MELBOURNE, Australia -- Hunter Mahan never trailed on Sunday as he beat Jason Day 5 and 3 to earn the first point for the U.S. Team. It was also the first point of a hard-fought afternoon.
Mahan sealed the victory with a 13-footer for birdie at the 15th hole. The win was his fourth in five matches this week at the Presidents Cup.
The Americans now need four more points to win the Presidents Cup. When Mahan's match was over, the U.S. led in five other matches and the Internationals in six.
Mahan won the first hole with a par and never looked back -- building a 5-up advantage through eight holes. Day had a miserable front nine, shooting 44 with five bogeys and two double bogeys.
Day did manage to cut into Mahan's lead briefly on the back nine, first with a birdie at the 11th and again when Mahan double bogeyed the 13th. But the American went back to 4 up with an 18-footer for birdie at the 14th hole and the match was dormie.
The Singles result had to feel good for Mahan, who lost the 17th hole and the deciding match at the Ryder Cup in Wales last year.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The last time Hunter Mahan played a Singles match for the U.S. the Ryder Cup was on the line.
Mahan ended up losing the 17th hole, as well as the match to Graeme McDowell, and that turned the tide in Europe's favor. The loss was so painful Mahan broke down in the press conference after the event was over.
Mahan is having a much easier time on Sunday at the Presidents Cup with Jason Day, though. He's 5 up through 10 holes and primed to put the first U.S. point on the board.
Day has experienced what can only be called a terrible afternoon. He shot 44 on the front nine, making five bogeys, two double bogeys and just three pars.
At one point, International Captain Greg Norman came over and talked with Day. When NBC's Jimmy Roberts asked what he said, Norman just smiled and indicated he couldn't repeat it on TV.
"I just told him we all go through things like this," Norman said. "I told him to keep his focus."
MELBOURNE, Australia – To win The Presidents Cup, the International team needs to win nine of 12 singles matches on Sunday.
Impossible task? Maybe not.
With all matches now on the course at Royal Melbourne, the International team has started out strong. Greg Norman’s squad leads in seven matches, with one other – Tiger Woods vs. Aaron Baddeley – all square through three holes.
Should the Internationals win eight matches, they would tie the U.S. and share the Cup. The home team entered Sunday’s play facing a 4-point deficit and an uphill climb.
But Korean K.T. Kim jumped out on top of Webb Simpson in the lead match. Charl Schwartzel is having no trouble with Dustin Johnson; neither is Ryo Ishikawa in his match against Bubba Watson. And Geoff Ogilvy leads Bill Haas in the fourth match of the day.
In addition, Adam Scott won his first three holes against Phil Mickelson.
For the Americans, Hunter Mahan (over Jason Day), Jim Furyk (over Ernie Els) and David Toms (over Robert Allenby) have the most comfortable leads.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- One of Sunday's marquee matchups pits Jim Furyk of the U.S. against Ernie Els for the Internationals.
The American and South African are each playing in their seventh Presidents Cup, and both have solid records in Singles. Furyk is 4-2 while Els is 3-3. The two go off in the ninth match of the day with the International Team trailing 13-9 and facing a stern challenge.
Furyk likely comes in with more confidence -- he was on a winning team in his first four matches this week and has a chance to become just the fourth player to go 5-0. Els, on the other hand, is 1-3-0 this week, with his one win coming in Foursomes with Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa.
"We have to do a Brookline, we have to do a miracle tomorrow," Els said. "It can be done. The guys are in there and they are ready to go. It's going to be a once in a lifetime deal if we pull it off, but it can be done."
Furyk said the Americans are wary, even though the U.S. owns a
four-point advantage and no team has ever come from behind on
Sunday to win the Presidents Cup. He was on the U.S. Ryder Cup team
in 1999 that overcame the same deficit in Singles by winning a
phenomenal 8 1/2 points.
"I think first and foremost, we have to feel very fortunate we are in the position that we are in; that we played well and we earned it to this point," the veteran said. "But ... I remember at Brookline, one of the players on the other team making the comment that 'this is over,’ in the press room, and that's actually the wrong attitude to have and maybe it's one of the reasons it bit them.
