The winning point for Tiger Woods. A perfect record for Jim Furyk. And validation for US captain Fred Couples.
The Americans won the Presidents Cup in Melbourne yesterday as a team, 19-15, avenging their worst loss ever in any cup competition 13 years ago on a Royal Melbourne course that lived up to its reputation as among the greatest tests in golf.
Yet even as they gathered around the gold trophy at the closing ceremony, all of them dressed in red shirts and blue blazers, it was hard to ignore the singular achievements.
Couples was criticized in some corners for picking Woods, who had fallen out of the top 50 for the first time in 15 years and had gone two years without winning.
So perhaps it was only fitting that it was Woods who blasted out of a deep bunker on the 15th hole to within 2 feet to put away Aaron Baddeley and give the Americans the point they needed to win the Presidents Cup.
“I’m thankful that he picked me,’’ Woods said. “It’s great to be a part of this team.’’
Woods was solid for five matches, even though he was rewarded with only two points. On another tough day of strong winds and super slick greens, he made six birdies - the most in any of the 12 singles matches - and earned the clinching point for the second straight time.
Furyk teamed with Phil Mickelson three times, Nick Watney once, and was at his best by himself against Ernie Els to become only the fourth player to go 5-0 in the Presidents Cup. The others were Woods in 2009, Shigeki Maruyama in 1998, and Mark O’Meara in 1996.
The Americans not only won for the fourth straight time, but it was the third consecutive win by at least four points. They now lead, 7-1-1, and earned a measure of revenge for the last time Down Under.
LPGA - South Korea’s Hee Young Park won the season-ending Titleholders in Orlando, Fla., for her first tour victory, closing with a 2-under 70 to hold off Paula Creamer and Sandra Gal by two strokes.
European - South Africa’s Garth Mulroy shot a 4-under 68 to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa, for his first European Tour title . . . Dutchman Joost Luiten won the rain-shortened Johor Open in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, for his first European Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Daniel Chopra.
Pebble Beach Invitational - Harrison Frazar won the rain-soaked event by a stroke when Cameron Tringale missed a 2-foot par putt on the final hole. Frazar closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 9-under 279. Tringale, who three-putted the 18th from 12 feet, had a 73 to tie for second with Matt Bettencourt.