Published: Nov 16, 2011 12:11 PM EST
Updated: Nov 17, 2011 7:30 AM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The Americans are off on their quest to win the Presidents Cup for the fourth straight time.

Bubba Watson blasted a drive off the opening hole at Royal Melbourne on Thursday afternoon, while Ryo Ishikawa hit iron into the fairway. There were six foursomes matches in the opening session.

Watson and his partner, Webb Simpson, are Presidents Cup rookies.They faced Ishikawa and Ernie Els, who once shot a 60 on the composite course at Royal Melbourne to win the Heineken Classic.

The feature match comes at the end - Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker against K.J. Choi and Adam Scott, who now employs the caddie that Woods fired in July.