MARANA, Ariz. -- Four holes into his match against Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy found himself 3 down to the steadiest player at this week's World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. But there was no panic in the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland.
"I just tried to stay patient and chip away," McIlroy said. "I knew I had a few chances coming up."
It was more than a few ... and he made the most of them. The reigning U.S. Open champ roared back by winning four of the next five holes to take a 1-up lead at the turn, ultimately winning 3 and 1 to reach his first finals match in his fourth appearance here.
He'll now face Hunter Mahan in the championship finals. Should McIlroy win, he'll replace Luke Donald as the world's top-ranked player and would also become the youngest winner of a World Golf Championships event.
McIlroy made seven birdies against Westwood and was near-flawless after suffering a bogey at the par-3 third. Two of his birdies came at the par-3 sixth and 12th holes -- his first two birdies on par-3 holes this week.
"I stepped up my game and made some birdies," McIlroy said. "Thankfully, that was enough to get it turned around."
The comeback started at the par-4 fifth. Westwood had all the momentum going into that hole, but missed the green with his approach shot and failed to save par with a 11-foot putt. McIlroy won the hole with a two-putt par and the comeback was on.
Westwood didn't concede McIlroy's short par putt, but McIlroy said there was no ill feelings about it.
"It's getting to the business end of the tournament," he said. "You can't be too nice and give all those putts."
Westwood said the pivotal hole was the par-5 11th. McIlroy's second shot was sprayed to the right, but he got a fortunate bounce off the cart path and had a direct shot to the flag. Both players ended up making birdie as McIlroy remained 1 up.
“Could have gone out of bounds in a bush,” Westwood said of McIlroy’s shot. “It ends up perfect, and I have to hole from 12 feet for half. That sort of thing can change a match.”
Added McIlroy: “Very fortunate there. The ball could’ve ended up anywhere.”
Had Westwood won the hole, the match would have been all square and been “a different kettle of fish,” Westwood said.
In the end, though, Westwood said it was a matter of McIlroy's putter getting hot.
"Like a lot of match play matches, Rory made 'em and I missed 'em," Westwood said.
MORE: McIlroy scorecard | Westwood scorecard
OTHER SEMIFINAL: Mahan def. Wilson, 2 and 1
WESTWOOD-McILROY UPDATES (all times ET)
12:57 p.m. – Westwood misses his par putt, and the hats come off. McIlroy wins the match and will face Hunter Mahan in the championship final. If McIlroy wins, he will become the top-ranked player in the world. McIlroy wins 3 and 1.
12:52 p.m. – Westwood’s approach shot at the par-4 17th catches a gust of wind and comes up short of the green. McIlroy follows by finding the putting surface, 30 feet from the pin. Westwood, runs his ball to the right, leaving him 8-1/2 feet from the pin. McIlroy, with a chance to end the match, sees his ball roll 4 feet past.
12:43 p.m. – Not a great birdie putt by Westwood, who runs it 4 feet past. He converts the par, though. McIlroy, who splashed out nicely from the bunker, follows with his par putt to halve the hole. Two holes to play and McIlroy’s 2 up.
12:38 p.m. – McIlroy may be feeling some pressure. After Westwood’s tee shot at the par-3 16th finishes 22 feet from the pin, McIlroy follows with a shot that finds the greenside bunker.
12:32 p.m. – After McIlroy blasts out of the bunker to give himself a decent look at birdie, Westwood answers by rolling in his eagle putt to win the hole. That’s the first hole Westwood has won since the fourth. McIlroy 2 up through 15.
12:27 p.m. – Westwood may not be done just yet. After McIlroy finds the bunker with his tee shot at the drivable par-4 15th, Westwood lashes a perfect drive that sets up an eagle putt inside 19 feet. He needs to make a move now.
12:22 p.m. – Both players make routine pars at the par-4 14th – McIlroy two-putting from 16 feet, Westwood from 36 feet. Neither of the short par putts were conceded.
