursome matches.

Johnson-Kuchar were 3 down in this match, but made up two strokes over the last two holes to grind out the halve.

• • •

UPDATE #41: 1:31 A.M.

Matt Kuchar takes the tee shot for the Americans and hammers it into the center of the fairway. With a one-hole lead, Aaron Baddeley pulls 3-wood and hits a couple of inches behind the ball and pushes it well right.

Baddeley's drive lands right next to a tree and it will leave Jason Day with very little room for a backswing and he'll have no choice but to chomp out of the long rough. He does get it out, but the Internationals are hitting their third shot before the Americans will hit their second.

Sitting about 200 yards from the front edge of the green, Baddeley makes a nice swing on the third shot and sends it over the flag and to the back of the green. The putt back down the hill will be slick.

Dustin Johnson hits the second American shot over the flag as well, and it trickles back to just outside of the International shot. A two-putt by the U.S. will likely win the hole.

• • •

UPDATE #40: 1:21 A.M.

Aaron Baddeley leaves the International approach shot on No. 17 short and to the left, while Matt Kuchar gets the ball out of the rough and onto the green, but the Americans are staring at a long birdie try.

Jason Day putts from off the green and it runs right past the hole and settles about five feet beyond the hole.

Dustin Johnson's birdie attempt runs by on the right of the hole, and Aaron Baddeley misses the International par putt from about six feet to allow Kuchar to knock in a par putt and send it to the 18th.

• • •

UPDATE #39: 1:10 A.M.

Charl Schwartzel misses the International par putt to the left, leaving Bill Haas a chance to win the match with a putt coming from behind the hole and to the right. The putt stays out to the left and the match is halved. The Americans now have a 3.5 to 1.5 lead as the last match is on the 17th hole.

• • •

UPDATE #38: 1:07 A.M.

On the 18th hole, both teams struggle out of the rough, with Charl Schwartzel coming up well short of the green and Bill Haas flying the green to the back fringe. Geoff Ogilvy lofts a chip and leaves it 12 feet short of the pin. Nick Watney was forced to putt back across the green through the shadows, with the speed being his biggest obstacle. Watney leaves it out to the right and Haas will also have 12 feet for an American par.

Meanwhile, on the 16th hole, Aaron Baddeley misses a long birdie putt and Dustin Johnson makes a par putt to extend the match, with the Internationals guaranteed a half-point.

• • •

UPDATE #37: 1 A.M.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk have picked up the third point for the U.S. team, as they beat Robert Allenby and Retief Goosen, 4 and 3. The Americans now hold a 3-1 lead with one match on No. 18 and the other on No. 16.

• • •

UPDATE #37: 12:57 A.M.

All square through 17 holes, Nick Watney pulls driver on No. 18 and he pushes it right and into the long fescue, leaving partner Bill Haas with a tough second shot to the green on the par 4.

The push changes Geoff Ogilvy's club selection, pulling 3-wood instead and he also puts it into the fescue rough.

• • •

UPDATE #36: 12:55 A.M.

On No. 15, Matt Kuchar misses a big birdie putt to pick up a stroke on Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley, who remain 2 up with three holes to play.

Up on No. 17, Charl Schwartzel leaves a birdie putt well short of the hole, while Bill Haas has a big bender from right to left and it runs well past the hole. Nick Watney makes the par putt to put pressure on Geoff Ogilvy to do the same. Ogilvy makes it and the match will move to the 18th all square.

• • •

UPDATE #35: 12:43 A.M.

Hunter Mahan and David Toms have given the Americans a 2-1 lead at the Presidents Cup, with Mahan making a birdie at No. 13 to close out Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim, 6 and 5.

The U.S. leads one of the remaining matches, the Internationals lead another and the third is all square going to No. 17.

• • •

UPDATE #34: 12:39 A.M.

Only two years removed from going 4-0 at Harding Park, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker couldn't continue the magic. They didn't record a birdie and were thumped by Adam Scott and K.J. Choi, 7 and 6, as the Internationals picked up their first point of the tournament.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas, All Square thru 16 holes

Haas hits the par putt after Schwartzel misses one for the Internationals.

