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Match recaps: U.S. clinches Presidents Cup, 19-11

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 1, 2017, 10:15 pm

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – What looked like a foregone conclusion finally became a reality Sunday, as the United States finished off its dominating performance at Liberty National with a decisive, 19-11 victory over the Internationals. 

Daniel Berger delivered the clinching point for the Americans, who improved to 10-1-1 in the biennial event. 

Here are the match-by-match results from Liberty National:

DAY 4

Sunday singles: Internationals 7 1/2, U.S. 4 1/2

Overall: U.S. 19, Internationals 11

Kevin Chappell (U.S.) vs. Marc Leishman (International), halved: Leishman had a chance to earn a full point for the International side, but he three-putted from the back fringe on 17 for bogey. On 18, he was fortunate to even escape with a halve, after Chappell narrowly missed his birdie putt. 

Jason Day (International) def. Charley Hoffman (U.S.), 2 and 1: It’s been a rough go the past two Presidents Cups for Day, but he won three consecutive holes to begin the back nine to hold off Hoffman. The former world No. 1 is now just 1-7-2 in his last two cup appearances. 

Hideki Matsuyama (International) def. Justin Thomas (U.S.), 3 and 1: The Japanese star looked lost for much of these matches, but he managed to pull it all together against the presumptive PGA Tour Player of the Year. Racking up seven birdies and an eagle, he managed to eek past Thomas (who made eight birdies of his own) to give the Internationals a win when the outcome was already secured. Together, they combined for 15 birdies and an eagle.

Daniel Berger (U.S.) def. Si Woo Kim (International), 2 and 1: One of the Americans’ six rookies, Berger traded birdies and fist pumps with The Players champion until his halve on the 15th hole clinched the cup for the U.S.    

Charl Schwartzel (International) def. Matt Kuchar (U.S.), 1 up: Kuchar actually did well to extend this match to 18, after he was 4 down with seven holes to play. But Schwartzel’s par on the last was enough to earn the full point. Kuchar is now just 1-7 in singles matches.

Adam Scott (International) def. Brooks Koepka (U.S.), 3 and 2: Trying to avoid a winless cup, Scott won four holes in a row on the back nine – three with concessions from Koepka – to knock off the U.S. Open champion. 

Louis Oosthuizen (International) def. Patrick Reed (U.S.), 1 up: Tasked with taking on Captain America, the sweet-swinging South African won the 17th with a birdie, then earned a conceded birdie on 18 to steal the match after Reed sent his tee shot wide left on the closing par 3. 

Dustin Johnson (U.S.) vs. Branden Grace (International), halved: The world No. 1 surrendered a late lead, but he became the only player on either side to go 4-0-1 this week, going back and forth with the South African until they halved the 18th hole with a par.  

Jhonattan Vegas (International) def. Jordan Spieth (U.S.), 2 and 1: And it could have been worse. Vegas opened up a 4-up lead with four to play, but Spieth did well just to reach the 17th. Though he’s proven to be a formidable team player, remarkably, Spieth dropped to 0-5 in Ryder/President Cup singles. 

Rickie Fowler (U.S.) def. Emiliano Grillo (International), 6 and 4: One of the lone bright spots on an otherwise rough day for the Americans, Fowler watched his lead swell with wins on four of the first five holes on the back nine. It was the U.S. team’s most convincing victory Sunday.   

Kevin Kisner (U.S.) vs. Anirban Lahiri (International), halved: Indicative of his team’s day, Kisner coughed up the lead with bogeys on the last two holes to squander the opportunity for a full point. 


DAY 3

Saturday fourballs: U.S. 3, Internationals 1

Overall: U.S. 14 1/2, Internationals 3 1/2

MATCH 1: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. Jason Day-Louis Oosthuizen (Internationals), 2 and 1: Oosthuizen almost single-handedly kept the Internationals alive in a match where neither team ever held more than a two-hole lead, but Spieth's 10-foot birdie on the 17th concluded the match. Spieth and Reed were 2-0-0 on the day to improve their career Presidents Cup/Ryder Cup record to 8-1-3.

MATCH 2: Daniel Berger-Justin Thomas (U.S.) def. Jhonattan Vegas-Hideki Matsuyama (Internationals), 3 and 2: The Internationals won the second, third and fourth holes, then didn't win another hole. Berger became the last U.S. player to win a match this week. Matsuyama dropped to 0-2-1 this week and 3-6-3 in his Presidents Cup career.

MATCH 3: Anirban Lahiri-Si Woo Kim (Internationals) def. Kevin Chappell-Charlie Hoffman (U.S.), 1 up: Hoffman chipped in for birdie on the 17th hole, triggering a wild celebration, but Lahiri birdied on top of him to keep the Internationals 1 up going to the 18th, where the U.S. conceded Lahiri's par putt for a halve of the hole. It was Lahiri's first career Presidents Cup win after four losses.

MATCH 4: Brooks Koepka-Dustin Johnson (U.S.) def. Marc Leishman-Branden Grace (Internationals), 3 and 2: In a match where the U.S. never trailed, DJ improved his record to 4-0. He is looking to become only the sixth player to go 5-0-0 in a Presidents Cup.

Saturday foursomes: U.S. 3 1/2, Internationals 1/2

Overall: U.S. 11 1/2, Internationals 2 1/2

MATCH 1: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. Jason Day-Marc Leishman (Internationals), 4 and 3: Leishman pulled his opening tee shot into the water, and things didn't get much better from there for the Aussie duo. While the match was all square through 11 holes, Spieth and Reed closed things out in style with four straight birdies to put the first point of the day on the board. The Americans are now 7-1-3 when paired together, while Day's individual record in Presidents Cup foursomes drops to 0-5-3.

MATCH 2: Matt Kuchar-Dustin Johnson (U.S.) def. Adam Hadwin-Adam Scott (Internationals), 4 and 3: The U.S. team won the first hole with a par and that set the tone for the morning session. Kuchar and DJ made only three birdies over the span of 15 holes but it was easily enough to secure a comfortable victory. They led, 4 up, at the turn and were never threatened. This American tandem won both of their foursomes matches this week and DJ is now 5-0-1 in the format in this competition.

MATCH 3: Kevin Kisner-Phil Mickelson (U.S.) def. Emiliano Grillo-Jhonattan Vegas (Internationals), 2 and 1: The Americans won the first hole but it was close throughout. It was all square until Grillo and Vegas bogeyed the par-4 14th. The U.S. team kept that lead through 16 holes and sealed the match with a big Kisner putt at the 17th. Mickelson and Kisner at now 2-0-1 this week.

MATCH 4: Justin Thomas-Rickie Fowler (U.S.) vs. Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace (Internationals), halved: The only morning foursomes match that reached the 18th hole. Thomas and Fowler handed Grace and Oosthuizen their first Presidents Cup loss as a team on Friday. On Saturday, the International side led by as much as 2 up and the U.S. by as much as 1 up, and it was all square for the final seven holes. With the away team in for par on the last, Thomas had 5 feet to halve the match and got his putt to circle in.


DAY 2

Friday fourballs: U.S. 4 1/2, Internationals 1/2

Overall: U.S. 8, Internationals 2

MATCH 1: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed (U.S.) vs. Hideki Matsuyama-Adam Hadwin (Internationals), halved:  Trailing 2 down on the back nine, the Americans’ most successful staged a late rally to steal a half point from the struggling Matsuyama and rookie Hadwin. Spieth and Reed, who have now gone 6-1-3 as a team, made back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 and had opportunities on the last two holes to earn the full point, including Spieth’s 20-footer on 18 that spun around the cup. 

MATCH 2: Justin Thomas-Rickie Fowler (U.S.) def. Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace (Internationals), 3 and 2: Quickly turning into the Americans’ best duo, Thomas and Fowler handed Oosthuizen and Grace their first loss in team play (5-1). They played 7 under as a team, and Thomas helped put away the Internationals with some dazzling short-game shots, first a touchy up and down on 12, a holed bunker shot on 14 and then an 8-foot birdie putt on 15. 

MATCH 3: Phil Mickelson-Kevin Kisner (U.S.) def. Jason Day-Marc Leishman (Internationals), 1 up: Going head-to-head for the second straight day, Mickelson didn’t miss on the final green this time. Burying a 15-footer on the last, the 47-year-old gave the Americans their first lead of the day and a full point after Leishman missed his 10-footer. These two teams squared off Thursday, with Mickelson missed an 8-footer on the last for the win.

