Taylor Pendrith woke up early Thursday morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Thoughts regarding his first shot at the boss’ cup were swirling in his head, keeping him awake.
But when Pendrith put in 308 yards on his first hole at the Quail Hollow Club, he felt like he belonged in the prestigious international event.
“I knew I was going [to] Be nervous. “I think if you’re not nervous, there’s something wrong with you,” Pendrith said. “It’s obviously a huge event with a lot of history and to be part of the team is amazing.
“I’ve been thinking about that tee shot for a long time but I went ahead and got a really good one and trusted my skills.”
Pendrith, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, and Cory Conners of Listowel, Ontario, made his international debut for the Presidents Cup on Thursday. Pendrith and his partner Mito Pereira of Chile had a fight with American Tony Fino and Max Homa until the 18th hole, and eventually lost by one difference as the United States led 4-1 overall.
“I think Me and Mito did a good job today staying in it, giving ourselves plenty of chances and being patient,” said Pendreth, as he and Pereira recovered from a shot delay after six holes to hold the tie on the last hole. . “A lot of confidence is moving towards tomorrow.
“If we could go out and steal a few points I think we’d be right about that.”
Connors and Pendrith, two close friends who have been teammates and roommates at Kent State University, will be brought together in Friday’s final as the event’s format transforms from a quartet to a four-ball.
This is the first time that two Canadians have played in the Best of the Best tournament in which 12 Americans take part against 12 players from all over the world, with the exception of Europe.
Connors and South Korea’s Sunji Im lost to Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas 2-1 in Game Two on Thursday. They shook hands on the seventeenth green with an elusive tie.
“We didn’t get off to the best start in the game,” Connors said. “We fought well but we couldn’t get the important points at the end there.”
South Korean Se-Woo Kim and Australian Cam Davis were the only international duo to win. After seven holes, they were behind Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns 3, but closed in with six birds on the last 10 holes, including four in a row at No. 15-18, to defeat the Americans 2.
“It’s always more satisfying when you start not having your best things and then find a way to change it up, especially against the caliber of the players who play here,” Davis said.
“I was really proud of the way that I started taking good shots when it mattered, and I was really proud of the way that Wu started taking shots at the perfect pace.”
Patrick Cantlay and Xander Shaveli beat Australian Adam Scott and Japanese Hideki Matsuyama 6 and 5. Americans Cameron Young and Colin Morikawa defeated Tom Kim and KH Lee of South Korea 2 and 1.
Usually a biennial event, the 2021 Presidents Cup has been postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The courses alternate between US and international locations, and the Royal Montreal Golf Club is scheduled to host the Presidents Cup in 2024.
This year’s edition is undeniable on American soil, with fans dressed up with twinkling stars, loudly cheering their team and booing as international fans try to unleash their own cheers.
However, the internationals were not without their supporters. A pair of Winnipeg fans dressed up as Mounties despite the 35C heat, with the Canadian flag draped from the runway tightly hugging their first tee box. They chanted the names of Conners and Pendrith when they were introduced to the audience, even if they were quickly drowned out by the “USA” chants.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this before. It was crazy. It was so much fun,” Pendrith said. “Lots of people, good support for the international team.
“The first hit on the tee was totally the experience, and I got up there and hit it down the middle and it settled after that.”