Internationals beaten but not disgraced
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2013 The Presidents Cup | Wrap | 07 Oct 2013
Given that it contained seven rookies verses the USA’s one (and three of those had a played Ryder Cup), that several were non members of the PGA Tour, that they were outranked in terms of world ranking and that the event was played in front of a partisan local crowd, the effort of the Internationals at this week’s Presidents Cup to finish as close as they did was very impressive.
The 18½ to 15½ result was one most would not have thought possible before the event and more especially as the Sunday Singles got underway.
The Saturday Foursomes finished on Sunday morning with the Internationals picking up one extra point to lead by 14 to 8 as the Singles matches hit the golf course. A costly turnaround over the closing stages of the uncompleted Foursomes was the capitulation of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in their match against Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker.
When those players left the course on Saturday night the South Africans were enjoying a three hole lead with just six to play. The Americans however would win four of five holes between the 13th and 17th but it was not so much by their brilliant play but rather because of the horror run by Oosthuizen and Schwartzel who dropped five shots in those holes.
Instead of the difference between the teams being just four heading into the Singles it was six and that margin became just too great despite what would be a huge fight-back by the Internationals in the afternoon.
International victories in the afternoon would go to Ernie Els, Jason Day, Graham DeLeat, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Charl Schwartzel and Angel Cabrera as the they staged an unlikely and remarkable comeback.
The seemingly impossible briefly appeared as if it might just be possible but ultimately the Americans had built too much of a cushion in the Foursome and Fourball match-ups but they were given a brief scare and for the future of the event that is a very good sign.
Victories for the Americans went to Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods with the narrow victory by Woods over Richard Sterne officially sealing the USA victory.
Standouts for the Americans in their victory were Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson and Jason Dufner, while for the Internationals Jason Day, Graham DeLeat and Ernie Els impressed although rookies, Graham DeLaet , Brendan de Jonge and Marc Leishman also played their part.
Leishman defeated Matt Kuchar today and he will walk away from his debut feeling very good about his week especially after a slow start to the week.
The Presidents Cup heads to South Korea in two years time providing an opportunity to contend an perhaps defeat the Americans in what could be seen as neutral territory for all.
If they can perform up to the level they did this week then the Internationals might just have an opportunity to capitalise on the benefit they should have on what will be considerably less in the way of a hometown advantage that the Americans enjoyed this week.
Despite being beaten, the International’s effort today ensured the Presidents Cup is alive and well and if they can turn their performance today into victory in Seoul then the event will grow even further legs as a bona fide contest.