November 17, 2011
If there's one thing we've learned from watching the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup over the years, it's that the unlikeliest pairings can sometimes produce incredible results. Case in point: Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker at the 2009 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia.
The two players had nothing in common when it came to their personalities or games, but that didn't stop them from steamrolling the competition and posting a spotless 4-0 team record. That's why it shouldn't come as a surprise that the biggest bright spot on the opening day of the 2012 Presidents Cup, for the U.S. side, came from the unlikely pairing of Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.
Despite having never played in the Presidents Cup before, the rookies looked right at home against Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa, using a mixture of strong play off the tee and clutch putting to win 4 & 2 to put the U.S. on the board early on.
Normally, you'd think the pressure of being the opening match out would have been too much for Watson and Simpson, but as we saw from both of them this year, they seem to feel right at home when things start to ratchet up.
Watson kept things light during the round, joking with Simpson and keeping him loose. Whatever Watson said certainly worked, as the duo looked nearly unflappable in Thursday's first match.
Every year there seems to be one pairing throughout the week that anchors the winning side, and based on the way the both players performed, you'd have to think there's a good chance that if the U.S. comes out of the matches victorious, Fred Couples could look back at the Simpson-Watson pairing as a big reason why his team had so much success.
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