16 Dec 2019

After leading for most of the event, the International team was unable to hold off a determined American fight back during Sundays singles matches at the Presidents Cup from Royal Melbourne. Led by undefeated Playing Captain Tiger Woods, Team USA captured 8 of the 12 points on offer in the singles matches, to go from two points behind and record an impressive 16 to 14 victory.

While Woods and his American teammates shone on the final day in particular, in any ways the week belonged to Royal Melbourne and the Melbourne Sandbelt more generally. Superintendent Richard Forsyth and his greenkeeping crew did a tremendous job presenting ideal Sandbelt conditions to the competitors, and showing the golf state of Victoria in its best possible light. They richly deserve the many accolades received, including from Tiger Woods who described playing at Royal Melbourne as “beyond a dream”.

 

 

Final Score – United States 16, International 14

Round 5 – Singles – United States 8, International 4

Round 4 – Foursomes – United States 3, International 1

Round 3 – Four-Ball – International 2.5, United States 1.5

Round 2 – Foursomes – International 2.5, United States 2.5

Round 1 – Four-Ball – International 4, United States 1

The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 

Things to Know

  • Matt Kuchar’s 5’5” birdie putt on the par-4 17th hole to go 1-up over Louis Oosthuizen clinched the Presidents Cup for the United States; his eventual tie officially provided the winning half point
  • The U.S. Team becomes the first team to come from behind to win the Presidents Cup after trailing heading into Sunday Singles; the International Team entered the final round this week with a 10-8 lead
  • The U.S. Team earns eight points in Singles, equaling their previous benchmark from 1994
  • U.S. Captain Tiger Woods surpassed Phil Mickelson for the most victories in Presidents Cup history (27)
  • At 3-0-0, Woods goes undefeated in the Presidents Cup for the second time (5-0; 2009)
  • With 3.5 points each this week, Justin Thomas (U.S.), Sungjae Im (INT) and Abraham Ancer (INT) were the top point earners for each respective team
  • Sungjae Im and Cameron Smith provided the International’s Teams only outright victories in Singles
  • 2019 marked the first time the International Team held a lead heading into Sunday Singles since 2003
  • The U.S. Team wins its first Singles session since going 7-5 in 2009
  • U.S. Team now holds an 83.5-72.5 lead in the Singles format

Final Round (Sunday) – Singles – United States 8, International 4

Match 19 – Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Abraham Ancer (INT), 3 and 2

Match 20 – Hideki Matsuyama (INT) vs. Tony Finau (U.S.), tied

Match 21 – Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. C.T. Pan (INT), 4 and 2

Match 22 – Dustin Johnson (U.S.) def. Haotong Li (INT), 4 and 3

Match 23 – Adam Hadwin (INT) vs. Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.), tied

Match 24 – Sungjae Im (INT) def. Gary Woodland (U.S.), 4 and 3

Match 25 – Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Joaquin Niemann (INT), 3 and 2

Match 26 – Xander Schauffele (U.S.) def. Adam Scott (INT), 2 and 1

Match 27 – Webb Simpson (U.S.) def. Byeong Hun An (INT), 2 and 1

Match 28 – Cameron Smith (INT) def. Justin Thomas (U.S.), 2 and 1

Match 29 – Louis Oosthuizen (INT) vs. Matt Kuchar (U.S.), tied

Match 30 – Marc Leishman (INT) vs. Rickie Fowler (U.S.), tied

 

Fourth Round (Saturday Afternoon) – Foursomes – United States 3, International 1

Match 15 – Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland (U.S.) def. Louis Oosthuizen/Adam Scott (INT), 2 and 1

Match 16 – Marc Leishman/Abraham Ancer (INT) vs. Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (U.S.), tied

Match 17 – Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Cameron Smith/Sungjae Im (INT), 2 and 1

Match 18 – Byeong Hun An/Joaquin Niemann (INT) vs. Matt Kuchar/Tony Finau (U.S.), tied

 

Third Round (Saturday Morning) – Four-Ball – International 2.5, United States 1.5

Match 11 – Justin Thomas/Rickie Fowler (U.S.) def. Marc Leishman/Haotong Li (INT), 3 and 2

Match 12 – Sungjae Im/Abraham Ancer (INT) def. Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.), 3 and 2

Match 13 – Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (INT) def. Patrick Reed/Webb Simpson (U.S.), 5 and 3

Match 14 – Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An (INT) vs. Matt Kuchar/Tony Finau (U.S.), tied

 

Second Round (Friday) – Foursomes – International 2.5, United States 2.5

Match 6 – Louis Oosthuizen/Adam Scott (INT) def. Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 3 and 2

Match 7 – Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Adam Hadwin/Joaquin Niemann (INT), 1-up

Match 8 – Marc Leishman/Abraham Ancer (INT) def. Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed (U.S.), 3 and 2

Match 9 – Justin Thomas/Tiger Woods (U.S.)  def. Byeong Hun An/Hideki Matsuyama (INT), 1-up

Match 10 – Sungjae Im/Cameron Smith (INT) vs. Gary Woodland/Rickie Fowler (U.S.), tied

 

First Round (Thursday) – Four-Ball – International 4, United States 1

Match 1 – Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas (U.S.) def. Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann (INT), 4 and 3

Match 2 – Adam Hadwin/Sungjae Im (INT) def. Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (U.S.), 1-up

Match 3 – Adam Scott/Byeong Hun An (INT) def. Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau (U.S.), 2 and 1

Match 4 – Hideki Matsuyama/C.T. Pan (INT) def. Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed (U.S.), 1-up

Match 5 – Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen (INT) def. Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland (U.S.), 4 and 3

 

Final Round Match-by-Match Recaps

Match 19 – Tiger Woods (U.S.) def. Abraham Ancer (INT), 3 and 2

U.S. Captain Tiger Woods never trailed in his match against Abraham Ancer, winning 3 and 2. After tying the first hole, the players alternated hole victories through seven holes, with Woods winning Nos. 2, 4 and 6 and Ancer capturing Nos. 3, 5 and 7. Birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 gave Woods a 2-up lead and he was never seriously threatened in the remainder of the match.

Woods (3-0-0) goes undefeated in the Presidents Cup for the second time (5-0; 2009).

Woods (27-15-1) moved out of a tie with Phil Mickelson (26-16-13) for most matches won in Presidents Cup history.

Most matches played in tournament history: Phil Mickelson (55), Adam Scott (44), Tiger Woods (43).

Abraham Ancer and Sungjae Im led the International Team with 3.5 points each this week.

Ancer’s Presidents Cup record: 3-1-1

Ancer’s 2019 record: 3-1-1

Ancer’s Singles record: 0-1-0

Woods’ Presidents Cup record: 27-15-1

Woods’ 2019 record: 3-0-0

Woods’ Singles record: 7-2-0

 

Match 20 – Hideki Matsuyama (INT) vs. Tony Finau (U.S.), tied

Led by four birdies on the front side, Hideki Matsuyama built a 4-up lead at the turn before four straight hole victories (Nos. 11-14) by Tony Finau tied their match with four holes to play. Matsuyama grabbed a 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th hole but then suffered a costly 3-putt bogey on the 17th hole that tied the match. Both players parred the final hole for the tie.

Matsuyama’s Presidents Cup record: 6-7-4

Matsuyama’s 2019 record: 2-1-1

Matsuyama’s Singles record: 2-1-1

Finau’s Presidents Cup record: 0-1-3

Finau’s 2019 record: 0-1-3

Finau’s Singles record: 0-0-1

 

Match 21 – Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. C.T. Pan (INT), 4 and 2

Patrick Reed built a commanding 6-up lead through seven holes over C.T Pan en route to a 4 and 2 victory. It represented Reed’s first victory and Pan’s first loss of the week.

Reed jumped out to a huge lead with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 and a hole-winning par on the fourth hole. Pan fought back by winning Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 13, but never got closer than 2-down.

Pan’s Presidents Cup record: 2-1-0

Pan’s 2019 record: 2-1-0

Pan’s Singles record: 0-1-0

Reed’s Presidents Cup record: 5-6-2

Reed’s 2019 record: 1-3-0

Reed’s Singles record: 1-1-1

 

Match 22 – Dustin Johnson (U.S.) def. Haotong Li (INT), 4 and 3

Dustin Johnson defeated Presidents Cup rookie Haotong Li, 4 and 3. Johnson built a commanding 5-up lead through 11 holes with hole victories on Nos. 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11. Li managed victories on Nos. 12 and 14, but was closed out on the par-5 15th hole with a birdie by Johnson.

Li’s Presidents Cup record: 0-2-0

Li’s 2019 record: 0-2-0

Li’s Singles record: 0-1-0

Johnson’s Presidents Cup record: 10-6-2

Johnson’s 2019 record: 2-2-0

Johnson’s Singles record: 2-1-1

 

Match 23 – Adam Hadwin (INT) vs. Bryson DeChambeau (U.S.), tied

Bryson DeChambeau built a 2-up lead through five holes over Adam Hadwin before hole victories by the Canadian on Nos. 6 and 9 tied the match heading to the back nine. After matching pars on the next six holes, DeChambeau grabbed a 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th hole, followed by Hadwin tying the match with a par-4 on the 17th hole. Both players parred the closing hole for the tie.

Hadwin’s Presidents Cup record: 1-3-2

Hadwin’s 2019 record: 1-1-1

Hadwin’s Singles record: 0-1-1

DeChambeau’s Presidents Cup record: 0-1-1

DeChambeau’s 2019 record: 0-1-1

DeChambeau’s Singles record: 0-0-1

 

Match 24 – Sungjae Im (INT) def. Gary Woodland (U.S.), 4 and 3

Sungjae Im picked up the International Team’s first full point of the day, defeating Gary Woodland, 4 and 3. The match was close throughout the first 12 holes, with neither player holding more than a 1-up lead. Im closed out the match with victories on Nos. 13, 14 and 15 (birdie-par-birdie), winning 4 and 3.

