United States captain Tiger Woods paid tribute to his team after they completed a final-day comeback to win the Presidents Cup with a 16-14 victory over the International Team at Royal Melbourne.
The Americans trailed 10-8 after the opening three days but the hosts won only two of the 12 singles matches as they slipped to an eighth successive defeat in the biennial event.
How The 2019 Presidents Cup Was Won
December 15, 2019, 9:00pm
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Woods clinched a record 27th win in the event with a 3&2 victory over Abraham Ancer in the opening singles and then watched his team wrap up the win from the sidelines.
“We did it together,” he said. “We came here as a team. My team-mates and my boys all played well, the captains did an amazing job.
“It’s been one of the more amazing challenges but all the guys, they believed in one another and relied on one another.
“This cup wasn’t going to be given to us. We had to go earn it. And we did.”
I couldn鈥檛 have had a better group of guys to be the Captain for. Each and every one of you are what made this week so special for me. I鈥檓 incredibly proud of you all and proud to be bringing home the Cup. Go U.S.A.! pic.twitter.com/bR2UXhDnAf
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) December 15, 2019
Woods, at 43 the youngest captain in the event’s 25-year history and only the second playing skipper, finished with a perfect record of three wins from three matches.
It took his overall record to 27 victories, 15 losses and one halved match in his ninth appearance as a player, eclipsing compatriot Phil Mickelson’s 26-16-13 tally.
Wow! Just watched one of the most exciting days in Presidents Cup history. What a display of great golf and heart鉂わ笍 from both teams. Amy and I are so happy for Team USA 馃嚭馃嚫 Congratulations on a very inspiring victory!
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) December 15, 2019
“This is a perfect golf course. I understand how to play this kind of golf,” he added.
“I’ve been out in this session before as lead-off batter. I’m familiar with being out front and having to lead the team from there.
“Any time you have moments where you’re able to do something that is bigger than us as an individual, it’s so much more meaningful and so much more special.”
Patrick Reed claimed one of Team USA’s more notable wins as he bounced back from three defeats to overcome CT Pan 4&2.
Reed had his swing coach Kevin Kirk carrying his bag after his brother-in-law caddie Kessler Karain was ejected from the event for clashing with a spectator on Saturday.
“The last couple of days were tough and today wasn’t easy,” said Reed. “I played some amazing golf but he put the pressure right back on me.”
The honour of holing the winning putt went to Matt Kuchar when he rolled in a five-footer for birdie at the 17th to secure at least a half with Louis Oosthuizen.
“For us to be in a hole, to come back and win this thing – to win it as a team, but to do it with Tiger Woods as our captain was just a huge thrill,” he said.