"I think we as a team have to realize ... that we have to come out firing ... and it's important for each and every one of us of the 12 players to go out there and work the hardest they can to get their point. We'll look forward to it.
"It's a bunch of good players on the other side, and I think the attitude, though, is ... you get 2 up with four to play, you don't let your guard down. You keep trying to keep the pedal down and keep trying to win another hole and that's what we need to do (Sunday). You need to keep that pedal down and try to win our matches."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Greg Norman knows what has to be done on Sunday.
"It's always great to create history, isn't it?" the smiling International Team captain told NBC's Jimmy Roberts as the second Singles match got under way on the final day of the Presidents Cup.
Norman's team trails the U.S. 13-9 and needs to win nine matches in order to capture the Cup. The Internationals have only prevailed in the Singles session once in the previous nine Presidents Cups, winning it 7-5 in 2007 at Royal Montreal
The only International victory at the Presidents Cup came at Royal Melbourne in 1998 when they took a lopsided 20 1/2-11 1/2 victory.
"The message I gave the guys last night before they went to bed was to think about the greatest come-from-behind victories in sports," Norman said. "I told them to think about that because it can be done."
The wind at Royal Melbourne has changed and will blow in from the west/southwest at 15-25 mph. Norman said Nos. 6-11 and perhaps the final two or three holes will be most affected by the stiff breezes.
"This is not the easiest of winds," Norman said. "... But this is mano y mano, and you've got to go out and get it."
Norman's American counterpart, Fred Couples, knows his team is in the driver's seat but he wanted to be sure the U.S. players didn't let up.
"It's an individual day but it's a team day, too, and our guys are going to rock," Couples to Roberts. "We know they are going to come out firing, too.
"I told our guys that everybody needs a point. If they don't get one they're just going to make it tougher on the guys behind them."
Couples then walked over to Norman, who was surrounded by a group of Australian fans clad in yellow shirts and green Hogan caps. The fans started singing and Norman and Couples played along, even donning the green caps, then hugged and high-fived each other before casting an eye on the action again.
Norman kept the Hogan cap he borrowed, turned it backwards and watched the rest of the action on the first tee.
MELBOURNE, Australia – The International Team will have the partisan crowd on its side on a sunny and cool Sunday at Royal Melbourne.
Trailing by four points, though, Greg Norman’s squad faces an uphill battle in Sunday’s Singles matches. The Internationals have only won the session once in the nine previous Presidents Cups – winning seven of the 12 head-to-head battles at Royal Montreal in 2007.
A team needs 17 1/2 points to win the Presidents Cup, so the Internationals, trailing 13-9, would need an historic rally. But it wouldn’t be unprecedented in global team competition – the U.S. scored 8 1/2 points on a thrilling Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., to rally and win the 1999 Ryder Cup.
Wonder if Greg Norman had the same kind of “feeling” Ben Crenshaw did 12 years ago?
|Year||Score entering Singles||Final score|
|1994||U.S. led 12-9||U.S. wins 20-12|
|1996||U.S. led 10 1/2-9 1/2||U.S. won 16 1/2-15 1/2|
|2000||U.S. led 14-6||U.S. won 21 1/2-10 1/2|
|2003||Internationals led 12 1/2-9 1/2||Internationals, U.S. tie 17-all|
|2005||Internationals, U.S. tied 11-11||United States wins 18 1/2-15 1/2|
|2007||U.S. leads 14 1/2-7 1/2||U.S. wins 19 1/2-14 1/2|
|2009||U.S. leads 12 1/2-9 1/2||U.S. wins 19 1/2-14 1/2|
|2011||U.S. leads 13-9||TBD|
MELBOURNE, Australia – Unlike in the Foursomes and Four-ball matches held during the first three days of The Presidents Cup, matches in today’s Singles session can continue until a winner is determined.
If a match is all square after 18 holes prior to the Cup being decided, it will go extra holes until a match winner is determined and a full point is earned. However, after the Cup is clinched, any other matches will end at the 18th and would be halved in the case of a tie.
One other thing to remember – to win The Presidents Cup, you must have the majority of points. The reigning Presidents Cup holders (in this case, the U.S.) will not retain the Cup simply with a tie in overall points. Either team must win outright in points. If after all Singles matches are completed, the teams are tied in points, the competition will be deemed a tie and the teams will share The Presidents Cup.