MATCH 4: Charley Hoffman-Kevin Chappell (U.S.) def. Charl Schwartzel-Anirban Lahiri (Internationals), 6 and 5: After sitting out the opening foursomes, the American rookies pounced all over the overmatched International squad. Taking a 5-up lead at the turn, Hoffman buried the Internationals with a par on the drivable 12th, after getting up and down from 270 yards. Schwartzel has now been trounced in both of his matches this week, while Lahiri, who was disqualified from playing the third hole Friday after taking a practice shot out of a bunker, is now 0-4 in Presidents Cup play over the past two editions. 

MATCH 5: Dustin Johnson-Brooks Koepka (U.S.) def. Adam Scott-Jhonattan Vegas (Internationals), 3 and 2:  The American bash brothers didn’t play their best for much of the match, but they still erased an early deficit with six birdies and held off Vegas and Scott to earn the final point of the day. Johnson buried a 20-footer for birdie on 15, then pured an iron to 10 feet on 16 to close out the match. It was Scott's 19th match lost, the most in tournament history. 


DAY 1

Thursday foursomes: U.S. 3 1/2, Internationals 1 1/2

Overall: U.S. 3 1/2, Internationals 1 1/2

MATCH 1: Rickie Fowler-Justin Thomas (U.S.) def. Hideki Matsuyama-Charl Schwartzel (INT), 6 and 4:  After falling in an early hole, Fowler and Thomas, the presumptive PGA Tour Player of the Year, won four holes in a six-hole span to take a commanding lead on the International duo, which went out in 4 over. It didn’t get much better on the back nine, as Matsuyama, the International team’s best player, struggled mightily. Thomas won in his team debut.

MATCH 2: Dustin Johnson-Matt Kuchar (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott-Jhonattan Vegas (INT), 1 up: A tight match throughout, Johnson and Kuchar played bogey-free and broke out of a tie after Johnson’s 7-iron to 8 feet on 16 that was conceded for birdie. Johnson then closed out the match with another sweet 7-iron on 18, this one to 20 feet, to earn the full point for the Americans. He improved to 4-0-1 in foursomes. 

MATCH 3: Jordan Spieth-Patrick Reed (U.S.) def. Emiliano Grillo-Si Woo Kim (INT), 5 and 4: One of the most successful partnerships of the past few years (6-1-2), Spieth and Reed continued to roll, this time wiping out the all-rookie International team of Grillo and Kim. Spieth and Reed ripped off four straight wins on Nos. 4-7 (needing to play that stretch in only 1 under) and cruised to another team victory, never leading by fewer than two holes. Spieth is now the only player in Presidents Cup history with a 4-0 or better record in foursomes. 

MATCH 4: Louis Oosthuizen-Branden Grace (INT) def. Brooks Koepka-Daniel Berger (U.S.), 3 and 1: The South African duo of Oosthuizen and Grace put the first point on the board for the Internationals. They picked up where they left off in South Korea, taking out the former Florida State teammates with wins on Nos. 13 and 15. Oosthuizen and Grace, now 5-0 together, trailed for only two holes Thursday.  

MATCH 5: Phil Mickelson-Kevin Kisner (U.S.) vs. Jason Day-Marc Leishman (INT), halved: Playing in his 23rd consecutive team event, Mickelson was in charge of guiding rookie Kisner around Liberty National. The Americans squandered a 3-up lead on the front nine, but they battled back late, winning the 17th hole and then looking at a 6-footer to steal a full point over the Australians. Mickelson, however, missed the par putt, and each side received a half point.

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Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

 There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

“The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

“You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

For the sixth time in the last seven matches, the U.S. team rolled to a victory of at least three points. This particular edition was even in danger of ending on Saturday afternoon thanks to a particularly dominant performance by a young American squad led by Steve Stricker.

Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

While it’s become customary in recent years to consider the uncertain path that awaits the 14-time major winner, this most recent calendar brought an entirely new collection of questions following fusion surgery on his lower back in April, his arrest for DUI on Memorial Day and, finally, a glimmer of hope born from his tie for ninth at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month.

