If the PGA Tour’s season-opening Fortinet Championship is foreshadowing anything, next week could be rough for the International team at the Presidents Cup.
The United States is heavily favored at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in an event it has lost only once in its history. The International team, which features plenty of talent but a lot of newcomers after the losses of Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann, among others, to the LIV Golf Series, would pull off a huge upset if it were to find a way to be victorious.
Yet members of the International team struggled at Silverado Resort’s North Course while the lone U.S. member sits in the lead.
Fortinet: PGA Tour on ESPN+ | Leaderboard
Max Homa, the defending champion, is tied for the lead at 12 under. The other U.S. connection is assistant captain Webb Simpson, who is a member at Quail Hollow. He missed the cut, which was at 2 under, after rounds of 70-74 put him at even par.
For the Internationals, Cam Davis and Corey Conners can head east early. Davis, from Austrailia, shot 2 under in the second round, but a 74 on Thursday had him in an early hole. Conners, a Canadian who has one PGA Tour victory, birdied four of his last five holes on the front nine to make the turn at 3 under for the day and 5 under for the tournament, but he had two bogeys, a triple bogey and no birdies on the back nine to miss the cut.
Hideki Matsuyama was below the cut line with only three holes to play, but he birdied Nos. 16 and 18 to make the cut at 3 under. Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, has the second-most experience among International Presidents Cup members, trailing only Adam Scott on this year’s team.
Taylor Pendrith, the 31-year-old Canadian making his first Presidents Cup appearance, made the cut. He was on the number until a birdie on the 18th, moving him to 3 under for the tournament.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek