U.S. opens big lead in PGA Cup

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- The United States took a 101/2-51/2 lead Saturday in the PGA Cup against Britain and Ireland, winning three of four afternoon foursomes matches for the second straight day in the Ryder Cup-style event for club professionals.

The competition will end Sunday at CordeValle with 10 singles matches.

Mike Small and Faber Jamerson beat John Kennedy and Christopher Gill 4 and 3 in the third foursomes match, and Sonny Skinner and Brad Lardon capped the session with a 2-and-1 victory over Stuart Little and David Mortimer.

Robert McClennan and Marty Jertson opened the foursomes with a 2-and-1 victory over Simon Edwards and David Shacklady, and Britain and Ireland's John Wells and Gary Brown beat David Hutsell and Mark Sheftic 2-up in the second match.

In the morning fourball matches, Small and Jamerson earned the lone full point for the Americans, beating Wells and Brown 3 and 2. Skinner and Lardon halved their match with Mortimer and Craig Goodfellow.

The United States needs 21/2 points to to retain the Llandudno International trophy.

"We're just really happy with the way it all came together," U.S. captain Jim Remy said. "We made the pairings early in the week to try to get the players comfortable with each other, and similar players were paired together. And, I don't know whether it was luck or not, but we seem to have done really well.

"We have been able to keep the pairings together for the entire week, practice sessions all the way straight through to singles tomorrow."

McClellan and Jertson have won all three of their matches.

"I think that we're just so comfortable and our games are so similar," said McClellan, the PGA head professional at Butler (Pa.) Country Club. "We hit the same clubs pretty much. And, we talk a lot. When we are walking, if we have the layup shot, we tell each other what shot we want to hit and we want to play to that shot. We talk about where we want to be and what shots we want to hit. And, it's been working."

The United States leads the series 16-5-3.