The United States has cruised to a seventh consecutive Presidents Cup victory over the International team at Liberty National in New Jersey.
But a last-ditch rally in the Sunday singles saw Nick Price’s men avoid a humiliating record loss. The Internationals grabbed 7½ points from a possible 12 on the final day, which revealed the admirable fighting qualities of the team but it was like closing the gate after the horse had bolted.
The Americans led 14½ to 3½ heading into the final day, which left them needing just one point to secure the victory.
With only ½ a point going to the Americans in the opening three singles matches, it was left up to Daniel Berger to seal the win. Berger birdied the 2nd hole of his match against South Korean Si-woo Kim and was never headed in his 2&1 victory that pushed the US pass the 15-point mark and victory.
During the remainder of the afternoon, with the Cup in hand, the Americans claimed only three more points to prevail 19-11 and win the Presidents Cup for the 10th time in 12 meetings between the two teams.
The Americans fell short of establishing new record-winning margin, which remains at 11½ points set by the US in 2000.
The eight-point final margin flattered the Internationals and really didn’t reflect the complete domination of the event by the Americans.
While there may have been a glimmer of hope heading into the weekend only six points adrift of the US, the International capitulated in the Saturday Foursomes and Fourballs to the point where the Americans were a chance of winning the Cup before the Sunday singles.
The Internationals certainly played better in the Singles but it was too little, too late.
"This is a juggernaut of a US team," International Captain Nick Price said. "They’re an overpowering team. We kept losing holes to birdies.
“These guys were firing on all eight cylinders and it was tough to watch, especially being on the receiving end.”
The Americans now have the nucleus of a team that will be playing team events for the next decade as the average age of the playing roster is less than 32. It’s a fact that hasn’t escaped US Captain Steve Stricker.
"US team golf is in a great spot," Stricker said. "Looks like they could be around together for a long time. They played well all year long and they came here with a lot of confidence. They continued it right through this tournament here."
In the aftermath of this one-sided affair, questions will again be asked about the relevancy of the Presidents Cup.
In 2019, the biennial event returns to Melbourne for a third time. The Internationals, of course, continue to hang their hat on their sole victory being at Royal Melbourne back in 1998. There will need to be considerable improvement from the Internationals, as well as a slip in form from the Americans before the notion of a second loss can even be entertained.