Tiger Woods to partner again with Justin Thomas on Day 2 of Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Perhaps out of necessity, Tiger Woods will play again Friday during the second day of the Presidents Cup.

He'll again partner with Justin Thomas, with whom he won his opening match Thursday -- the only American victory in what was a surprising 4-1 deficit after the first session at Royal Melbourne.

The format for the five matches is foursomes, or alternate shot.

Woods was the Americans' best player Thursday, making six birdies in the match against Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann, including a 5-footer on the 15th hole that closed out the match.

"We had a couple of different options rolling into this entire Cup," Woods said of his decision to play again. "The guys have known the game plan, different possible options, and this is one of the scenarios."

Woods will play with Thomas in the fourth match against the International team of Byeong-Hun An and Hideki Matsuyama. He said coming into the Presidents Cup that he would only guarantee playing twice, the minimum requirement.

Most conjecture had Woods playing three times, skipping Friday's foursomes session and playing just one of the two sessions Saturday. But the U.S. falling behind might have changed those plans.

Leading off will be Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott against Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar. Then it's Adam Hadwin and Niemann against Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay; Leishman and Abraham Ancer against Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed; and last will be Sung-jae Im and Cameron Smith against Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler.

International captain Ernie Els didn't keep a single pairing together despite the four victories. All five of his teams will be different in the foursomes format, and he's going with two veterans who played well Thursday in the opening match with Scott and Oosthuizen.

"We've gone this route, and we keep going," Els said. "The guys played well today in their respective pairings, and tomorrow we've got whatever pairings we have. We feel comfortable with them. The guys have practiced this way, so going with that process."

The first foursomes match will begin at 7:02 p.m. ET Thursday (11:02 a.m. local time Friday).