Presidents Cup: Day 1 staff predictions

Day 1 action will begin at 11:45 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

Day 1 action will begin at 11:45 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

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Here's a look at our staff predictions for Day 1 four-balls at the Presidents Cup, set to begin at 11:45 a.m. EDT at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio:

• • •

Jeff Babineau, Editor

U.S. 4.5, Internationals 1.5

Match 1: Hunter Mahan-Brandt Snedeker def. Jason Day-Graham DeLaet, 2 up.

Some top ballstrikers in this one, but Snedeker's putting will provide the edge.

Match 2: Adam Scott-Hideki Matsuyami def. Bill Haas-Webb Simpson, 1 up.

He'll have a rookie at his side, but Scott will carry the Internationals to a first point over Team Wake Forest.

Match 3: Phil Mickelson-Keegan Bradley def. Louis Oosthuizen-Charl Schwartzel, 3 and 2.

The Medinah Maulers will continue their hot team run, taking advantage of the rustiness in Oosthuizen's game as he returns from injury.

Match 4: Steve Stricker-Jordan Spieth and Ernie Els-Brendon de Jonge, halve.

This should be a great one, two solid veterans taking two captain's picks under their wings. Should go down to the very end.

Match 5: Matt Kuchar-Tiger Woods def. Angel Cabrera-Marc Leishman, 2 and 1.

The world No. 1, at some point, needs to improve a team record that's pretty pedestrian, don't you think? As a partner, Kuchar's light-hearted demeanor might do him so good.

Match 6: Brendan Grace-Richard Sterne def. Zach Johnson-Jason Dufner, 3 and 1.

You probably don't know much about Grace and Sterne, but you'll know a little more by nightfall Thursday.

• • •

Jeff Rude, Senior Writer

U.S. 3, Internationals 3

Match 1: Day-DeLaet def. Mahan-Snedeker, 2 and 1.

Day has established himself as major player in big-time events, and his partner might be best ball-striker this side of Henrik Stenson.

Match 2: Scott-Matsuyama def. Simpson-Haas, 1 up.

Scott, best player in 2013 majors, is highly motivated to reverse Internationals’ slump and has potential superstar by his side.

Match 3: Mickelson-Bradley def. Oosthuizen-Schwartzel, 3 and 2.

Emotional U.S. duo went 3-0 in 2012 Ryder Cup doubles and motivated to continue momentum. Oosthuizen not in top form after injury-riddled season.

Match 4: Stricker-Spieth def. Els-de Jonge, 1 up.

Everything Spieth touches turns to gold these days, and hunch is that will continue for golf’s new It Kid here.

Match 5: Woods-Kuchar def. Cabrera-Leishman, 2 and 1.

This one might depend on which Cabrera shows up–the one who wins majors, or the one who disappears for weeks at a time.

Match 6: Grace-Sterne def. Johnson-Dufner, 1 up.

Johnson coming off illness and still felt dizzy Wednesday, though he says he feels much better than Monday and Tuesday. Just a hunch that we won’t be saying, “Beware the ailing golfer.”

• • •

Jim McCabe, Senior Writer

U.S. 4, Internationals 2

Match 1: Day-DeLaet def. Mahan-Snedeker, 1 up

Most aggressive team in either lineup finds early form.

Match 2: Scott-Matsuyama def. Simpson-Haas, 3 and 2

Youth and experience carry this visiting team

Match 3: Mickelson-Bradley def. Oosthuizen-Schwartzel, 4 and 3

Health issues for Louis, no problem with American firepower here.

Match 4: Stricker-Spieth def. Els-de Jonge, 2 and 1

Two hottest Americans of late will light it up

Match 5: Woods-Kuchar def. Cabrera-Leishman, 2 and 1

Woods likely to match Kuchar birdie-for-birdie, but not smile-for-smile

Match 6: Johnson-Dufner def. Grace-Sterne, 1 up

Visiting team might be most overmatched of the morning session

• • •

Alex Miceli, Senior Writer

U.S. 3, Internationals 3

Match 1: Day-DeLaet def. Mahan-Snedeker, 2 up

Maybe the hottest player (DaLaet) is teamed with the player U.S. captain Fred Couples said he likes best on the International team.

Match 2: Scott-Matsuyama def. Simpson-Haas, 3 and 2

Scott is tired of losing these matches and even with an relatively unknown rookie (Matsuyama), they should run away from the Wake Forest duo.

Match 3: Mickelson-Bradley def. Oosthuizen-Schwartzel, 4 and 3

This U.S. pair found themselves at Medinah last fall and will still be strong; Oosthuizen is a question mark due to recent injury.

Match 4: Stricker-Spieth def. Els-de Jonge, 2 and 1

Dream pairing, old and young, both with nothing to lose since they weren't even in the Presidents Cup picture at the beginning of the year.

Match 5: Cabrera-Leishman def. Kuchar-Woods, 1 up

Big upset, yes, but this seems like a odd pairing for the U.S.

Match 6: Johnson-Dufner def. Grace-Sterne, 1 up

The Internationals will be long off the tee, but the U.S. pair will prevail through better short-game play and putting.

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