JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace provided a bright spot for the International team on Thursday when they continued their brilliant partnership to post another victory against the United States.
After winning four matches in the previous event in South Korea, the South African duo beat American Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger 3&1 in windswept conditions at Liberty National.
It was the only victory in five foursomes (alternate shot) matches by the Internationals, who also eked out a halve in another match to finish the opening day trailing 3-1/2 to 1-1/2.
”We knew we needed to do something,“ 2010 British Open champion Oosthuizen said after he and Grace improved to 5-0 as partners. ”In the middle (of the round) we didn’t hit very good shots but we knew it was going to be a grind all day.
“Then we started really flushing the ball and really giving ourselves putts for birdies and making pars. In these conditions today, par on some holes is good enough to win.”
Grace, a low-ball hitter, was at home in the wind, and relieved to help his team avoid what could have been a terrible first day.
“It was nice to hit clutch shots when it mattered,” he said.
”We get along great and don’t give each other too hard of a time out there when things get tough. It was just a grind, especially on a day like today.
“You know somebody is going to make a mistake and you know to lift the other one up and I think we do that great.”
International captain Nick Price kept Oosthuizen and Grace together for Friday’s four-ball, when they will play Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury