US takes World Cup crown
Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland ended an 11-year drought by the United States in golf’s World Cup by shooting a 5-under 67 yesterday in Hainan, China, to win by two strokes.
The American pair fired six birdies in the alternate-shot final round at Mission Hills Blackstone course to finish at 24 under, 264 overall, notching the 24th US win in the history of the tournament.
English pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had the day’s best round with a 63 to tie for second at 22 under with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka (69).
Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led by two strokes going into the final round but could only manage an even-par 72 to finish tied for fourth with Australia, the Netherlands, and Scotland.
The American victory was the first since Tiger Woods and David Duval claimed the title 11 years ago. The event was annual until 2009, and this year’s tournament was the first in a biennial format.
“We really clicked. It’s fantastic to win for the US,’’ Woodland said.
The US duo built a two-point lead over Germany midway through the round and after a rare slip with a bogey at the par-3 11th, the Americans responded with birdies on the next two holes and then pars the rest of the way to claim victory.
England seemed well out of contention heading into the final day, eight shots off the lead, but soared into contention. However it needed more than one of the leading teams to falter. Instead it was only Ireland that came back to the field.
World No. 2 McIlroy was well below his best, hitting some loose shots, including a putt on the 18th which would have given Ireland a share of the runner-up check. The tournament favorites had a run of misfortune, including a penalty stroke on the sixth and four bogeys on the card.
They shared fourth with Australia’s Richard Green and Brendan Jones (69), Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird (66), and Dutch duo Robert-Jan Derksen and Joost Luiten (68).
Australian PGA - Greg Chalmers won the Australian PGA Championship in Coolum for his second straight major Down Under tournament victory, beating Australian countrymen Robert Allenby and Marcus Fraser with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
Chalmers, the Australian Open winner two weeks ago in Sydney, will have a chance to complete the Australian Triple Crown next month at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
Chalmers closed with a 5-under 67 to match Allenby (68) and Fraser (69) at 12-under 276. Australians Adam Scott (68) and Aaron Baddeley (72) followed at 10 under. American Bubba Watson had a 77 to drop into a tie for 12th at 7 under.
European Tour - Hennie Otto recorded a par on No. 18 for a one-stroke victory over Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger at the South African Open in Johannesburg.
Home favorite Otto finished with an even-par 72 and a 14-under total of 274 for his second European Tour title. Wiesberger shot a 4-under 68 during the final round at the Serengeti course. He had five birdies and a bogey.