12:10 p.m. – McIlroy finds the green in two at the par-5 13th and nearly rolls in the eagle putt from 36 feet. He birdies the hole and wins the 13th. In the last eight holes, McIlroy has six birdies; Westwood has one. McIlroy 3 up through 13
12:01 p.m. – Westwood’s drive at the par-5 13th sails into the gallery and ends up lodge in the back of a sweater worn by a woman. Billy Foster, Westwood’s caddie, quipped to the woman: “Would you mind walking 250 yards further?” After a few laughs, Westwood got a free drop.
11:57 a.m. – McIlroy’s birdie at the 12th was his first one of the week at that hole. McIlroy has now birdied the last two par 3s that he’s played. Prior to that, McIlroy had not made a birdie at a par-3 hole all week, and was a cumulative 6 over on the par 3s before his birdie at the sixth.
11:53 a.m. – McIlroy’s putter is on fire. He just rolled in a birdie putt of 24 feet, 5 inches at the par-3 12th to win the hole. Westwood had earlier missed from 41 feet . McIlroy 2 up through 12.
11:42 a.m. – For the second time in this match, Westwood opts for putter off the green, 90 feet from the pin. The ball rolls past the cup, 10 feet away. McIlroy follows with a creative pitch that takes the ridge and funnels to the hole, landing inside 3 feet for an easy birdie. But facing the loss of another hole, Westwood converts his birdie putt and follows by punching the air. The hole is halved with birdies.
11:36 a.m. – McIlroy hits a loose second shot that drifts to the right and hits the cart path. But instead of bounding into the native area and possibly under some shrubs, the ball ends up in the rough, just right of the green.
11:32 a.m. – At the par-5 11th, Westwood blasts another long drive, this one 350 yards (that’s 741 yards in his last two tee shots). McIlroy’s drive goes a “paltry” 339 yards.
11:26 a.m. – Both players make par at the 10th, as Westwood misses a birdie putt from 12 feet that would’ve squared the match.
11:22 a.m. – McIlroy opens the back nine with a tee shot of 363 yards on the par-4 10th. Westwood follows with an even bigger bomb – 391 yards. That’s just five yards shy of the longest drive of the week – Bubba Watson’s 396-yard drive in the first round, also at the 10th hole.
11:16 a.m. – Did Westwood make a mistake by forcing McIlroy to putt out at the fifth? The PGA TOUR Radio crew thinks so. It may have fired up the reigning U.S. Open champ. “McIlroy looks like a man on a mission right now,” said John Maginnes.
11:13 a.m. – Westwood slides his birdie attempt to the right side. McIlroy’s definitely got the hot hand right now, as he converts his birdie putt. Amazingly, after being 3 down through four holes, he will take the lead heading into the back nine. McIlroy 1 up through 9.
11:08 a.m. – Westwood hits terrific second shot at par-4 ninth to 12 feet. That’s the 30th green in regulation in his last 33 holes for Westwood. But McIlroy answers with an even better approach, landing eight feet from the pin.
10:59 a.m. – The comeback is complete. McIlroy has rallied all the way back from 3 down to square the match, as he rolls in a birdie putt from 14 feet, 8 inches at the par-5 ninth. Westwood missed his birdie putt from 29 feet. McIlroy has won three of past four holes and has all the momentum. All square through 8
10:44 a.m. – McIlroy misses birdie putt from just inside 15 feet at the par-4 seventh. Westwood follows by missing his attempt from inside 12 feet. Both players make par to halve the hole.
10:38 a.m. – This is just the second time all week that Westwood has lost two consecutive holes. Nicolas Colsaerts won two straight in his first-round loss to Westwood.
10:31 a.m. – You weren’t counting McIlroy out, were you? He just rolled in a birdie putt of 28 feet, 11 inches at the par-3 sixth to win his second consecutive hole against Westwood, who’s 27-foot birdie attempt from the same line came up just short. Westwood 1 up through 6.