• • •

UPDATE #33: 12:35 A.M.

It looks like Adam Scott-K.J. Choi will finish out Tiger-Stricker on the 12th hole, as Tiger has flown the green with their second shot and Scott put it to within six feet for birdie.

Stricker gives it a run, but it slides by on the left and Choi will putt to close out the match.

Match #5 update: Y.E. Yang-K.T. Kim vs. Hunter Mahan-David Toms, U.S. 5 up through 12 holes

Kim misses a long birdie putt and the steady duo of Mahan-Toms pick up another hole.

• • •

UPDATE #32: 12:31 A.M.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, U.S. 3 up through 12 holes

Goosen misses an opportunity to pick up a hole, watching a birdie putt squeak by on the left.

• • •

UPDATE #32: 12:25 A.M.

The Internationals continue to put pressure on Tiger-Stricker, as Adam Scott rolled in a long birdie putt on No. 11 after watching Stricker hit a dismal chip shot from behind the green at the par 4. Tiger, putting from more than 18 feet, misses the putt to the right and Choi-Scott move to 6 up with seven to play.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas, Internationals 1 up thru 15 holes

Watney-Haas have to do little on the green and cut into the International lead.

• • •

UPDATE #31: 12:18 A.M.

Match #5 update: Y.E. Yang-K.T. Kim vs. Hunter Mahan-David Toms, U.S. 4 up through 11 holes

Mahan makes a long birdie putt to put the U.S. in complete command.

• • •

UPDATE #30: 12:15 A.M.

The Americans have posted the first point of the Presidents Cup, as Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson overcame an early two-hole deficit to beat Ryo Ishikawa and Ernie Els, 4 and 2.

Of the remaining matches, the U.S. leads in two (both 3 up) and the Internationals lead in three.

• • •

UPDATE #29: 12:13 A.M.

Adam Scott makes a long par putt to put pressure on Tiger Woods on No. 10 and Tiger is up to the challenge, but they will need to reach deep as they are 5 down with eight to play.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas, Internationals 2 up thru 14 holes

In the closest match of the day, Ogilvy slides a putt in to put the Internationals up by two with four holes to play.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 2 up through 12 holes

The Americans only need a two-putt to pick up a hole and do it with ease.

• • •

UPDATE #28: 12:05 A.M.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 3 up through 15 holes

Ernie Els keeps the Internationals in the match with a par putt from just off the green, but the Americans have guaranteed at least a half-point heading to No. 16.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, U.S. 3 up through 11 holes

Mickelson holes another putt to extend the American lead to three holes.

• • •

UPDATE #27: 11:57 P.M.

Stricker cannot make the par putt on No. 9 and the team of Stricker-Woods falls to 5 down against Adam Scott-K.J. Choi as they walk to No. 10.

• • •

UPDATE #26: 11:55 P.M.

Adam Scott hits his bunker shot to within a foot, while Tiger deals with a tougher lie in the same bunker and puts it to within eight feet. The U.S. must make this putt heading into the back nine, as they are staring at 5 down walking to No. 10 if Stricker misses the putt.

• • •

UPDATE #25: 11:51 P.M.

Stricker and Woods see an opening after the Internationals push their approach shot into the bunker, but Stricker also lands the Americans second shot in the bunker after a beautiful 2-iron tee shot from Tiger.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 3 up through 14 holes

Watson and Simpson halve a hole and are inching toward securing the first point of the tournament.

• • •

UPDATE #24: 11:41 P.M.

Tiger and Sticker dodge a bullet on No. 8, as Stricker's long putt cozies up to the hole and the American par is conceded, while K.J. Choi's birdie putt lips out to keep the Internationals 4 up in this marquee match. Tiger-Stricker are still without a birdie on the day.

• • •

UPDATE #23: 11:38 P.M.

Steve Stricker pulls his drive into the first cut of rough on the right on No. 8 and Tiger hits the team's second shot past the hole, but manages to keep it on the green with spin.

