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Tiger Gets Winning Point as Americans Retain Presidents Cup
Starting the final round with a 13-9 lead over the Internationals in the Presidents Cup, the Americans got off to a slow start in Sunday's singles at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. The home squad team made things interesting, winning the first four matches.
In getting an important four points, South Korea's I.K. Kim beat American Webb Simpson 1-up; reigning Masters' champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa edged Dustin Johnson 2 and 1; Japanese youngster Ryo Ishikawa beat American Bubba Watson 3 and 2; and Geoff Ogilvy of Australia forged a 2-up victory over Bill Haas.
But American Hunter Mahan beat Aussie Jason Day 5 and 3 in Match No. 5 to reverse the momentum, and Nick Watney got past South Korea's K.J. Choi 3 and 2 to alter the outcome for good in the ninth Presidents Cup.
Getting the most important point, the 18th - which allowed the U.S. to retain the Cup - was Tiger Woods, the controversial pick of U.S. captain Fred Couples. Woods, who played well throughout the four-day event, finally got some putts to fall en route to beating Aaron Baddeley 4 and 3 for the clinching point.
Though Woods got the winning point, Couples said at greenside that Watney's point was "huge" in propelling the Americans to its 19 to 15 victory.
Woods carded six birdies and rolled four putts of over 10 feet for birdies. His singles' win tied Jim Furyk to go 5-0 in this year's Presidents Cup - who beat Ernie Els 4 and 3 on Sunday - for the Americans' all-time record of 5-2.
"I felt better about my game than what I've been playing this year, and I kind of want to thank my partners," said Furyk, who won three matches with Phil Mickelson and another with Nick Watney before his singles' win.
David Toms continued his fine play on Sunday, routing Robert Allenby 7 and 5 for another American win. On the week, the Louisianan went 3-1 after sitting out Saturday's four-ball matches.
In the last match, Steve Stricker beat South Korea's Y.E. Yang 2 and 1 for the final margin.
In beating the Internationals, the Yanks were able to prevent a repeat of their only loss in the Presidents Cup, which happened in 1998 at Royal Melbourne.
The Americans now lead the biennial series 7-1-1. The 2013 Presidents Cup will be played at Muirfield Village in Ohio, while the 2015 event will be in South Korea at a course to be named later.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/presidentscup/scoring/2011/.