10:23 a.m. – At the par-5 fifth, both players find the rough off the tee. McIlroy sends his approach past the pin but it holds the green; Westwood’s approach bounces past the green. His chip leaves him 10 feet to save par. McIlroy has just 2 feet to save par but Westwood doesn’t concede the putt. Westwood misses his par putt but McIlroy knocks his in to win his first hole of the day. Has the rally started? Westwood 2 up through 5.
10:15 a.m. – McIlroy has a tough chore rallying from 3 down. Just two times this week has a player come back from 3 down to win – Jason Day in his first-round match against Rafael Cabrera Bello, and Dustin Johnson in his first-round match against Jim Furyk.
10:10 a.m. – Only one other time this week has Westwood won three consecutive holes against an opponent. That came in the third round against Nick Watney.
10:08 a.m. –McIlroy’s pitch runs 11 feet past the hole, while Westwood uses putter off the green and runs it five feet past. McIlroy misses his birdie attempt; Westwood makes his. Just four holes into the match and Westwood is in total command after winning last three holes. Westwood 3 up through 4.
10:02 a.m. – At the drivable par-4 fourth, Westwood’s tee shot is on line but comes up just short of the green, while McIlroy lands in the primary rough to the right side.
9:56 a.m. – Another errant shot has McIlroy in the greenside bunker at the par-3 third. After Westwood comes up just an inch short of making his 48-foot birdie putt. McIlroy follows with a bunker shot that hits the cup and skids five feet past. But he can’t make the comebacker to save par and loses the hole. Westwood 2 up through 3.
9:49 a.m. – Westwood pitches to five feet. McIlroy misses his birdie attempt from 22 feet. Westwood rolls in his short birdie putt . McIlroy’s now trailing for the first time since the 10th hole of Wednesday’s first round. Westwood 1 up through 2.
9:40 a.m. – After finding the fairway bunker with his tee shot at the par-5 second, McIlroy hits a poor second shot that comes out low and hits near the lip of the bunker before skidding out 90 yards up the fairway. Westwood lays up with his second shot.
9:31 a.m. – After missing the green with his approach, McIlroy produced a nice chip for a conceded par. Westwood found the green with his approach but missed his birdie attempt from 15 feet, 8 inches. All square through 1.
9:22 a.m. ET – McIlroy finds the fairway with his opening tee shot but Westwood’s drive bounces into the rough on the left side.
MARANA, Ariz. – Hunter Mahan gets to go for the second leg of the World Golf Championships grand slam after beating Mark Wilson 2 and 1 in the semifinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Mahan, who won the 2010 Bridgestone Invitational, won the first two holes on Sunday morning and never looked back. For his efforts, he'll get a rematch with world No. 2 Rory McIlroy, a 3-and-1 winner over Lee Westwood in the other semifinal, for the title beginning at 2:20 p.m. ET.
McIlroy, who would take over the top spot in the world rankings with a win Sunday afternoon, sent Mahan packing in the second round in 2009, winning on the final green.
“It's a great feeling,” Mahan said. “It's a long, brutal week. You've got to beat five great players to get here. I've got to beat one more incredible player to win. It's going to be a tough match. I'm very proud of myself.”
If Mahan should win the championship, he'd be the sixth player to hold multiple World Golf Championships titles. And there’s a chance for another just two weeks down the road at the Cadillac Championship at Doral.
"I think when we have these WGC events, it would be cool to have all the trophies,” Mahan had said on Saturday. “… So being in that position, I kind of think about that. That would be cool to win one and then you have to win Doral. Unless they keep adding them, then that's going to make it more difficult.”
Mahan was solid again on Sunday morning against Wilson. He made five birdies and two bogeys in 17 holes, repeatedly pouring in clutch putts to hold off Wilson, who will meet Westwood in a match to decide third place beginning at 2:05 p.m. ET.
