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Presidents Cup pairings: Thursday foursomes matches and analysis

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The 14th Presidents Cup gets started Thursday afternoon at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While the U.S. team is the heavy favorite, the Internationals will look to get off to a strong start like they did three years ago in Australia, where they jumped on the Americans, 4-1, in fourballs before ultimately losing an eighth straight Presidents Cup by two points.

First up are five foursomes (alternate-shot) matches. It's a format that the Americans have outscored their opponents, 71.5-31.5, in the past 10 editions.

The rest of the week looks like this: Friday – five fourballs matches; Saturday – four foursomes matches in morning, four fourballs matches in afternoon; Sunday – 12 singles matches. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

Here are the pairings, matchups and tee times for Thursday's opening foursomes session (all times ET):

1:05 p.m.: Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele (USA) vs. Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama (INT)

U.S. captain Davis Love III deferred the opening pick (this competition staggers its match announcements) and International captain Trevor Immelman quickly announced his two most experienced players as the first pairing. The two have combined for 13 Presidents Cup appearances and are a combined 8-13-3 in foursomes. As overall partners, they have a 1-3-1 record.

Love countered with a pair of good friends who have great results together in this format. Cantlay and Schauffele are 4-0 as a team (2019 Presidents Cup, 2021 Ryder Cup) in alternate shot. They also won the Zurich Classic team event earlier this year.

Most intriguing pairings ahead of Presidents Cup

1:17 p.m.: Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Sungjae Im/Corey Conners (INT)

Spieth and Thomas have never been paired in this competition but have a 4-2 record together in the Ryder Cup. Spieth is a perfect 5-0 in Presidents Cup foursomes, while Thomas is 2-0-2.

Im played in all five sessions in his cup debut in ’19, going 2-1-1 in the team portions. Conners is one of seven rookies on this year’s International team. Both players excel off the tee, but Im has the better all-around game.

1:29 p.m.: Cameron Young/Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Tom Kim/K.H. Lee (INT)

Captain Love said players were chomping at the bit to play alongside rookie Young, and it’s Morikawa who got the call. Young was second on Tour last year in strokes gained: off the tee (third in distance). Morikawa was third on Tour in strokes gained: approach the green.

Kim and Lee are one of two all-rookie pairings for Captain Immelman. The South Koreans both won on Tour last season. Kim, 20, has been praised by his teammates for helping bond the group. Lee, meanwhile, was described by Scott as the team’s most dominant player during a Quail Hollow scouting trip a couple of weeks ago.

Team captains announce Day 1 foursomes pairings

1:41 p.m.: Scottie Scheffler/Sam Burns (USA) vs. Si Woo Kim/Cam Davis (INT)

Scheffler and Burns are both Presidents Cup first-timers, but they hardly seem like rookies. In addition to being best friends, Scheffler is world No. 1 and Burns is No. 12. Kim and Davis are a combined 142 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Burns and Davis have no cup experience. Scheffler went 2-0-1 in last year’s Ryder Cup. Kim went 1-2-0 in the 2017 Presidents Cup.

1:53 p.m.: Tony Finau/Max Homa (USA) vs. Taylor Pendrith/Mito Pereira (INT)

While Homa is making his cup debut, Finau has played on the last two American teams, going 0-1-3 in the ’19 Presidents Cup and 1-2-0 in the ’21 Ryder Cup.

Pendrith and Pereira are the second all-rookie team for the away side. The Canadian Pendrith is a big hitter, ranking ninth on Tour in driving distance last season (322 yards). The Chilean Pereira was 14th in greens hit in regulation.

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