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Magic Mickelson Moment Hands USA Commanding Presidents Cup Lead

Phil Mickelson's final hole brilliance put an exclamation opint on a dominant day for Team USA in new Jersey (Photo: Getty Images)
Team USA has dominated the day two fourballs to open what appears an unassailable lead at the Presidents Cup in New Jersey.

The scoreline stands at 8-2 in favour of the Americans after they took four and a half of the available five points on Friday at Liberty National, putting themselves in prime position to retain the Cup.

After comfortably taking the day one foursomes 3.5 to 1.5 the Americans were at their mercurial best on day two, veteran Phil Mickelson putting an exclamation point on the day with a 12-foot putt for birdie at the final hole to claim a point over Marc Leishman and Jason Day.

After both sitting out day one the rookie pairing of Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell drew first blood for captain Steve Stricker, accounting for an out of sorts Anirban Lahiri and Charl Schwartzel 6&5.

Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler were next in with a 3&2 victory over the previously unbeaten South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace.

In a match that was expected to be one of the most closely contested all day, Thomas and Fowler got their noses in front early and never let the South Africans back in.

They turned 2up but just when it looked like the momentum might be turning in favour of Oosthuizen and Grace, Thomas produced some magic with a holed bunker shot at the 14th.

The birdie neutralised Oosthuizen’s brilliant second shot to keep the lead at 2 then Thomas all but ended the match with a long birdie putt to go 3up at 15.

The Americans closed it out with another piece of Thomas bunker brilliance, the FedEx Cup champion lipping out from the greenside sand at the par-3 16th to guarantee a par and victory.

The long bombing group of Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas versus Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson never quite delivered the fireworks expected though was a close contest until the end.

World Number One Johnson proved the difference, brilliant back to back birdies at 15 and 16 taking the Americans from 1up and in a precarious position to a comfortable 3&2 victory.

The Australian duo of Marc Leishman and Jason Day were bitterly disappointed with their bogey-bogey finish in yesterday’s foursomes against Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner and were out for revenge in today’s fourballs.

They got off to the perfect start with a win at the first and went to the turn 2up and looking comfortable but the back nine again proved their undoing.

Kisner clawed one back with a brilliant birdie at the 11th and holed from 20 feet at the 15th to get the match to square.

The last group on the course as the light faded, it was Mickelson who stole the show at the par-3 18th after the two teams halved 16 and 17.

Kisner found water off the tee leaving the 46-year-old to play Day and Leishman alone but he delivered in spectacular fashion.

He hit a gorgeous 7-iron to 12 feet and despite Leishman hitting it a foot closer on the opposite side of the cup, Lefty made the most of the moment.

He holed his birdie to send the crowd, and his assembled teammates, into a frenzy and guarantee a half point at worst.

Leishman’s chance to halve slipped by the hole and with two days of golf and 20 points remaining to play for, the International team find themselves once again with their backs to the wall.

Tomorrow’s third day sees four foursomes matches in the morning and four fourballs in the afternoon with 12 singles matches to be played Sunday.

International Captain Nick Price will need an unlikely turnaround in form from his players if the contest is to be close come Sunday.


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