Trailing 2 down at the turn, Wilson did mount a bit of a charge on the back nine but he could never get over the hump. He and Mahan halved the 10th and 11th holes with birdies and then the former UNC standout won the 12th with a two-putt par to go 1 down.
Wilson had a 12-footer for birdie at the 13th hole and a 21-footer at the next – both of which would have squared the match. But neither fell and Mahan regained some breathing room at the 321-yard par-4 15th when his drive settled just in front of the green and he got up and down for his final birdie.
“I think when I chipped in on 10, I thought it was going to be a good turning point, but we both birdied 11,” Wilson said. “13 and 14 are kind of ones that stick in my mind. A couple of 20‑footers that if I could have got one of those going it might have been a different story.”
At that point, it was only a matter of time. Mahan has been extremely solid in all phases of the game this week but a lot of the credit goes to his putter – he’s made 28 birdies this week, more than any other player in the semifinals, and repeatedly drained the par putts he needed to halve holes.
“You can't just hit the greens, you're going to have 20 footers over these mounds and it's going to be tough to make putts,” Mahan said. “So it's a combination of things, good driving, killing the par 5s, good chips and stuff, a combination of things. But without the putter, I really wouldn't have had a chance.”
MORE: Mahan scorecard | Wilson scorecard | Preview | WATCH: Mahan birdie No. 2
OTHER SEMIFINAL: McIlroy-Westwood updates
SEMIFINAL UPDATES (All times ET)
12:43 p.m. – Hunter Mahan has beaten Mark Wilson 2 and 1 to reach the Accenture finals for the first time. Wilson missed a 55-footer for birdie at the 17th before Mahan did the same from 30 feet. Wilson conceded the 23-inch par putt and the match.
12:34 p.m. – Mahan putts first for par and makes it. Wilson rolls in his 4-footer to halve and now the match is dormie. That means Wilson needs to figure out a way to win the next two holes to advance. Mahan leads 2 up through 16 holes.
12:28 p.m. – Mahan finds the greenside bunker but once again hangs tough, blasting out to 5 feet. Wilson needs the 25-footer for birdie in the worst way but he is unable to convert.
12:25 p.m. – We’re getting into uncharted territory for Wilson and Mahan. Wilson hasn’t seen the 16th hole in competition since Thursday while Mahan only played it in his opening match with Zach Johnson.
12:18 p.m. – Mahan’s eagle chip stopped 7 feet short. Wilson then chipped to 18 inches and his par was conceded. Mahan buried his birdie putt for the all-important win and the holes continue to dwindle. Mahan leads 2 up through 15 holes.
12:13 p.m. – As PGA TOUR Radio’s John Maginnes noted, Wilson put his tee shot on the driveable par-4 14th hole in the “only place he didn’t want to hit it.” The ball landed in a pot bunker about 30 yards short of the green. Mahan, meanwhile, is just short of the putting surface and chipping for eagle.
12:07 p.m. – Once again Wilson has a birdie putt to win the hole after Mahan fails to convert. Wilson misses on the low side, though, and he now has four holes remaining in his comeback attempt. Mahan leads 1 up through 14 holes.
12:04 p.m. – Mahan put his drive into the left fairway bunker but managed to find the putting surface, 31 feet from the pin. Wilson was in the middle of the fairway and ended up 21 feet left of the hole.
11:54 a.m. – Wilson had a golden opportunity to square the match for the first time after Mahan missed his birdie putt. But Wilson’s ball stubbornly refused to fall so the hole is halved. Mahan leads 1 up through 13 holes.
11:50 am. – Wilson and Mahan both found fairway bunkers about 30 yards short of the green at the par-5 13th hole. Wilson, who was in the back bunker, blasted to 11 feet for a birdie. Mahan then hit an indifferent bunker shot to 20 feet.
11:35 a.m. – Wilson took advantage, too, putting his 36-footer for birdie to tap-in distance. When Mahan missed the 17-footer to the left, Wilson had his first win in the last six holes – with the last par 5 on the horizon. Mahan 1 up through 12 holes.