Sungjae Im and Abraham Ancer led the International Team with 3.5 points each this week.

Im’s Presidents Cup record: 3-1-1

Im’s 2019 record: 3-1-1

Im’s Singles record: 1-0-0

Woodland’s Presidents Cup record: 1-2-1

Woodland’s 2019 record: 1-2-1

Woodland’s Singles record: 0-1-0

 

Match 25 – Patrick Cantlay (U.S.) def. Joaquin Niemann (INT), 3 and 2

With Joaquin Niemann holding a 1-up lead over Patrick Cantlay through 10 holes, Cantlay birdied three consecutive holes on Nos. 11-13 to move to a 2-up lead with five to play. After matching pars on the 14th hole, Cantlay birdied the par-5 15th for a 3-up lead. He’d go on to close the match with a 3-and-2 victory after matching pars on the 16th hole.

Niemann’s Presidents Cup record: 0-3-1

Niemann’s 2019 record: 0-3-1

Niemann’s Singles record: 0-1-0

Cantlay’s Presidents Cup record: 3-2-0

Cantlay’s 2019 record: 3-2-0

Cantlay’s Singles record: 1-0-0

 

Match 26 – Xander Schauffele (U.S.) def. Adam Scott (INT), 2 and 1

Xander Schauffele built a 4-up lead through nine holes before Adam Scott picked up his first hole victory of the day, making birdie on the par-4 10th hole. Schauffele answered quickly with a birdie on the par-4 11th hole to lead 4-up. Despite winning Nos. 15 and 16 (including an eagle from 25’4” on the 15th), matching pars on the par-4 17th ended the match, with Schauffele winning 2 and 1.

Most matches played in tournament history: Phil Mickelson (55), Adam Scott (44), Tiger Woods (43).

Scott’s Presidents Cup record: 16-22-6

Scott’s 2019 record: 2-2-1

Scott’s Singles record: 5-4-1

Schauffele’s Presidents Cup record: 3-2-0

Schauffele’s 2019 record: 3-2-0

Schauffele’s Singles record: 1-0-0

 

Match 27 – Webb Simpson (U.S.) def. Byeong Hun An (INT), 2 and 1

Webb Simpson defeated Byeong Hun An, 2 and 1, to provide the 15th point of the week for the U.S. Team, guaranteeing at least a share of the Presidents Cup. Leading 3-up through 13 holes, Simpson survived pars by An on Nos. 14 and 16 to secure a 2-and-1 victory.

An’s Presidents Cup record: 1-2-2

An’s 2019 record: 1-2-2

An’s Singles record: 0-1-0

Simpson’s Presidents Cup record: 6-6-2

Simpson’s 2019 record: 1-3-0

Simpson’s Singles record: 1-1-1

 

Match 28 – Cameron Smith (INT) def. Justin Thomas (U.S.), 2 and 1

Cameron Smith survived a hot start by Justin Thomas, who sat 3-up through four holes, to win 2 and 1. Hole victories on Nos. 6, 9, 10 and 11 flipped the match to a 1-up lead for Smith. He’d add wins on Nos. 14 and 17 to secure the 2 and 1 victory.

Thomas led the U.S. Team with 3.5 points this week.

Smith’s Presidents Cup record: 1-1-1

Smith’s 2019 record: 1-1-1

Smith’s Singles record: 1-0-0

Thomas’ Presidents Cup record: 6-2-2

Thomas’ 2019 record: 3-1-1

Thomas’ Singles record: 0-2-0

Match 29 – Louis Oosthuizen (INT) vs. Matt Kuchar (U.S.), tied

Matt Kuchar birdied the par-4 17th hole from 5’5” to go 1-up on Louis Oosthuizen, clinching the Presidents Cup for the U.S. Team. The match would end up tied after a winning par by Oosthuizen on the final hole.

Oosthuizen’s Presidents Cup record: 9-6-4

Oosthuizen’s 2019 record: 2-1-1

Oosthuizen’s Singles record: 1-0-3

Kuchar’s Presidents Cup record: 6-9-5

Kuchar’s 2019 record: 0-1-3

Kuchar’s Singles record: 0-4-1

 

Match 30 – Marc Leishman (INT) vs. Rickie Fowler (U.S.), tied

In the final match of the day, Rickie Fowler and Australian Marc Leishman played to a tie. Leishman led 1-up through 14 holes before birdies by Fowler on Nos. 15 and 17 led to a 1-up lead heading to the final hole. Leishman won the final hole with a par, leading to the tie.

Leishman’s Presidents Cup record: 4-9-5

Leishman’s 2019 record: 1-2-2

Leishman’s Singles record: 2-0-2

Fowler’s Presidents Cup record: 5-3-4

Fowler’s 2019 record: 1-0-3

Fowler’s Singles record: 1-1-1

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Photo: Courtesy Rolex/Chris Turvey

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