But the Internationals are looking at a 5 up lead after a nice drive from K.J. Choi to the left side of the fairway and a beautiful approach shot to six feet by Adam Scott.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, U.S. 2 up through 9 holes

A nice putt by Furyk pushes the American lead to two.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 3 up through 13 holes

A nice approach shot by Simpson and a birdie putt by Watson extends the American lead. The Americans were down by two holes early in this match.

• • •

UPDATE #22: 11:32 P.M.

The Aussies are having a field day at home, with Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day 3 up in their match, while Adam Scott is 4 up in his match (paired with K.J. Choi). Robert Allenby is the only current Aussie to trail in a match (1 down to Mickelson-Furyk).

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 1 up through 12 holes

Watson makes a long par putt before Els even had a chance to take a stab at a birdie putt. Both squads pick up a par and the match remains 1 up in favor of the U.S.

• • •

UPDATE #21: 11:28 P.M.

It has gone from bad to worse for Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods, as Tiger drove wildly to the right on No. 7 and they have to take a drop. Stricker's third shot comes up short of the green, while Adam Scott and K.J. Choi have an uphill putt for birdie. Tiger will likely need to chip in if the Americans hope to halve the hole.

He makes a run at it, but it slides by on the top side and the Internationals have two putts to win the hole.

They get in with two putts and take a 4 up lead in the most shocking score of the day thus far.

• • •

UPDATE #20: 11:22 P.M.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, U.S. 1 up through 8 holes

Goosen and Allenby struggle in the fescue, as Mickelson-Furyk use a simple par to win the hole and take the lead for the first time in the match. This also puts the Americans ahead in three matches and the Internationals ahead in three matches.

• • •

UPDATE #19: 11:20 P.M.

The Americans are leading in two matches currently, including one on the back nine (Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson), the Internationals are leading three matches, including two 3 up (Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley & Adam Scott-K.J. Choi) and one is all square.

Meanwhile, Steve Stricker just misses a birdie putt on No. 6 while K.J. Choi makes an International birdie to go 3 up over the tandem of Tiger and Stricker. The latter duo still does not have a birdie.

• • •

UPDATE #18: 11:10 P.M.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 3 up through 8 holes

Johnson misses a short par putt to halve the hole, giving the Aussie tandem a commanding lead.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, All Square through 7 holes

Mickelson makes a long birdie attempt and Goosen misses a shorter one, allowing the U.S. to tie the match.

Match #5 update: Y.E. Yang-K.T. Kim vs. Hunter Mahan-David Toms, U.S. 2 up through 4 holes

Yang misses a birdie putt on No. 6 to give the Americans a two-hole lead.

• • •

UPDATE #17: 11:05 P.M.

K.J. Choi puts the Internationals birdie putt close and their par is conceded to allow the Internationals to go 2 up after Stricker hits a bunker shot into another bunker on the other side of the green.

• • •

UPDATE #16: 11 P.M.

Tiger sends his tee shot on the par-3 into the greenside bunker and Stricker will have plenty of work to do to help the U.S. get up and down for par.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, Internationals 1 up through 5 holes

Allenby drains a long birdie putt, but Furyk matches him to halve the fifth hole.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 2 up through 6 holes

Kuchar gets too powerful with a short birdie putt and it flies past the hole to move the Internationals ahead by two.

• • •

UPDATE #15: 10:52 P.M.

Steve Stricker barely taps his downhill putt from 15 feet and it rolls right past the fourth hole, leaving Tiger with 4 feet for par. He slides it into the left edge of the cup.

But the Internationals can't take advantage, as Choi misses the uphill birdie putt to the right of the hole. The Internationals remain 1 up through four holes.

• • •

UPDATE #14: 10:46 P.M.

Steve Stricker puts his tee shot on No. 4 in the fairway, but Tiger hits the approach shot about five feet too far and it bounds past the hole, leaving Stricker a tough downhill putt for birdie.

K.J. Choi also drives into the fairway and Adam Scott takes advantage, leaving it 10 feet below the hole.