11:33 a.m. – Mahan’s 6-iron rolled through the green and into the rough on the par-3 12th hole. Mahan has given Wilson a bit of an opening because his flop stopped 17 feet short.
11:29 a.m. – Mahan missed the lengthy eagle putt and Wilson blasted out to 8 feet. He made the birdie putt and Mahan matched him. Mahan 2 up through 11 holes.
111:20 a.m. – Prior to Saturday, Wilson had played the par 5s in 10 under. He didn’t birdie either of the two on the front nine, though, and he finds himself in a greenside bunker at the par-5 11th. Unfortunately for Wilson, Mahan is on the green in two and looking at a 43-foot eagle putt.
11:12 a.m. – Wilson hit his drive into the rough and his second short of the green. But he made it look easy as he chipped in from 54 feet to put the pressure on Mahan, who had hit a brilliant approach from the deep fairway bunker to 4 feet. Mahan made his birdie to halve. Mahan leads 2 up through 10.
10:59 a.m. – Neither player did himself any favors at the ninth hole. Mahan had a 50-footer that slid 7-feet by the hole. Wilson missed his 24-footer on the high side and his 13-inch putt was conceded. Mahan made his par putt. Mahan 2 up through 9.
10:46 a.m. – After a 300-yard drive into the fairway, Hunter Mahan came up just short of the green at No. 8. His third shot stopped 12 feet from the pin and he had a chance to win the hole after Wilson left his birdie try 10 inches from the cup. Mahan 2 up through 8.
10:40 a.m. – Mark Wilson hit his drive into the right fairway bunker and had to lay up on the par-5 eighth. His third shot caught the slope and rolled back 31 feet from the pin.
10:28 a.m. – Wilson hits a nice shot from the difficult lie but he can’t convert the 12-footer for par. So Mahan wins the hole when he makes his par putt. Mahan 2 up through 7.
10:22 a.m. -- Both players failed to hit the seventh green in regulation. Wilson has a difficult sidehill, downhill lie in the rough to a green that slopes away from him. Mahan blasted out of a fairway bunker and nearly holed his third shot, spinning back to 7 feet.
10:14 a.m. – The pin at the par-3 sixth hole is on a ridge and neither player was able to get it close. Mahan left his 42-footer for birdie 3 feet from the pin. Wilson was unable to convert from 21 feet and once Mahan made his par, the hole was halved. Mahan 1 up through 6
10:07 a.m. – Mark Wilson just made his first birdie of the day, pouring in an 18-footer to win the fifth hole. Mahan 1 up through 5.
10:03 a.m. – Hunter Mahan – dare we say it – shanked his second shot at the fifth hole. The ball traveled wide right and landed on the sixth tee, about 50 yards from the green. He recovered nicely, though, chipping to 5 feet for a potential par.
9:52 p.m. – Both pros found the fairway at the 336-yard fourth hole. Mahan stuck his wedge to 18 feet while Wilson’s stops 10 feet further. He misses his birdie putt but Mahan buries his. Mahan 2 up through 4.
9:43 p.m. – Wilson misses his birdie putt but wins the hole when Mahan, who blasted out to 12 feet, can’t bury that putt for par. Mahan was 5 for 5 in sand saves in his four previous matches. Mahan 1 up through 3. 9:40 a.m. -- Mahan puts his tee shot at the par-3 third hole in the left greenside bunker while Wilson's 5-iron finds the back edge of the green and rolls back to 25 feet.
9:34 a.m. -- Both players found fairway bunkers off the tee at No. 2 so they played the par 5 as a three-shot hole. Wilson missed his 15-footer for birdie but Mahan converted from 5 feet. Mahan 2 up through 2.
9:16 a.m. – Mahan hits first and finds the green, about 18 feet from the pin. Wilson has a clear shot in the desert and nearly makes the putting surface but his ball rolls back on the closely mown area. He chips to 5 feet but the putt lips out. Mahan two-putts, his second, a 3-footer is on the same line as Wilson’s was, to win. Mahan 1 up though 1.
