Capsules from the 12 singles matches at Presidents Cup
Si Woo Kim, International, def. Justin Thomas, United States, 1 up.
Thomas looked headed for a 5-0 week with birdies on the second and fourth holes to build a 2-up lead, and it stayed that way at the turn. Kim answered with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 10th and won the 11th when Thomas drove into the water. It was tight the rest of the way. Kim shushed the crowd with a par putt on the 15th to keep it all square. He birdied the 16th to go 1 up, and Thomas answered by sticking his approach on the uphill 17th to 3 feet. On the final hole, Kim and Thomas were both inside 10 feet for birdie. Kim made, Thomas missed.
Jordan Spieth, United States, def. Cameron Davis, International, 4 and 3.
Spieth had never won a singles match in either the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, and it started out as though the streak might continue when Spieth bogeyed the opening two holes and fell 2 down. But then Spieth did what Spieth does. He holed putts of 25 feet and 20 feet to square the match. When he drove into the water on No. 7, he made a 30-footer to halve the hole. He drove the par-4 11th green with a 3-wood for a two-putt birdie to the lead for good, and made a 45-footer on No. 13 for good measure. He not only won, he became the sixth player in Presidents Cup history to go 5-0.
Hideki Matsuyama, International, halved with Sam Burns, United States.
They traded birdies in the early going, and Matsuyama took the lead with a birdie on the seventh and a par on the short par-4 eighth when Burns putted off the green. Burns began the back nine with three straight birdies to regain the lead, only for a wild drive on the 15th to lead to double bogey. The match was all square coming to the last hole. Burns had 25 feet. Matsuyama was behind the green, 80 feet away. His chip hit the pin squarely and somehow stayed out. Burns missed his birdie putt.
Patrick Cantlay, United States, def. Adam Scott, International, 3 and 2.
Cantlay played as though he were still irritated at a Saturday fourballs loss. He won three straight holes early, two with birdies, for a 3-up lead through four holes and Scott never got any closer than two holes the rest of the way. Cantlay went into the water on the 13th to lose the hole. He was 2 up and won the 15th with a par and wound up with an easy time getting the second U.S. point on the board.
Sebastian Munoz, International, def. Scottie Scheffler, United States, 2 and 1.
Scheffler was putting in darkness on the eve of singles, and it looked like it would pay off when he built a 2-up lead through six holes. Munoz answered by winning three holes around the turn to take his first lead, and he never gave it back. They had matching eagles on the par-4 11th hole, matching birdies on the the par-5 12th, and then Munoz seized control with a birdie on the 15th to go 2-up with three to play.
Tony Finau, United States, def. Taylor Pendrith, International, 3 and 1.
Pendrith was trying to avoid getting shut out, and after losing the first two holes, the Canadian won four of the next five holes to take a 2-up lead. Pendrith stayed ahead until Finau birdied the par-5 12th to square the match, and then won the next hole with a birdie. He stayed in the lead, and then put Pendrith away with a birdie on the 16th and another on the 17th.
Xander Schauffele, United States, def. Corey Conners, International, 1 up.
Schauffele said it was a good thing the scorecard had no pictures, and he was right. They halved the second and third holes with bogeys. Schauffele took his first lead when Conners made double bogey on the par-3 sixth hole, and he won the next hole with a 30-foot birdie putt. Conners fought back to tie the match, only to fall behind with a bogey on the 15th. Conners looked to square the match on the 17th until he three-putted from 25 feet. On the final hole, Conners went from the fairway into a bunker, and Schauffele got up-and-down for par for the win, and the point that clinched the cup.
Sungjae Im, International, def. Cameron Young, United States, 1 up.
Im again showed himself as the most reliable person for the International team. Young made it easy for him with three straight bogeys at the start before the PGA Tour’s top rookie came to life with a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth and squared the match at the turn. It remained tied until Im birdied the par-5 12th, and then the South Korean dropped a shot on the 15th. All square with three holes to go, Im stuffed his approach to 3 feet on the 17th for birdie, and he made a 20-foot birdie on the final hole to deny Young a chance at a halve.
K.H. Lee, International, def. Billy Horschel, United States, 3 and 1.
This was the only match in which a team led from the opening hole to the end. Lee took advantage of a poor start by Horschel to go 2 up after two holes. Horschel was 1 down at the turn, and Lee won the next two holes when Horschel bogeyed the par-3 10th and then missed a 6-foot birdie putt that would have halved the 11th. Lee led by at least 2 holes the rest of the way and closed him out when Horschel got into trouble off the tee at the 17th.
Max Homa, United States, def. Tom Kim, International, 1 up.
It’s a shame this match didn’t mean more. Homa was the star newcomer for the Americans, Kim for the Internationals. Homa looked flat with two double bogeys on the front nine -- the stroke-play equivalent of a 41. He was 3 down. And then Homa burst to life, with a few mistakes by Kim. He won four straight holes starting with Kim’s bogey on the 12th. Homa was pouring in putts and kept the lead at 1 up. Kim had a chance at the end, but Homa made a superb par save on the 17th, and Kim missed a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have been worth a halve.
Collin Morikawa, United States, def. Mito Pereira, International, 3 and 2.
Morikawa wasn’t at his best this week until Sunday singles, and then he looked like a two-time major champion. He shot a 30 on the front nine, including a 15-foot eagle on the seventh hole. He already was 4 up through 10 holes and he didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole. And by then, it really didn’t matter. Fittingly, Morikawa closed out the match with a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, International, def. Kevin Kisner, United States, 2 and 1.
This was always going to be the match that only had a bearing on the score. A hole wasn’t won with a birdie until Kisner made a 50-footer on the long par-3 sixth hole. The South African went 1 up on the next hole and never trailed the entire match. He was never in control, either, until making a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th over water, then winning the 16th to go dormie. Both missed par putts on the 17th, and Bezuidenhout had the win.
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