Match #5 update: Y.E. Yang-K.T. Kim vs. Hunter Mahan-David Toms, U.S. 2 up through 4 holes

The Internationals drive behind a tree and the Americans use two putts to win the hole.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 1 up through 5 holes

Johnson hits out of the fescue to five feet on the par-4 6th hole, and Kuchar drains the birdie putt. Baddeley follows suit and they halve the hole.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 1 up through 9 holes

Ishikawa nails another long par putt to halve the hole and keep the American lead to one.

• • •

UPDATE #13: 10:40 P.M.

Tiger's tee shot at the par-3 3rd hole hits hole high and rolls away from the hole, while Adam Scott lands it behind the hole.

Stricker rolls the American birdie putt to within a foot and their par is conceded, while K.J. Choi hits his putt with his back to the hole and puts it close enough for a conceded par as well. The Internationals remain 1 up in the final match of the day.

• • •

UPDATE #12: 10:35 P.M.

Tiger misses a birdie putt on No. 2 and the Internationals two-putt for birdie and the pairing of Adam Scott and K.J. Choi takes a 1-up lead after two holes.

The Internationals lead in four matches, while the U.S. is ahead in two matches currently.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, Internationals 1 up through 4 holes

Jim Furyk misses a short birdie putt to square the match.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 1 up through 5 holes

Dustin Johnson makes a par putt to help the Americans halve the hole.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 1 up through 8 holes

Ishikawa makes a long par putt on No. 8 to halve the hole.

• • •

UPDATE #11: 10:30 P.M.

Steve Stricker drives left and into the rough on No. 2 and Tiger is forced to lay up and give Stricker a chance at putting it close with his approach shot. Stricker is a bit unlucky on the third shot and Tiger will have a tough birdie chance, as the Internationals are almost assured of birdie after a superb second shot to the green by Adam Scott. K.J. Choi has an eagle putt upcoming on the par 5.

Match #5 update: Y.E. Yang-K.T. Kim vs. Hunter Mahan-David Toms, U.S. 1 up through 2 holes

Mahan hits a fantastic tee shot to give Toms a short birdie putt, while Kim makes a lengthy birdie putt to halve the hole.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 1 up through 4 holes

Day misses a short par putt for a chance to go 2 up in the match.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas, Internationals 2 up through 5 holes

Internationals make a birdie putt to take further command.

• • •

UPDATE #10: 10:20 P.M.

Tiger must be careful on the green and hits the left-to-right putt to about two feet in front of the cup. Adam Scott hits his putt from off the green and puts it one revolution in front of the cup and the Internationals save its par.

Stricker also taps in for par to leave the match all square through No. 1.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, Internationals 1 up through 3 holes

Goosen makes a par putt to win the hole after Mickelson sails the green with his tee shot on the par 3.

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, U.S. 1 up through 7 holes

Americans win third straight hole, with Simpson rolling in yet another putt (this one for par).

• • •

UPDATE #9: 10:15 P.M.

Tiger Woods exchanges a quick handshake with former caddie Steve Williams on the first tee box. Woods takes the Americans first shot and hits a stinger into the middle of the fairway at the short par 4.

Adam Scott matches Tiger by hitting the fairway as well.

Steve Stricker hits the Americans second shot above the hole and it doesn't feed down to the hole, leaving Tiger with a lengthy birdie putt. K.J. Choi sends the Internationals second shot a bit past the hole, and Scott will also have a longer birdie putt.

• • •

UPDATE #8: 10:10 P.M.

Hunter Mahan makes a birdie putt on No. 1 to put the he and David Toms ahead 1 up over Y.E. Yang-K.T Kim.

Match #4 update: Retief Goosen-Robert Allenby vs. Phil Mickelson-Jim Furyk, AS through 2 holes

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar, Internationals 1 up through 3 holes

Meanwhile, on No. 3, Dustin Johnson uses 8-iron at the par 3 and goes over the green, leaving partner Matt Kuchar with a difficult shot back down the green. Kuchar's attempt runs at least 40 feet past the hole. Johnson misses the putt and they concede the hole without the Internationals even having to putt.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas, Internationals 1 up through four holes

Match #1 update: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson, AS through 6 holes

Simpson nails a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 6 to square the match, the American second-straight birdie.

• • •

UPDATE #7: 10 P.M.

