JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The opening ceremony at the Presidents Cup was unlike any other in golf, with former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on the first tee.

The results were all too familiar.

The Americans led at some point in all five of the foursomes matches Thursday at Liberty National. They won the first three, and when they jumped onto a ferry to take them across New York Harbor to their Manhattan hotel, they had the lead.

Behind a new tandem of Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas and an old one of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed, the Americans jumped out to a 31/2-11/2 lead. It was the sixth consecutive time they led after the opening session in an event they haven’t lost in two decades.

“Jordan mentioned that this first session is pretty critical and we need to go out there and take care of business,” Fowler said. “I feel like as a team, we did a really good job of that. If we can do the same thing tomorrow and win another session, it puts us in a great position.”

Thomas and Fowler lost only two holes in a 6-and-4 victory over Hideki Matsuyama and Charl Schwartzel. Spieth and Reed improved to 6-1-2 as a tandem in the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. Spieth holed a 35-foot putt on the 11th hole when it looked as if Emiliano Grillo and Si Woo Kim might gain some momentum. Instead, the match was over three holes later, 5 and 4.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar remained unbeaten in four matches, not taking the lead until the 16th hole and making it stand in a 1-up victory over Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas.

“We’ve been off to poor starts for a while on Thursdays,” International captain Nick Price said. “We have a resilient team. They have this ability to come back and bounce back, and they have done it. They did it last time in Korea.”

Indeed, the Americans had a 4-1 lead after the first session two years ago, and that Presidents Cup came down to the final match.

Phil Mickelson, playing in his 23rd consecutive team competition, ended the tough, wind-swept afternoon at Liberty National by missing an 8-foot par putt, or the U.S. lead would have been even greater. He and Kevin Kisner were 1 down with two holes remaining to Jason Day and Marc Leishman, so a half-point wasn’t bad.

For the most part, everything went the Americans’ way.

The lone bright spot for the International team was Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, who improved to 5-0 as a tandem. The South African duo pulled away for a 3-and-1 victory over U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger.

LPGA: Brooke Henderson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff shot 7-under 65 to share the lead in the LPGA New Zealand Women’s Open in Auckland, New Zealand.

EUROPEAN TOUR: George Coetzee and Tyrrell Hatton shot 7-under 63 to lead the British Masters in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England.

Coetzee followed up top-10 finishes in his last two events by rolling in six birdies and making an eagle at the par-5 sixth hole. Hatton joined Coetzee at the top of the leaderboard by making birdies on five of his last seven holes.

WEB.COM: Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, shot a 12-under 59 on his home course in the first round of the Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida.

Saunders, 30, closed with six straight birdies at Atlantic Beach Country Club – the Jacksonville-area club where he has a membership – for the seventh sub-60 round in Tour history.