9:05 a.m. – The sky is a combination of light blue, pink and gold as the two players step to the first tee and shake hands. It’s cool; both are wearing gray sweaters but Hunter Mahan has donned a red cap. Mark Wilson tees off first and hits his drive left into the desert. Hunter Mahan also goes left but his ball stays on the edge of the fairway.
Marco Dawson has been to the final stage of q-school before -- 11 times to be exact.
While that’s a somewhat dubious honor, experience goes a long way and so far Dawson has been able to use to it his advantage. The 48-year-old is near the top of the leaderboard at PGA West, where he’s tied for the lead at 13 under after playing his first six holes on the Stadium Course in even par.
Dawson spent this past season on the Nationwide Tour, where he earned just over $156,000 and finished 32nd on the money list -- only the top 25 are guaranteed PGA TOUR cards for 2012 and Dawson missed that mark by about $24,000.
The other thing Dawson has working for him is that he’s twice made it through q-school at PGA West. If he keeps playing the way he is, the third time will certainly be a charm.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The wind is much calmer for the fifth round of q-school, which is in full swing from PGA West ( click here for live scores ). That should mean better scores a day after just five players in the field broke 70 on a winblown afternoon in the desert.
Just how difficult has the scoring been when the wind has blown? Saturday’s scoring average was north of 74 on both courses (see chart below). While the wind will be much calmer for today’s fifth round, the forecast for Monday isn’t so go good with winds expected in the 25-30 mph range.
Scoring averages (both courses are par-72):
Nicklaus Tournament Course
TPC Stadium Course
As for the leaderboard, Will Claxton leads at 15 under and will tee off at 1:10 p.m. ET. Claxton has made only one career start on the PGA TOUR, finishing in a tie for 67th at this year’s Transition Championship. He earned conditional status on the Nationwide Tour after finishing in a tie for 139th at q-school last year but appears well on his way to a TOUR card.
That would be quite an achievement, too. Claxton made just four cuts in nine starts on the Nationwide Tour this year and he had just one top-25.
Meanwhile, Marco Dawson is making his 11 th appearance in q-school. He last earned his card through this tournament in 2006 but is in good shape at 13 under as he tees off.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Tee to green? Tiger Woods had been really good all week at Royal Melbourne.
With a putter? Not so much. He couldn't buy a putt. Too many lipouts, not enough center cuts.
Woods finally put together a complete performance in Sunday's singles at The President Cup, and it paid off in a 4 and 3 win over Aaron Baddeley in a match that clinched the Cup for the United States. It's the second consecutive Presidents Cup in which Woods provided the clincher.
Woods produced five birdies (and was conceded another one) against one bogey in a performance that was as dominant as any on the final day of competition. It was the payoff to a solid week of golf that had been frustrating for Woods because he couldn't get any putts to drop. He entered Sunday with a 1-3-0 record, including a shocking 7 and 6 loss with Steve Stricker to K.J. Choi and Adam Scott in Thursday's foursomes.
"Today," he said, "was a different deal."
Indeed. According to the match details, he rolled in a 10-footer at the fourth hole, a 17-footer at the fifth, a 21-footer at the sixth, a 10-footer at the eighth and a 17-footer at the 10th while also keeping his scorecard clean during that span by draining those testy 3-6 footers that had been troublesome at times this year.
Not until the 14th did he suffer his first bogey, and by then he had the match firmly in hand.
"He didn't miss a putt inside 20 feet," Baddeley said. "That was the difference."
Woods saw his four days at Royal Melbourne as a continuation of his play at last week's Australian Open, when he produced three solid rounds.
"I felt like I could easily have won that event if I had just putted halfway decent on Saturday," Woods said. "I was hitting the ball well enough. Unfortunately just had one bad day of putting which cost me an event.
