US team take Presidents Cup trophy triumph on the final hole of the final game as the final day singles session is halved
The US team has won the Presidents Cup trophy by the narrowest margin possible – 15.5pts to 14.5pts.
The match came down to the final game, which had pitted two captains’ picks against one another. Jay Haas, who was picked by Bill Hass, his father, was up against local favourite Sang-moon Bae.
Captain Haas said afterwards that he gave his son a pep talk down the closing stretch: “I told him, ‘Come on, win one for your mom, your mom deserves this,'” he said. “We put him out 12th and had no idea this was going to happen - couldn’t even have dreamt this.”
What did happen was that Sang-moon holed at 10-footer on 17 to go down the 18th needing to win the final hole to halve both his game with Haas Jr, and the overall match.
Haas hit his approach on 18 into a greenside bunker. Bae’s ended up at the foot of a steep run off from the green. Bae’s chip failed to reach the green and ran back down towards him. When Haas splashed out close, Bae conceded the hole.
A draw would have only been the second in 11 editions of the Presidents Cup, as it is the record now stands at one draw, one International win and eight American victories.
The closeness of the result will be seen a vindication of the format changes which reduced the number of games for 34. The International side felt this placed too much emphasis on their lack of depth in their dozen and wanted 28 games, as in the Ryder and Solheim Cups, to level the playing field. The US team held out, but agreed to a reduction to 30 games.
The final day singles session was tied 6-6, just as the two previous sessions, the Saturday foursomes and fourballs had been tied.
The US won by the 1pt margin they maintained through the final three sessions. International captain was left to rue the opening day performance of his team: “The truth of it is, is that if we got off to a better start on Thursday and we had not been 4-1 down, it might not have been quite as exciting today.”
The US and International teams both won a session with the other three halved. But the US won their session, the Thursday foursomes, 4-1, the Internationals theirs, the Friday fourballs. 3.5pts to 1.5pts.
The Internationals had halved the match when the forts singles was completed, Adam Scott thrashing an out-of-sorts Rickie Fowler 6&5 to level the match.
When Branden Grace beat Matt Kuchar 2 and 1 in the penultimate game he became the fifth player to win five matches at a single Presidents Cup.
The two matches before them had been lost by the favourites with Jason Day being outclassed on the day by Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth falling to Marc Leishman.
The next Presidents Cup will by held in New York in 2017, and then it travels to Melbourne in 2019.
Final day singles:
Patrick Reed halved with Louis Oosthuizen
Rickie Fowler lost to Adam Scott 6 & 5
Dustin Johnson beat Danny Lee 2 & 1
JB Holmes lost to Hideki Matsuyama 1 down
Bubba Watson halved with Thongchai Jaidee
Jimmy Walker lost to Steven Bowditch 2 down
Phil Mickelson beat Charl Schwartzel 5 & 4
Chris Kirk beat Anirban Lahiri 1 up
Jordan Spieth lost to Marc Leishman 1 down
Zach Johnson beat Jason Day 3&2
Matt Kuchar lost to Branden Grace 2&1
Bill Haas beat Sang-moon Bae 2 up