USA Victorious Again in Presidents Cup
XANDER SCHAUFFELE holed the putt that gave the USA a 17.5-12.5 victory in the Presidents Cup. And so The Internationals’ quest for success on American soil continues.
The result was never really in doubt from the moment that the USA won the opening session on Thursday and led 8-2 after Friday. They went into the final 12 singles needing just 4.5 points to retain the trophy.
To give Trevor Immelman’s team some credit, they actually made a decent fist of it against a team that contained nine of the world’s top 15 players. US captain Davis Love III may well have lost Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to LIV Golf but he was still able to call upon a team of superstars - and they didn’t let him down.
Jordan Spieth both finished the week with a perfect record and, along with Justin Thomas, was the heartbeat of this side - and will be in 12 months time when they face Europe at the Ryder Cup in Italy.
They key difference between the teams over the course of the four days was the Americans’ ability to hole crucial putts. With the exception of 20-year-old Tom Kim, the Internationals simply weren’t able to live with them on the greens.
The US lost the first singles when Si Woo Kim beat Thomas by one hole.
However, needing 15½ points for victory, Spieth, Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau then won their matches while Sam Burns earned half a point.
Schauffele then held off Corey Conners by one hole to seal the cup for his side.
The biennial Ryder Cup-style event took place at Quail Hollow in North Carolina and the home side's victory gives them a 12-1 overall lead in the event, with one match tied.
"It feels good to win. It got really close there for a little bit. Winning is winning and there are no pictures on the scorecard," said Schauffele.
Love added: "They played great. It was hard. They put in a lot of effort the last three weeks. They came in ready to go."
Spieth has been superb in this Presidents Cup - producing a 100% record from his five matches - and he got the US team back on track with a 4&3 win against Australian Cameron Davis.
The win for Spieth was his first in eight Ryder and Presidents Cup singles matches. "I was extra nervous," he said. "I wanted to get that monkey off my back. They are looking for red on the board and it feels really good to finally provide that.
"You can't put a price on this. I did as much as I could this week."
Burns tied his match with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, while Cantlay beat Australian Adam Scott 3&2.
Colombia's Sebastian Munoz beat world number one Scottie Scheffler 2&1 to make it 13½-9½ and it started to get close with several International players up in their matches.
However, Finau's 3&1 win against Canadian Taylor Pendrith moved the US one point from their target before Schauffele made sure of it with a solid par putt at the last.
There were contrasting fortunes for two South Koreans who seem poised for glittering careers.
Sungjae Im saw off Cameron Young, likely to be an American stalwart for years to come, by one hole while Tom Kim - hero of Saturday's fightback - was edged out on the 18th by Max Homa.
Another South Korean, KH Lee, was an impressive 3&1 winner against Billy Horschel as the International team played for pride after the match had been won.
In the final two matches, Chile's Mito Pereira was comfortably beaten by Collin Morikakwa, but South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished off with a point for the Internationals against Kevin Kisner.
"We're a little disappointed," International captain Trevor Immelman said. "We believed in ourselves.
"We had an amazing week. They were fighting. These guys have massive hearts. I'll go into battle with them any day."
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