Those hoping to see the Americans’ two heavyweight organizations throughout the end of the week were most likely amazed by chief Steve Stricker’s fourballs setup.
No Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
No Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, all things considered.
Stricker educated his group regarding his Day 1 arrangement on Monday, and he wasn’t going to veer off from that in any event, when marked to a mid 3-1 lead.
“I didn’t second-guess myself at all,” Stricker said Friday night. “We were committed to this plan. We were all-in on this plan. The guys were all-in and committed to this plan. It really wasn’t a difficult decision at all just to stick with what we had.”
Thomas and Spieth played each of the four group meetings together at the 2018 Ryder Cup, gathering a 3-1 record, and figured to go all the way this week at Whistling Straits.
Same for the amazing group of Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, who had effectively collaborated at the 2019 Presidents Cup.
Be that as it may, in the Friday fourballs meeting, Stricker conveyed Schauffele with Dustin Johnson, Cantlay matched with Thomas, and Spieth passed on the evening.
They went 1-0-1 as the Americans fabricated a 6-2 lead, their biggest first-day lead since 1975.
“We were trying to give everybody a little bit of rest along the way,” Stricker said. “That was part of it. Just making sure guys get their rest.
“It’s a big course. Tough conditions this afternoon. Guys from both sides looked whipped after playing 36 holes. A big key is to make sure these guys are rested and ready for Sunday as well. You have 12 points on Sunday. Sunday is a big day.”
The Americans’ foursomes arrangement will look a similar Saturday as it did on Day 1, with Cantlay and Schauffele together, Spieth and Thomas collaborating once more, just as the groups of Brooks Koepka-Daniel Berger and Dustin Johnson-Collin Morikawa.
Cantlay, Schauffele, Thomas and Johnson will have showed up in every meeting to this point. When asked before the matches if any player on the U.S. side would go each of the five matches, Stricker said: “We are conscious of that, and trying to look at that going forward as well. It’s definitely on our plate to try to make sure that guys are getting their rest.”