The US successfully defended the Presidents Cup and will be bringing back to American soil for another two years. The next defense will be at Jack’s House of Muirfield Viallge in Dublin, OH in 2013. Here’s a daily look back at some items as they stood out in my mind from each of the day’s events.
Day 1 – “Get it out of the way.”
Previous to the beginning of the competition, the speculation ran rampant about any match pitting Tiger Woods and Adam Scott (and Steve Williams) in light of remarks made by Scott’s caddie at a recent function. So…get it over and out of the way early. It wasn’t exactly early as it was the last match. Woods was paired with his Harding Park teammate Steve Stricker and Scott found himself employing K.J. Choi as the second.
Things didn’t work out that well for the Woods-Stricker combo as they were thrashed by Scott-Choi, 7&6, but that wasn’t really the highlight, or lowlight if you were rooting for the International Team, of the day.
Foursomes was first on the docket, a format in which the US held a steady presence in over the past Cups. The US would hold true to that form in winning the first session, 4-2, but it could have been a completely different score as the International team squabbled no less than a full point on the day.
Geoff Ogilvy and Masters champ Charl Scwartzel held a 2-up lead with four holes to play against the American duo of Bill Haas and Nick Watney. A birdie on par-5 15th by Watney followed by a par on the par-4 16th again by Watney brought the Americans back to all-square. Both teams would par the 17th and bogey the 18th to finish at all-square, a half-point for each.
It looked even better for Aussie paring of Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley. After eight holes, they were 3-up on Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar. The Americans cut the lead to 2-up after winning the par-4 12th with a par as the Aussie pair bogeyed the hole. It remained at that 2-up margin until the 17th with the American on the verge of losing the match. A pair of American pars on 17 and 18 coupled with a pair of International bogeys led to yet another all-square match.
The news of the two US comebacks and the drubbing of Woods and Stricker were the main thrust of day 1.
Day 2 – “A slight change…”
For the Four-ball format, the International teams held the edge over past competitions. International cpatain Greg Norman was hoping for such a trend to continue seeing as his team was trailing 4-2. It’s kind of a head scratcher as why the Americans don’t play better in the format where all four play their own shots.
The change? No more Woods and Stricker. Tiger was paired with Dustin Johnson as Stricker would work along side Matt Kuchar. The change didn’t prove fruitful for Woods as he and Johnson would be at the back end of a Day-Baddeley “vindication” match. Trailing 1-down to the Americans after the 4th, the Aussie pair won the 8th with a par by Day and won the 13th with a Baddeley birdie to claim a 1-up victory.
It was quite the opposite for Stricker and Kuchar. Facing the tandem of K.J. Choi and Aussie Robert Allenby, Stricks and Kooch only lost one hole en route to their 4&3 win.
Perhaps the most striking match of the day was a re0visit from the day 1 first match with Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson once again defeating Ernie Els and Ryo Ishikawa. The US duo won on day 1, 4&2 and won on day by a margin of 2&1. The Prez Cup rookies were making a statement.
With a 3-3 split, the US maintained its 2-point lead and the it was now 7-5.