The USA have completed a historic Presidents Cup triumph over the Internationals at Royal Melbourne Golf Club today in a comeback for the ages.
Led by inspirational playing captain Tiger Woods, the US turned a 10-8 overnight deficit into Cup glory after dominating Sunday’s singles session.
Wins for Woods, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson and the maligned Patrick Reed and four halved matches were enough to secure the star-studded Americans a 16-14 victory.
Cup stalwart Matt Kuchar, who had lost all four of his previous singles encounters stretching back to 2011, clinched victory with a birdie on the 17th hole to go one up against Louis Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen had been three up at the turn before Kuchar produced a tenacious back-nine comeback to ultimately square the South African as the US became the first team in the event’s 25-year history to win the Cup after trailing into the final day.
Woods sparked the US fightback when he downed the Internationals’ previously unbeaten spearhead Abraham Ancer three and two in the opening singles match.
In doing so, the 15-times major champion became the most prolific winner in Presidents Cup history, surpassing countryman and career-long rival Phil Mickelson’s 26 victories in the match-play competition.
“It’s been one of the more amazing challenges, but all the guys, they believed in one another. We relied on one another as a team and we did it together,” said a jubilant Woods.
“I trust all my 11 guys. I trust them implicitly; I told them from the very get go. They went out there and got the points we needed. We fought. Even the points we lost, we were making them earn every one of them.
“And this Cup wasn’t going to be given to us. We had to go earn it, and we did.”
Johnson was never threatened in a four-and-three victory over Cup rookie Haotong Li that locked the scores up at 10-all.
Defeat for Li earned the Chinese youngster a dubious place in the history books as the only International player not to contribute even half a point at the 2019 edition.
After losing his previous three matches in a horror week, Reed ironically gave the US the lead for the first time since Thursday morning with his four-and-two success against CT Pan.
In a cruel blow for the Internationals, Hideki Matsuyama then blew a four-up lead to square with Tony Finau.
Sungjae Im restored hope for the underdogs with a four-and-three win over US Open champion Gary Woodland that locked the scores up at 11.5 points apiece before Adam Hadwin scrambled to square his match with Bryson DeChambeau.
But a three-and-two win for Cantlay over Joaquin Niemann, a two-and-one victory for Shauffele over Adam Scott (Internationals) and Webb Simpson’s two-and-one defeat of Byeong Hun An gave the Americans an insurmountable three-point buffer.
Not even Cameron Smith’s stirring two-and-one comeback victory over the previously undefeated Justin Thomas could save the Internationals from another beating after Kuchar sealed the deal.
Home-town star Marc Leishman tied Rickie Fowler in the last match.