Capsules of the Presidents Cup matches
Posted at: 10/07/2013 1:05 PM
By DOUG FERGUSON
(AP) DUBLIN, Ohio - Capsules of the Sunday matches at the Presidents Cup:
FOURSOMES (United States 3 1/2, International 1 1/2)
Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson, United States, def. Richard Sterne and Marc Leishman, International, 4 and 3.
The Internationals jumped out to a 2-up lead with a birdie on the sixth hole, and they missed a big opportunity to go 3 up on the par-5 seventh. Dufner set up Johnson for birdie on the par-3 eighth, and that sent them on their way. They birdied the ninth to square the match, took their first lead with a birdie on the par-5 11th and seized control when the Internationals bogeyed the 13th. Right when it looked as if none of the foursomes matches would end Saturday night, Johnson holed out from 115 yards on the 15th hole for an eagle and a 4-and-3 victory. It was the only match to finish Saturday night.
Jason Day and Graham DeLaet, International, halved with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, United States.
The best match of the session _ at least the finish. DeLaet and Day, together all week, jumped out to a 3-up lead through five holes and Mickelson had to make a big putt to keep it from getting worse. But as they have done all week, the Americans found their groove. They birdie the eighth to win their first hole, and then won the 11th and 13th holes to square the match. Bradley returned Sunday morning to make a 25-foot birdie on the 14th to go 1 up. DeLaet made a sensational putt from 20 feet for birdie to halve the 15th, and the match was square when Bradley hit into the water on the 16th. On the final hole, Mickelson was blocked by a tree when he hooked a 7-iron from 190 yards into 10 feet. DeLaet chipped in for birdie and what looked to be an International point until Bradley made the birdie on top of him to halve the match.
Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker, United States, def. Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, International, 1 up.
This was more of a collapse than a rally. The Springboks went out in 32 and were 3 up and the turn, and showed no sign of doing anything but giving the International team a point. But when they returned from the rain delay Sunday morning, everything changed. The South Africans missed the green and took bogey on the 13th. They came up short of the 14th green and made bogey. They hit out-of-bounds on the 15 and made double bogey, and just like that, the match was square. The Americans took their first lead when the Internationals missed the 17th green for another bogey. Oosthuizen had a 25-foot birdie putt to halve the match, but it slid by the hole.
Bill Haas and Steve Stricker, United States, def. Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama, International, 4 and 3.
Haas was truly a man of the people this week _ the only player on either team with three partners during the team matches. Jordan Spieth sat out, giving Stricker a new partner, and they were lethal. Haas was putting just as well as Stricker. They fell behind when Scott set up Matsuyama for birdie on the fourth, but squared the match with a birdie on the fifth and took the lead with a birdie on the next hole. They were 3 up at the turn, and while the Internationals won the 10th hole, the Americans answered with birdies on the 12th and 14th to seize control.
Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge, International, def. Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, United States, 1 up.
Els and de Jonge completed a week of big opponents _ they faced Stricker and Spieth, Mickelson and Bradley, and lastly Woods and Kuchar. The Internationals quickly built a 2-up lead and held it, though it was close at the end. Els and de Jonge went 2 up on the 12th, and de Jonge made an 8-foot birdie on the 14th to go 3 up. Woods and Kuchar won the 15th with an eagle, and de Jonge went into the water on the 16th as the International lead went to 1 up. Kuchar had an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th to square the match, but he missed it. Els had to make a 4-foot par putt on the 18th for the win, and he made it. Woods and Kuchar lost for the first time all week.
SINGLES ( International 7 1/2, United States 4 1/2)
Hunter Mahan, United States, def. Hideki Matsuyama, International, 3 and 2.
Mahan twice fell behind, though not for long. Both times he answered with birdies, including a long putt on the sixth to square the match. Matsuyama bogeyed a par from a back bunker to fall behind and never caught up. The Japanese star also bogeyed No. 8, and Mahan went 3 up with a birdie at No. 10. They matched birdies on the 13th, and Mahan put him away with another birdie on the 15th.
Jason Day, International, def. Brandt Snedeker, United States, 6 and 4.
Day was drilled in singles at Royal Melbourne in his Presidents Cup debut. He made sure that wasn’t the case against Snedeker. Day won the opening hole with a birdie and never trailed, taking advantage of the American’s mistakes. Snedeker lost three holes with bogeys, and Day led by at least 2 up from the third hole on. The match effectively ended when Snedeker hit into the water on the 12th. On the 14th, Day made a 15-foot birdie putt when he only needed two putts for the win.
Graham DeLaet, International, def. Jordan Spieth, United States, 1 up.
In a tight match, the players halved the opening eight holes until Spieth made a birdie on No. 9 for a 1-up lead. Spieth had the lead three times, only for DeLaet to win the next hole to square the match. It turned in the Canadian’s favor when Spieth missed the green badly on the 16th and DeLaet made par for his first lead. He was 1 up going to the 18th, and Spieth was in reasonable shape to get a half-point with DeLaet in the bunker. But he blasted out and into the cup, the second time Sunday he made birdie from off the 18th green.
Ernie Els, International, def. Steve Stricker, United States, 1 up.