Hunter Mahan and David Toms have teed off on No. 1, with Mahan placing the ball in the middle of the fairway.

Y.E. Yang, partnered with Kyung-Tae Kim, takes the tee shot for the Internationals and puts it right behind Mahan in the fairway.

Kim fired at the pin and it runs past the flag, leaving the Internationals with a 15-foot birdie putt. Seconds later, David Toms puts the Americans second shot to within two feet.

No one has missed the fairway on the first hole through five groups.

Match #3 update: Jason Day-Aaron Baddeley vs. Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar

Johnson puts the Americans' second shot right in front of the green at the par-5 2nd hole, and they get up-and-down for a birdie. Jason Day has a chance to make birdie from just off the green, but it sails left and the match has moved back to all square.

• • •

UPDATE #6: 9:55 P.M.

On the par-3 5th, Bubba Watson gives the U.S. a much-needed boost - they are down two through four holes - with a great tee shot that will give partner Webb Simpson a short birdie putt. Ryo Ishikawa and Ernie Els also have a birdie putt.

Back on No. 1, Mickelson makes a clutch birdie putt to halve the first hole.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas

Ogilvy makes a huge birdie putt on No. 3 to score the first point of the match, with the Internationals taking a 1-up lead.

• • •

UPDATE #6: 9:50 P.M.

With a sand wedge, Robert Allenby uses the firm green at No. 1 to hit in the front of the green and have the ball run all the way to the hole, giving partner Retief Goosen a 2-footer for birdie.

Meanwhile, Furyk uses putter from just off the green and puts it within 12 feet for birdie.

Match #1: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson

Els drains a birdie putt from 10 feet on No. 4 to give the Internationals a 2-up lead.

• • •

UPDATE #6: 9:45 P.M.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk have just teed off, with Mickelson torching a drive to right in front of the green at the 348-yard, par-4 first hole.

Retief Goosen takes the honor off the tee for the Internationals and leaves Robert Allenby a second shot from the middle of the fairway.

Match #2 update: Geoff Ogilvy-Charl Schwartzel vs. Nick Watney-Bill Haas

Schwartzel makes a clutch par putt from six feet to keep the match all square, overcoming an unplayable lie off the tee.

• • •

UPDATE #5: 9:40 P.M.

Aaron Baddeley hits a nice approach shot into the first green to give partner Jason Day a slick birdie putt downhill. Day makes the putt for birdie, while Matt Kuchar's approach shot comes up well short of the hole and Dustin Johnson pushes the downhill putt past the hole and the Internationals take a 1-up lead after the first hole.

Match #1: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson

After a bad tee shot on the par-3 No. 3 by Ishikawa, Els puts the approach shot right off the green to within two inches with a brilliant shot that came off the back of the green. Watson's tee shot is hole high, but Simpson pushes the putt to the left and both teams must settle for par. The Internationals maintain their 1-up lead through three holes.

• • •

UPDATE #4: 9:33 P.M.

The U.S. team of Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar is now on the course, with Johnson putting his tee shot in the middle of the fairway at the par-4 first hole.

They are facing the Aussie tandem of Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley, with Day taking the opening tee shot to the middle of the fairway as well.

Match #1: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson

Ishikawa makes a birdie putt on No. 2 to put the Internationals up, 1 up, through two holes.

• • •

UPDATE #4: 9:30 P.M.

Nick Watney hits the Americans second shot to the back of the green on No. 1, while Geoff Ogilvy hits his shot hole high, about 15 feet from the hole.

Charl Schwartzel pushes the birdie putt past for the Internationals and they must settle for par. Bill Haas puts a good stroke on his birdie putt, a big bender from right to left, but the ball finishes on the edge and the U.S. takes its par.

Through one hole, the match is all square.

Match #1: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson

Both teams have birdie putts after a nice third shot from Simpson to behind the hole, while Els hits a beautiful sand shot from a greenside bunker to within eight feet.

• • •

UPDATE #3: 9:22 P.M.

The second match has teed off, with FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas using iron to the middle of the fairway, leaving Nick Watney with a simple wedge for the Americans' second shot.

