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Tiger Woods helps USA retain Presidents Cup

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15th December, 2019
7

The USA have won the Presidents Cup for the eighth straight time after establishing an unbeatable lead over the Internationals at Royal Melbourne.

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 and the maligned Patrick Reed, two halved matches plus a guaranteed half point for Matt Kuchar were enough to give the star-studded Americans an unbeatable lead.

Kuchar, who had lost all four of his previous Presidents Cup singles encounters, 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 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.

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.

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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.

© AAP