This change in format was inspired by the events of The Presidents Cup in 2003, when the two sides agreed to share the Cup after darkness halted play with Ernie Els and Tiger Woods unable to decide a winner after halving three sudden-death holes.
To win The Presidents Cup, a team needs at least 17-1/2 points.
The U.S. will enter today’s competition with a 13-9 lead over the International team.
For the U.S. to win The Presidents Cup, it will need to win five singles matches.
For the International team to win The Presidents Cup, it will need to win nine singles matches.
Should the Internationals win eight singles matches and the U.S. win four matches, The Presidents Cup will end in a tie and the teams will share the trophy.
The first Singles match is set for 10:30 a.m. Sunday in Melbourne (6:30 p.m. ET Saturday).
The final round of the Viking Classic has reached the back nine at Annandale Golf Club, where 51-year-old Tom Pernice is trying to make a little history of his own.
At 20 under through 14 holes, he’s just one shot off the lead.
The player he’s chasing? Chris Kirk, who is looking for his first career victory on the PGA TOUR. Kirk has played well of late and was in contention just two weeks ago when he carded a third-round 63 at the AT&T National before eventually tying for eighth.
Kirk has plenty of other company besides Pernice, though. Currently there are 11 players within three strokes of his lead.
MARANA, Ariz. -- With Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter making early exits, the normally understated Martin Kaymer ended up setting the fashion trend on Saturday as the 26-year-old wore a navy-and-white scarf around his neck that conjured up images of Arabian shieks.
Kaymer called it a "snood" which sent us scrambling for the dictionary -- and when we looked the word up we were confused even more. By definition, a snood is a distinctive headband formerly worn by young unmarried women in Scotland and northern England.
Actually, Kaymer's wrap is called a "Buff" and it's made by Black Fly Outfitter, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla. Vaughn Cochran, who owns the company, was driving home from a fishing trip on Saturday when his phone started ringing. Friends were calling to tell him that Kaymer was wearing one of the buffs, which can be pulled up over the head and protects against the sun, bugs and wind.
Kaymer said he got the wrap on Friday to stay warm, "I heard a lot of guys in soccer they are using that. ... Maybe it's a European thing. Maybe we'll see it more often on the PGA TOUR." The 26-year-old, who stayed at his home in Scottsdale to prepare for the Accenture Match Play Championship, wasn't expecting the dramatic drop in temperatures.
"When you drive only one and a half hours, you're not expecting to bring a sweater, even,” Kaymer said. “But if we needed a turtle neck, I was not expecting that."
With temperatures not expected to rise out of the lower 50s on Sunday – and the possibility of snow – the Buff may come in handy again.
MARANA, Ariz. -- Sure, Bubba Watson was disappointed to have lost his semifinal match with Martin Kaymer. Overall, though, he couldn't be too unhappy with his performance on Saturday at Dove Mountain.
First of all, there was that stirring comeback win over J.B. Holmes as Watson rallied from 5 down with seven holes remaining to win on the 19th. And he went down swinging against Kaymer, too, taking the soon-to-be world No. 1 to the 18th hole before losing 1 up.
"It's sad because I lost," Watson said. "But I played good. I didn't really mess up too much. He just beat me. He made some putts that I didn't make."
Watson has one more match to play on Sunday, facing Matt Kuchar in the consolation at 12:05 p.m. MT (2:05 p.m. ET). Regardless of whether he wins or loses, the recent Farmers Insurance Open champ will have his second top-10 finish of the year.
Not bad for someone who was playing in his first World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
"I hit that good," Watson said, reminded of the clutch birdie at the 17th hole that extended his semifinal match. "That's the thing, it showed a lot. It showed that I can play golf.
"The first match this morning, I was down 5 with 8 to play and somehow I won it. It shows that I can do it, I can bear down and fight to the end."
Watson said the quick turnaround between matches contributed to a lackluster, double-bogey start in the semifinals. Not to mention, he never got a feel for the greens on Saturday. He used 28 putts each in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
"They slowed the greens down a little bit just because we were expecting these winds," Watson said. "Slow greens always get me. They look like they're going to be fast, but they roll a foot or so slower. Just hard."