Presidents Cup: Team USA dominate singles to claim trophy

Team USA celebrate
Team USA celebrate

The United States doled out six of the best to come from behind and take the Presidents Cup 16-14 in Melbourne.

Internationals 14-16 United States

Sunday's singles

Ancer lost to Woods 3&2
Matsuyama tied Finau
Pan lost to Reed 4&2
Li lost to Johnson 4&3
Hadwin tied DeChambeau
Im beat Woodland 4&3
Niemann lost to Cantlay 3&2
Scott lost to Schauffele 2&1
Hun An lost to Simpson 2&1
Smith beat Thomas 2&1
Oosthuizen tied Kuchar
Leishman tied Fowler

Final day report

The United States doled out six of the best to come from behind and take the Presidents Cup 16-14 in Melbourne.

The International team had held the edge going into the final day at Royal Melbourne with a 10-8 lead, but victory in the singles for Patrick Reed 4&2 over Pan Cheng-tsung put the US in front.

Playing captain Tiger Woods was among Sunday's winners, taking a 3&2 win over Abraham Ancer as the tide turned in favour of his side, while Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele also won.

The US picked up six wins across the singles, with Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith the only winners for the International Team and four matches halved.

Woods finished the weekend with three-from-three and the eighth straight victory for the US was sealed when Matt Kuchar made a five-foot birdie on the 17th to go one-up over Louis Oosthuizen, guaranteeing the side went over the magic 15.5 point threshold.

"We relied on one another as a team, and we did it together," Woods told reporters after the victory.

"This cup wasn't going to be given to us. We had to go earn it. And we did."

Saturday's Foursomes

  • Johnson/Woodland bt Oosthuizen/Scott 2&1
  • Leishman/Ancer tied with Thomas/Fowler
  • Smith/Im bt Schauffele/Cantlay 2&1
  • An/Niemann tied with Kuchar/Finau

Saturday's Four-balls

  • Thomas/Fowler bt Leishman/Li 3&2
  • Im/Ancer bt Schauffele/Cantlay 3&2
  • Matsuyama/Pan bt Reed/Simpson 5&3
  • Scott/An tied with Kuchar/Finau

Day three report

The International team hold a 10-8 lead after the third day of the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.

The United States went into the penultimate day's action trailing by three points and found themselves 9-5 behind after the fourballs.

However, the American team rallied in the foursomes, with Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson beating Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen 2&1 and Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele doing likewise against Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith.

Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman denied the United States further success by coming from five down at the turn to halve with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.

Reed caddie won't take part in singles

Patrick Reed's caddie will not be involved in the remainder of the Presidents Cup after an incident involving a spectator.

Reed accepted the decision after an apparent altercation involving Kessler Kerain, his brother in law, during Saturday's action at Royal Melbourne.

A statement from the PGA Tour read: "Following an incident that took place on Saturday at the Presidents Cup involving Kessler Karain and a spectator, Karain will not return to caddie for Sunday's final-round singles matches.

"We will have no further comment at this time."

Reed added: "I respect the Tour's decision. We are all focused on winning the Presidents Cup tomorrow."

The United States trail the International team 10-8 after the penultimate day's action.

Day two report

Day 2 foursomes

  • Scott/Oosthuizen beat Kuchar/Johnson 3&2
  • Niemann/Hadwin lost to Schauffele/Cantlay 1up
  • Ancer/Leishman beat Reed/Simpson 3&2
  • Matsuyama/Hun An lost to Woods/Thomas 1up
  • Smith/Im halved Fowler/Woodland

Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas continued their winning partnership as Team USA produced a late fightback in the Friday Foursomes at the Presidents Cup.

The International Team extended their overnight advantage by claiming the first two points of the day, only for Woods' American side to recover to share the session at Royal Melbourne.

