Day 4 match recaps; U.S. clinches Presidents Cup
October 01, 2017
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
Daniel Berger on his big moment for the U.S.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Presidents Cup first-timer Daniel Berger provided the clinching point for the U.S. team Sunday at Liberty National, giving the Americans their 10th win in 12 meetings against the International Team.
The Americans finished with a 19-11 points advantage, although the Internationals won the Sunday Singles session 7.5 to 4.5 points in the 12 matches.
Berger, playing in the fourth Singles match of the day, went dormie against THE PLAYERS champion Si Woo Kim on the 15th hole of their match, a guaranteed half-point. Earlier, Kevin Chappell halved his opening match against Marc Leishman for the first half-point of the day.
Berger was informed by U.S. Captain Steve Stricker on the 16th hole that he had provided the clincher. When he finally finished his match, he was sprayed with champagne by fellow first-timer Charley Hoffman, and then celebrated with other members of the U.S. squad.
"What a feeling," Berger said after closing out Kim 2 and 1 for the full point. "I'm speechless right now."
The Americans needed just one point coming into Sunday's 12 Singles matches to clinch the Presidents Cup, having taken a commanding 14.5 to 3.5 lead after the first three days at Liberty National.
The U.S. was hoping to win all five sessions this week, but the Internationals responded Sunday with their best effort of the week, winning six of the first nine matches.
Berger, at age 24, becomes the youngest player to ever clinch the Presidents Cup. "It's pretty cool just to be part of the team and obviously to win it for us is amazing. It was a team effort. It didn't come down to just me," he said.
Stricker said the dominating performance was built on his players coming in with top form. "These guys played so well. They played well all year long and they came here with a lot of confidence," Stricker said. "They continued it right through this tournament here."
International Captain Nick Price said he congratulated Stricker and told him, "You've got a helluva team. Enjoy the ride."
Phil Mickelson, playing in his 100th career match in Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup competition, won his match against Adam Hadwin, 2 and 1. It was the last completed match of the day.
The Americans are now 10-1-1 in this event. The Internationals will be the home team in 2019 at Royal Melbourne in Australia.
Recaps for all completed matches are below.
Marc Leishman (International) vs. Kevin Chappell (U.S.), Halved
Chappell made an early eagle and birdie to take control early, but Leishman battled back and led after 16 holes. He bogeyed the 17th to square the match, and both players missed birdie attempts inside 20 feet on the final hole.
Jason Day (International) def. Charley Hoffman (U.S.), 2 and 1
Day won for the first time in his last 10 Presidents Cup matches. Trailing at the turn, Day won the first three holes on the back nine to go 2 up, then played steady golf the rest of the way.
Hideki Matsuyama (International) def. Justin Thomas (U.S.), 3 and 1
Matsuyama struggled for most of the week, but he woke up against the FedExCup champ, making eight birdies and an eagle in the first 12 holes. Thomas played nearly as well, making seven birdies in that stretch. But Matsuyama never provided an opening for Thomas to pounce.
Daniel Berger (U.S.) def. Si Woo Kim (International), 2 and 1
Berger clinched the Presidents Cup on the 15th hole when he went dormie for a guaranteed half-point, then closed out Kim two holes later in a well-played match, particular between holes 8 and 12 when the two combined for seven birdies. Berger took the lead on the second hole and never gave it up.
Charl Schwartzel (International) def. Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up
The South African won the first two holes and maintained the lead for the entire match. Schwartzel had four birdies in his first seven holes and was 5 up through seven, then cruised from there. The loss continued Kuchar's drought in Presidents Cup Singles, as he's now 0-4-0.
Louis Oosthuizen (International) def. Patrick Reed (U.S.), 1 up
On three separate stretches during the match, Reed held the lead, including after the 16th hole when he was 1 up. But Oosthuizen's 14-foot birdie putt at the 17th squared it, then his 12-footer at the 18th won it. It's Oosthuizen's first Singles win in three attempts in the Presidents Cup.
Branden Grace (International) vs. Dustin Johnson (U.S.), Halved
The South African, who won all five of his matches two years ago in Korea, denied Johnson the same result with a late rally to halve the match. Johnson led for 13 of the first 16 holes, but he found trouble off the tee at 17 and conceded the hole to square the match. With 4.5 points, Johnson led all players.
Adam Scott (International) def. Brooks Koepka (U.S.), 3 and 2
Scott won his first point of the week against the U.S. Open champ while running his Singles record to 5-3-0. Koepka led for most of the match, but Scott won four consecutive holes on the back nine to flip the match in his favor.
Jhonattan Vegas (International) def. Jordan Spieth (U.S.), 2 and 1
Spieth was 1 up through the fifth hole, but Vegas won three of the next four holes with two birdies and an eagle and never trailed after that. It wraps up a nice performance by Vegas, and continues Spieth's frustration in Singles; he's now 0-3-0 at the Presidents Cup.
Anirban Lahiri (International) vs. Kevin Kisner (U.S.), Halved
Lahiri, Price's last Captain's Pick, displayed his mettle by winning the last two holes to produce a half-point. Lahiri's clutch par putt from 13 feet won the 17th and then Kisner bogeyed the last to concede the hole.
Phil Mickelson (U.S.) def. Adam Hadwin (International), 2 and 1
Mickelson, playing his 100th match in Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup competition, won his record 26th Presidents Cup match against the Canadian. After losing the first hole, Mickelson won the next four and never trailed after that.
Rickie Fowler (U.S.) def. Emiliano Grillo (International), 6 and 4
Fowler produced six birdies and and never trailed as he pulled away in the last scheduled match of the day. Fowler won the final three holes with two pars and a birdie.