PGA: U.S. wins ninth straight Presidents Cup
Xander Schauffele’s 1-up victory over Canadian Corey Conners on Sunday secured another Presidents Cup victory for the U.S. team, as the Americans went on to defeat the International team 17.5-12.5 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
The U.S. team entered Sunday holding onto an 11-7 lead after the International squad made a dent into the margin during Saturday’s foursome and four-ball events. But the Americans won six of Sunday’s 12 singles matches and tied another to put the competition away.
The U.S. claimed its ninth straight Presidents Cup and improved to 12-1-1 all-time.
“The commitment to, ‘Hey, I got to putt in the dark. I have to get back to see my trainer. I’ve got to get into the gym. I have to be here three hours before to get ready,'” said U.S. captain Davis Love III, who won in his hometown of Charlotte. “… It’s serious business, you know. That’s why these guys are the best players in the world.”
“Best week of golf I could ever imagine,” Max Homa said. “It was very special just to be on this team and to contribute and to bond with the guys. Some of the moments we’ve had together on the golf course and in the team room have been amazing.”
Si Woo Kim of South Korea rallied from 2 down through nine holes to beat Justin Thomas 1 up in the day’s opening match. Kim birdied four holes on the back nine, including the par-4 18th, for the mild upset.
Jordan Spieth got the U.S. on the board by defeating Australian Cam Davis 4 and 3. Spieth finished the Presidents Cup 5-0-0.
After Sam Burns drew with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Cantlay beat Adam Scott of Australia 3 and 2, Sebastian Munoz of Colombia scored another win for the International team by taking down world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler 2 and 1. Scheffler finished the event a disappointing 0-3-1.
Munoz won three straight holes at Nos. 8-10 to move from 2 down to 1 up.
“Probably one of the best things I ever achieved in my life,” Munoz said. “Playing this week, holding off (Scheffler) two times this week. It took everything. I threw everything at him, and luckily we got a win.”
Munoz’s win brought the International team within 13.5-9.5. However, Tony Finau defeated Taylor Pendrith of Canada 3 and 1 and Schauffele followed with the close victory over Conners to clinch it.
Conners trailed 3 down through 11 before winning three straight holes to tie the match, but Schauffele moved ahead with a birdie at the par-4 15th and remained there the rest of the round. Some of his teammates were on hand at No. 18 to watch him make a par putt to tie the hole and win the match.
“Winning is really hard,” Schauffele said. “I put that on full display today. Needed some help along the way. It’s an incredible feeling. I’m very happy to sit up here with all our captains and all the guys on this team.”
Sungjae Im and K.H. Lee of South Korea scored for the International team, with Im beating Cameron Young 1 up and Lee toppling Billy Horschel 3 and 1.
Homa edged Tom Kim of South Korea 1 up and Collin Morikawa took down Mito Pereira of Chile 3 and 2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa ended the day with a 2 and 1 win over Kevin Kisner.
The International team’s lone win in this event came in 1998 in Australia. Captain Trevor Immelman of South Africa had a more difficult time picking his roster after Australians Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Joaquin Niemann of Chile joined LIV Golf and were barred from the Presidents Cup.
But Immelman was proud of his team, which made a push after trailing 8-2 through two days, and spoke with some anger in his voice about their doubters.
“This team is no joke, and I’m sick and tired of it being spoken of as a joke,” Immelman said. “We love this event and we love our team, and we cannot wait to run this back and have another shot.”
–Field Level Media