The International team leads the United States three-and-one-half to two-and-one-half after the first day of the President's Cup golf competition outside Washington. Atrong play by some former U.S. Open champions helped the Internationals gain the edge.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa and Adam Scott of Australia set the tone by beating world No. 1 Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, four-and-three in the opening match.
Goosen said after the match that his team kept the pressure on the Americans, and that made the difference. "You know we kept the pressure on them the whole time. We holed a few putts and Freddy (Couples) missed a couple of shots and that sort of got us ahead," he said.
Americans Jim Furyk and Fred Funk split their match with Vijay Singh and Mark Hensby of the International team. Furyk played nearly the whole match with a rib injury but was able to finish.
Last year's Masters Champion Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco gave the U.S. another point. Mickelson said that getting a point for his team was something he was determined to do after not performing well in recent competitions. "That's not any fun. Plus with the loss of the Ryder Cup, I really wanted to get off to a good start in these matches. And I joke about coasting in, but I certainly want to get out and improve my record in these competitions because it's not what I feel it should be," he said.
Former British Open winner Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank won their match over Peter Lonard and Stuart Appleby four and two.
South Africa's Trevor Immelman and Canadian Mike Weir added another point for the Internationals. Then U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand and Angel Cabrera of Argentina gave the Internationals the lead. The competition ends Sunday. A team needs 17.5 points to win.