Els found something in his putting stroke, and he put it to work against the guy reputed to be the best putter in golf. After a bogey on the opening hole, Els squared the match with a birdie on No. 3 and took the lead on Stricker’s bogey at the fourth. Stricker never regained the lead, though Els never led by more than 1 up on the back nine. The Big Easy regained the 1-up advantage with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 16th. Stricker had birdie putts to tie the match on the 17th and 18th, both in the 12-foot range, and narrowly missed them both.
Jason Dufner, United States, def. Brendon de Jonge, International, 4 and 3.
De Jonge was regarded as one of the top performers for the International team. Dufner has quietly put together a good record for the Americans. Dufner birdied the first hole and never trailed. He added a birdie on No. 8 to go 2 up, another birdie on the 10th to stretch his lead to 3 up. His only mistake was a bogey on the 11th hole, but he followed that with back-to-back birdies and closed out the Zimbabwean on the 15th hole.
Adam Scott, International, def. Bill Haas, United States, 2 and 1.
Haas was the only player at this Presidents Cup to have three partners, and perhaps was the most underrated American. He gave Scott quite a battle, leading with a birdie on the fifth hole and was still only 1 down at the turn. Scott started the back nine with a birdie at No. 10 to go 2 up. Haas birdied the 12th, and the match was close until Scott reached the 15th green in two and Haas failed to match his birdie. They made pars the rest of the way.
Zach Johnson, United States, def. Branden Grace, International, 4 and 2.
Grace didn’t win a match all week, and Johnson made sure it stayed that way. He birdied the third hole for a 1-up lead and led the rest of the way. Grace birdied the ninth and 11th holes to get within 1 hole. But a beautiful tee shot on the dangerous par-3 12th hole gave Johnson a short birdie putt that he made for a 2-up lead. Grace then missed a few chances at birdie, and he conceded the match when his tee shot on the 16th found the water.
Marc Leishman, International, def. Matt Kuchar, United States, 1 up.
This looked like a win for Kuchar early in the match when he birdied the second hole and Leishman hit into the water trying to reach the par-5 fifth hole in two. Leishman hung around, though, and after both made bogeys on the par-5 11th, Leishman squared the match with a birdie on No. 12. They traded birdies on the next two holes, Leishman went 1 up with a birdie on the 15th and then saved himself on the 18th. Kuchar had about 18 feet for birdie. Leishman was on the collar at the front of the green, 80 feet away. He chipped some 15 feet by the hole and onto the fringe. Kuchar missed his birdie putt, and Leishman made his par putt and won the match.
Tiger Woods, United States, def. Richard Sterne, International, 1 up.
This wasn’t the marquee matchup everyone wanted at the Presidents Cup _ then again, neither was Woods vs. Aaron Baddeley two years ago. It was a sloppy match, with Woods making only two birdies _ on the par-5 fifth hole, and a conceded birdie on the ninth when Sterne went into the water. Sterne led for two holes on the front nine. Woods took the lead on the 12th when Sterne went into the water, and Sterne answered with a birdie on the 13th. The match was all square until Sterne went well over the 16th green and made bogey. Woods, with a 1-up lead, got up-and-down for par from behind the 17th green, and then hit the middle of the 18th green and rolled his birdie putt to within a foot. Sterne conceded the putt, and Woods won his match to give the Americans the point they needed to win the Presidents Cup.
Charl Schwartzel, International, def. Keegan Bradley, United States, 2 and 1.
Schwartzel took the lead early and took control late. Bradley was in trouble off the first tee and lost the hole. He stayed behind until Schwartzel bogeyed the eighth, and the match was all square at the turn. Bradley went ahead for the first time with a birdie at No. 10, and the match went both ways the entire back nine. Only two holes were halved on the back nine. Schwartzel caught him when Bradley made double bogey on the 14th, went ahead when the American made bogey on the 15th, and seized control when Bradley hit into the water on the 16th.
Louis Oosthuizen, International, halved with Webb Simpson, United States.
Simpson led from the opening hole and never trailed. But he also didn’t win. Simpson was 2 up with five holes to play until he left a shot in the bunker on the 14th and made bogey. Simpson got up-and-down for birdie on the 15th after Oosthuizen reached the green in two to tie the hold, and they halved the 17th in bogeys. By then, the Americans had won the Presidents Cup. Simpson was up against a tree on the 18th hole and conceded the hole, ending in a halve.
Angel Cabrera, International, def. Phil Mickelson, United States, 1 up.
Put together Mickelson and Cabrera, and anything can happen. Cabrera won the par-5 fifth with a par. Mickelson won the eighth with a par to go 1 up. Both birdied the difficult par-3 12th. Mickelson looked like luck was on his side on the 14th. From the right hill side, he fired a shot through the trees and the ball struck a branch, shot to the left and into the water, but splashed out of the water onto land. He chipped to 5 feet. Cabrera had 12 feet just to make par, holed it, and then won the hole when Mickelson missed his putt. Mickelson missed a 4-foot par putt that would have won the 15th and then bogeyed the 17th. On the final hole, Mickelson was left a shot in the bunker and blasted out to 5 feet. Cabrera had about 3 feet for par. Mickelson didn’t concede until he made his bogey putt _ and then he picked up Cabrera’s coin and smiled.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)