Woods claims record win as U.S. storm back at Presidents Cup
MELBOURNE- United States captain Tiger Woods claimed a record 27th win in the Presidents Cup on Sunday as the Americans dominated the early singles matches at Royal Melbourne to level the event at 11.5-11.5 against the Internationals.
The first team to reach 15.5 points will win the Cup.
The United States were leading in four of the seven remaining matches, with the Internationals leading two and one tied.
Playing in the lead-off match, Woods curled in a 19-foot birdie putt on the 16th green to seal a 3&2 win over Mexican debutant Abraham Ancer and score the his team’s first point for the day.
That brought Woods’s record at the biennial event to 27 wins, 15 losses and one halved match in his ninth appearance as a player, eclipsing compatriot Phil Mickelson’s 26-16-13 tally.
Captain Woods finished his playing duties with an unblemished 3-0-0 record for the week.
Dustin Johnson grabbed the Americans’ second point shortly after Woods’s win, crushing Chinese debutant Li Haotong 4&3.
Patrick Reed, under pressure after losing all three of his previous matches at Royal Melbourne, nudged the United States into the lead with a 4&2 win over Taiwan’s C.T. Pan.
Reed had his swing coach Kevin Kirk carrying his bag after his brother-in-law caddie was ejected from the event for clashing with a spectator on Saturday.
Fiery Texan Reed charged out of the blocks with six birdies in the opening seven holes and weathered a comeback from Pan, who trimmed a six-hole lead to two by the 13th.
Reed birdied the 15th and 16th holes to seal the match and finish a difficult tournament on a high note.
“The last couple of days were tough and today wasn’t easy,” said Reed, who was heckled throughout the event for a controversial bunker penalty in the Bahamas last week.
“I played some amazing golf but he put the pressure right back on me.”
Tony Finau then grabbed a half-point for the Americans, having clawed back from four holes down after the ninth against Hideki Matsuyama.
Im Sung-jae earned a point for the Internationals with a 4&3 win over Gary Woodland to level the scores but the United States remain well placed to claim an eighth successive win in the event.
(Content and photos syndicated via Reuters)