Charl Schwartzel took driver off the tee and pushed it into the spectators on the right, but the ball bounced back out into the fairway to give Aussie Geoff Ogilvy a shot at the green at the par-4 1st hole.

Match #1: Ernie Els & Ryo Ishikawa vs. Bubba Watson & Webb Simpson

On No. 2, the Internationals have put their tee shot in the middle of the fairway, while Webb Simpson has put his tee shot well left and Bubba Watson is forced to lay-up with their second shot. The match is all square through one hole.

• • •

UPDATE #2: 9:17 P.M.

Ernie Els hits a nice approach shot, using the firm greens to let the ball run all the way down to the hole on No. 1, leaving Ishikawa with a 20-foot birdie attempt. Ishikawa misses the putt to the left and it is conceded for an opening par.

Meanwhile, Webb Simpson chips to the green and nearly holes it out on the Americans' second shot, leaving Watson with a six-foot birdie putt. But Watson sees his putt dive in front of the hole and the U.S. has to settle for a par as well.

Els-Ishikawa All-Square with Watson-Simpson, Thru 1

The next group off the No. 1 tee will pit Americans Bill Haas & Nick Watney against Geoff Ogilvy & Masters champ Charl Schwartzel. Our Alex Miceli provides this preview:

BILL HAAS / NICK WATNEY (-115)

GEOFF OGILVY / CHARL SCHWARTZEL (-105)

The skinny: Both Americans are rookies. Haas is the reigning FedEx Cup champion. Though his 2011 season was better than average, he won only one time, in Atlanta. Watney won twice in 2011, but his victory at the WGC event in Florida put Watney squarely in the debate as best American player.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy may know Royal Melbourne better than anyone, but with injuries that have kept him from playing his best golf, Ogilvy is a bit of a wild card, even with his overwhelming Presidents Cup experience. Schwartzel, a South African, is another rookie, but he has a green jacket. With Ogilvy’s past U.S. Open title, the Internationals have two majors on their side of the ledger.

It’s just too tough to pick against Ogilvy at this venue, even if his game is still a bit suspect.

Prediction: Internationals

• • •

UPDATE #1: 9:07 P.M. EST

On the 354-yard, par-4 first hole, Bubba Watson will be tempted to go for the green off the tee, and is probably the only person in this foursome with the length to have at it.

Watson, with his bright pink driver shaft, stretches before his tee shot and puts it right in front of the green to give Simpson a short chip to the green.

Meanwhile, Ishikawa takes the honor off the tee for the Internationals and puts it in the middle of the fairway.

Here is a breakdown of the first match, courtesy of our Alex Miceli:

BUBBA WATSON / WEBB SIMPSON (-125)

ERNIE ELS / RYO ISHIKAWA (+105)

The skinny: Bubba Watson hasn’t broken into the top 10 in a PGA Tour event since a playoff victory against Webb Simpson at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April. Simpson, in contrast, has been one of the hottest players on Tour since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, earning a FedEx Cup playoff victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Ernie Els has struggled in 2011, with five missed cuts. He moved to the belly putter in the middle of the season, but still had only one top 10, last month at the Frys.com Open.

Ishikawa has been a study in contrasts, with seven top 5s but also four missed cuts and no victories, his first winless season as a professional.

Els has played in 30 Presidents Cup matches, compiling a 16-12-2 record. His experience not only in the Presidents Cup but at Royal Melbourne should be enough to defeat the U.S. pair.

Prediction: Internationals

We've gone ahead and done a match-by-match analysis for Day 1, with Miceli making predictions on each match. Check that out here.

• • •

Want to explore Royal Melbourne? Check out a hole-by-hole description of each hole, including some incredible images of one of the world's best courses, by clicking here.

And, if you thought the time difference was a bit insane in Australia, it was announced that South Korea will host the 2015 Presidents Cup. That will be 14 hours ahead of the U.S.

Want to read up on all of the players? We have you covered. Check out our in-depth profiles of the International team and the American team.

And, finally, check out our complete coverage file, that breaks down all of our unique content from our four reporters on the ground in Australia, as well as our preview stories. Click here to find what you are looking for!

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