Sunday, November 20, 2011


   THE SMILE ON THE FACE OF THE TIGER. Woods presses the flesh with well-wishers after his last-day singles win for the United States in the Presidents Cup match. Image from the BBC Sport website.

Internationals win first four singles but 6-6 finale
Tiger Woods earned the winning point as the United States beat the International team 19-15 to clinch the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club today.
Woods beat Australian Aaron Baddeley 4 and 3 in the final set of singles to give the US the 18 points they needed to retain the Cup.
The Americans led 13-9 going into the singles but lost the first four matches. On a tense afternoon Woods sealed victory with his success
"It feels good," said Woods. "I hoped it wouldn't come down to my point."

US players named first
United States 6, International Team 6
W Simpson lost to K T Kim 1 hole
D Johnson lost to C Schwartzel 2 and 1
B Watson lost to R Ishikawa 3 and 2
B Haas lost to G Ogilvy 2 holes
H Mahan bt J Day 5 and 3.
N Watney bt K J Choi 3 and 2
P Mickelson lost to A Scott 2 and 1
M Kuchar lost to R Goosen 1 hole.
J Furyk bt E Els 4 and 3.
D Toms bt R Allenby 7 and 5
T Woods bt A Baddeley 4 and 3
S Stricker bt Y E Yang 2 and 1

Woods' victory was a repeat of 2009, when he sank the winning putt against South Korea's Y E Yang at San Francisco to hand the United States their sixth Cup.
The former world number one, who was a controversial wild-card pick by skipper Fred Couples after injuries and a serious slump in form, credited team-mate Steve Stricker for a putting tip.
"I played well all week, but unfortunately didn't make any putts in the first four matches," said Woods, who earned two points out of a possible five. "Today was a different deal - they poured right in."
Captain Couples, celebrating his second win in charge, said: "For Tiger to get the winning point makes us feel very good as a team.
"I don't think I've ever been vindicated in golf, but I feel like I know what I'm doing. When I picked Tiger a month early, he worked six to eight hours a day on his game.
"When a guy looks you in the eye and says: 'Don't worry about me, I'll be right', it brings a smile to your face, especially when it's Tiger.
"I got frustrated a bit (by the attacks on his selection) because I felt I was picking the greatest player I've ever seen play.
"I heard he was the Tiger of old today and Aaron Baddeley said it was phenomenal."
The International team, who last won the Presidents Cup in 1998, also at Royal Melbourne, made a fast start on a sunny day in Victoria.
Wins for K T Kim, Charl Schwartzel, Ryo Ishikawa and Geoff Ogilvy against Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Bill Haas respectively gave them hope.
But Hunter Mahan, the American who had a nightmare singles experience in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, and David Toms stopped the rot.
Mahan trounced Jason Day 5 and 3 and David Toms thrashed Robert Allenby 7 and 5 to nudge the US ahead.
Adam Scott kept the Internationals in the hunt with a 2 and 1 win over the previously unbeaten Phil Mickelson, while Nick Watney defeated K J Choi 3 and 2.
Jim Furyk maintained his 100% record with a 4 and 3 victory over Ernie Els to take the US to the brink before Woods sealed victory.
In the two games still going, South Africa's Retief Goosen beat Matt Kuchar and Stricker overcame Y E Yang to widen the gap to four points again.
The 12 singles ended up: United States 6, the Internationals 6.
International team captain Greg Norman said: "The guys stepped up to the plate, very, very proud of them for doing that.
"My team can hold their heads up extremely high. We'll take a lot out of this tournament."

EDITOR'S TALKING POINT: It's 13 years since the International Team beat the Americans in the Presidents Cup. Isn't time Europeans were included in the International line-up?



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