Woods added: "This week, I played even better, and a lot of putts, they just didn't go in (until Sunday)."
Teammate Steve Stricker gave Tiger "a little lesson" on the putting green, though, and that made a difference on Sunday. Woods said his body position felt more natural, he started seeing his line and could feel the release.
"Whatever he says about putting," Tiger said of Stricker, "I'm going to do."
Woods entered this week intent on proving Fred Couples' faith in him as not only a Captain's Pick, but a pick that was made six weeks before it had to be announced. Some questioned the timing of Couples' decision; others wondered if Woods should be on the team at all as he worked through his swing changes with Sean Foley. Even International Captain Greg Norman said he would've selected PGA champ Keegan Bradley over Woods,
In the end, of course, Woods proved his doubters wrong. Something he has a habit of doing.
"I'm very pleased with the progress I've made with Sean," Woods said, "and it's finally paying off under pressure."
On Sunday, that was good news for the U.S. Team.
And perhaps bad news for the rest of his PGA TOUR competitors in 2012.
In final-day play at The Presidents Cup, the American team retains the Cup with a 19-15 advantage over the Internationals.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia -- There were some anxious moments early. The Internationals set the aggressive tone off the first tee by using driver. U.S. Captain Fred Couples was walking in circles, hoping his team could just win a hole.
In the end, no worries for the Americans. Needing to win five matches on the final day of singles competition to retain The Presidents Cup, the U.S. ending up winning six of the 12 matches to finish with a 19-15 advantage.
"I was very nervous," Couples said. "I really didn't think Royal Melbourne was on our side today. But our guys closed it off."
This is the seventh time in nine Presidents Cup that the U.S. has emerged victorious. The win also avenges the Americans' only loss in this event, 13 years ago here at Royal Melbourne. The only other time they didn't win the Cup outright was in 2003 when they shared it with the Internationals.
Greg Norman's squad, with five Australians on the roster, had high hopes coming into this week. But an 8-3 advantage for the Americans in foursomes proved to be too much to overcome.
"That's what really put us behind the 8-ball," Norman said, "and we never really recovered."
Jim Furyk, the 2010 FedExCup champion, was the top point-getter for the U.S. He became just the fourth player in Presidents Cup history to win all five of his matches.
It was an emotional moment for Furyk after he closed out Ernie Els 4 and 3 on Sunday. Earlier in the week, Furyk won three matches with Phil Mickelson and one match with Nick Watney as his partners. He thanked both players for helping him grab a place in the record book
"I didn't expect to play as well as I did," said Furyk, who did not win on the PGA TOUR this year, "but it had to do a lot with my putting this week."
As he did two years ago, Tiger Woods won the decisive point for the U.S. team, as he beat Aaron Baddeley 4 and 3 in the penultimate match.
Woods, a Captain's Pick by Couples, justified his spot on the team as he finally holed some putts on Sunday after playing well from tee to green all week.
"I played well all week," Woods said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t make putts. I hit putts well, but they just weren’t going in. Caught a lot of lips the first three days, first four matches.
“Today was a different deal. I, for some reason, felt it and they were pouring right in there.”
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Steve Stricker dearly wanted to play in the Presidents Cup.
So the 45-year-old worked with doctors and physical therapists to strengthen his neck and shoulder rather than opting for surgery during the offseason.
And on Sunday, Stricker went out and beat Y.E. Yang 2 and 1 in the final Singles match for the exclamation point as the Americans won the 2011 Presidents Cup. The win evened Stricker’s record this week at 2-2.
Yang drew first blood when he birdied the first hole but Stricker came back to even the match with a par at No. 3. The American won the next three holes, as well, with a bogey and two pars to seize control at 3 up.
Yang parred the seventh and ninth to narrow the gap but each time Stricker responded on the next to retain that 3 up lead. The Korean still wasn't done, winning the 12th and 14th holes to get to 1 down, but an adventure in the tall grass proved costly at No. 16 and Stricker eeked out the win.