Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker thrashed in Presidents Cup

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams
Woods shook hands with ex-caddie Williams, who now works with Adam Scott

Tiger Woods suffered the biggest matchplay defeat of his career as Adam Scott and KJ Choi hammered him and Steve Stricker 7&6 in the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

The defeat equalled the biggest-ever losing margin at the tournament.

It was the first time Woods had faced his former caddie Steve Williams, who apologised for words he admitted could be "construed as racist" this month.

Despite the loss, the United States lead 4-2 after day one of the event.

Woods and Williams, who split in June, shook hands on the first tee.

The former world number one failed to register a single birdie in the foursomes.

"They got off to a quick start, and we just couldn't keep up," said Woods.

"We kept falling to the wrong side of these slopes. The golf course is so difficult, it's hard to make up shots."

Only one other match has finished in 12 holes since the Presidents Cup began in 1994 - South Africa's David Frost beat American Kenny Perry by the same score in 1996.

Woods and Stricker won all four of their matches in United States' win at Harding Park two years ago. But they only hit four fairways and six greens on Thursday.

However, that would prove the only win of the day for the Internationals.

The Americans' opening pair of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson put the first point of the day on the board for Fred Couples' men as they beat South African veteran Ernie Els and Japan's Ryo Ishikawa 6&4.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar rallied from three down with six holes to play and won the last two holes with pars to earn an unlikely halve against Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day.

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk won 4&3 over Retief Goosen and Robert Allenby.

Geoff Ogilvy and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel lost a late two-hole lead and had to settle for a halve against Bill Haas and Nick Watney.

Hunter Mahan and David Toms had little difficulty in putting away the Korean duo of KT Kim and YE Yang, winning 6&5.

Pairings for the six fourballs matches at the Presidents Cup:

Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson (US) v Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa (Int)

Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods (US) v Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day (Int)

Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk (US) v Adam Scott and KT Kim (Int)

Bill Haas and Nick Watney (US) v Geoff Ogilvy and KJ Choi (Int)

Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker (US) v YE Yang and Robert Allenby (Int)

Hunter Mahan and David Toms (US) v Retief Goosen and Charl Schwartzel (Int)

Thursday's programme has been brought forward because of the forecast of afternoon thunderstorms. The opening fourball match is scheduled to tee off at 0945 local time on Friday (2245 GMT on Thursday).

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