Patrick Cantlay birdied two of the last four holes alongside Xander Schauffele for a 1up victory over Joaquin Niemann and Adam Hadwin, before Thomas holed a 20-foot birdie on the 18th to give him and Woods a win by the same margin against Byeong Hun An and Hideki Matsuyama.

Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler then birdied two of the last three holes to finish all-square with Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im, leaving the hosts with a 6-3 lead heading into the weekend.

Ernie Els' side made a winning start to the foursomes when Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen came back from two behind to win five of their next seven holes on their way to a 3&2 victory over Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson in the opening match.

Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson were beaten by the same margin by Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer to briefly put the hosts five ahead, while the remaining three matches all headed to the 18th to produce a result.

Cantlay followed a close-range birdie at the 15th with a 15-foot gain at the last to give Team USA their first point of the day in match two, having trailed alongside Schauffele with four holes to play.

Woods, only the second playing-captain in the tournament's history, equalled Phil Mickelson's record for most Presidents Cup matches won when Thomas' final-hole birdie gave the pair their second victory together in as many days.

The American pair had won two of their first four holes but slipped behind when An made a tap-in birdie at the 11th, only for Woods to level the contest with a 10-foot birdie at the 13th before Thomas' late birdie sparked wild celebrations on the 18th green.

Woodland led Team USA's recovery in the final match when he rolled in a 10-footer at the 16th and set up a close-range gain for Fowler at the next to pull back level, before Fowler saved par from six feet at the last to secure a share of the spoils.

The two sides will play two sessions on Saturday, with four fourballs matches in the morning before switching to foursomes in the afternoon, with all 24 players then involved in the Sunday singles.

Day 1 fourballs

  • Leishman/Niemann lost to Woods/Thomas 4&3
  • Hadwin/Im beat Schauffele/Cantlay 1up
  • Scott/An beat DeChambeau/Finau 2&1
  • Matsuyama/Pan beat Simpson/Reed 1up
  • Ancer/Oosthuizen beat Johnson/Woodland 4&3

Day one report

Tiger Woods provided the rare bright spots for the United States as the International Team enjoyed their best ever opening session at the Presidents Cup.

The Internationals ended the day 4-1 up at Royal Melbourne - the largest lead they have ever had at the end of day one, beating the 3.5-1.5 lead they had in 1998, the only time they have won the Cup and also in Melbourne.

Woods, captaining the United States for the first time, did his best to lead by example as he and Justin Thomas delivered America's only victory, beating Marc Leishman and Joaquin Niemann 4 and 3.

Woods made six birdies - three on the opening five holes - with the International pair never ahead.

"Tiger was working so well between the two of us today. He played great," Thomas said on the PGA website.

"I mean, I just didn't really take advantage of the opportunities, but that's what you have a partner for.

"It was awesome. It's nice knowing when I step up on a par three or a par four that I feel free just because I know he's playing well, and he did."

Every other match went the Internationals' way though.

Sungjae Im and Adam Hadwin beat Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele 1up, the two wildcards justifying Els' faith in analytics, which was enough to send a pair of rookies out together.

Byeong Hun An and Adam Scott beat Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau 2 and 1, Hideki Matsuyama and CT Pan beat Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson 1up, and Abraham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen defeated Gary Woodland and Dustin Johnson 4 and 3.

Johnson hadn't been seen competitively since the TOUR Championship four months ago, and his performance was one of several which will concern Woods - although with 30 points on offer, there is a long way to go.

American struggles could now see Woods play more than expected over the weekend and he has already put himself in the line-up for Friday's foursomes alongside Thomas, with the pair due to face An and Matsuyama.

Woods has opted to bring in his two absentees from Thursday's first session, whereas Els again demonstrated his commitment to a long-established plan by splitting up each of his successful twosomes and leaving Hao-tong Li on the sidelines.

Cameron Smith comes in for his debut alongside Im, with Pan sidelined. Li will be required to play on Saturday, where there are two sessions, as every player in both sides must appear once before the singles.

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