When will he play again? Can he compete against the current generation of world-beaters? Can his body withstand the rigors of a full PGA Tour schedule? Should Jim Furyk make him a captain’s pick now or wait to see if he should be driving a vice captain’s golf cart instead?

Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



After Further Review Chalice. In April, Lexi Thompson endured a heartbreaking loss at the ANA Inspiration, the byproduct of a surreal ruling that arrived a day late via a viewer e-mail and cost the would-be winner a major championship.

The entire event was so unsavory that the USGA and R&A made not one but two alterations to the rules and created a “working group” to avoid similar snafus in the future.

That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

Officials said the nip/tuck on four holes was in reaction to a particularly foreboding forecast that never materialized, and the maintenance drew the ire of some players.

“We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” Rory McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here; if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.”

The record low scoring at the U.S. Open – winner Brooks Koepka finished with a 16-under total – didn’t help ease the fervor and had some questioning whether the softer side of the USGA has gone a bit too far?

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Podcast: Daly takes big pride in 'Little John'

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 14, 2017, 5:28 pm

John Daly is a two-time major champion, but the newest trophy in his household belongs to someone else.

That’s because Daly’s son, 14-year-old Little John “LJ” Daly, rallied to capture an IJGT junior golf event over the weekend. The younger Daly birdied the first extra hole to win a five-person playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

Daly recently sat down for a Golf Channel podcast to describe what it’s like to cheer for his son and PNC Father-Son Challenge partner, share the unique challenge presented by the upcoming Diamond Resorts Invitational and reflect on some of the notable highs of a career that has now spanned more than 25 years.

Sneds starts slowly in Masters invite bid

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brandt Snedeker flew halfway around the world in search of a Masters invite, but after one round of the Indonesian Masters it appears he'll likely return home empty-handed.

Snedeker made only two birdies during his opening round in Indonesia, shooting an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 77th and 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose. This is the final OWGR-rated event of 2017, and as a result it has drawn several notable entrants, including Snedeker, who hope to crack the top 50 in the world rankings by year's end to secure a trip to Augusta National.


Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


Snedeker started the year ranked No. 28, but after missing five months because of injury he entered the week ranked No. 51 and is projected to slip even further by the end of the month. As a result, he likely needs a top-3 finish in order to secure a return to the Masters, which he has missed only once since 2007.

World No. 55 Dylan Frittelli also struggled, shooting a 4-over 76 in the opening round, while No. 56 Kiradech Aphibarnrat is tied for 14th at 4 under. Yusaku Miyazato, currently 58th in the world, is tied for ninth and five shots behind Rose.

Should Snedeker and the other hopefuls fail to crack the top 50 by the end of the year, two paths to the Masters remain: win a full-point event on the PGA Tour in early 2018 or be inside the top 50 in the world rankings when the final cutoff is made on March 25.

Nathaniel Crosby at the 1983 Bing Crosby Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Getty Images

Crosby selected as 2019 U.S. Walker Cup captain

By Will GrayDecember 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

The USGA announced that former U.S. Amateur champ Nathaniel Crosby will serve as the American captain for the 2019 Walker Cup, which will be played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

Crosby, 56, is the son of entertainment icon and golf enthusiast Bing Crosby. He won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club as a teenager and earned low amateur honors at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He also played in the 1983 Walker Cup, coincidentally held at Royal Liverpool, before embarking on a brief career in professional golf, with his amateur status reinstated in 1994.

"I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be chosen captain of the next USA Walker Cup team," Crosby said in a statement. "Many of my closest friends are former captains who will hopefully take the time to share their approaches in an effort to help me with my new responsibilities."

Crosby takes over the captaincy from John "Spider" Miller, who led the U.S. squad both in 2015 and earlier this year, when the Americans cruised to a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Crosby is a Florida resident and member at Seminole Golf Club, which will host the 2021 matches. While it remains to be seen if he'll be asked back as captain in 2021, each of the last six American captains have led a team on both home and foreign soil.

Started in 1922, the Walker Cup is a 10-man, amateur match play competition pitting the U.S. against Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. team holds a 37-9 all-time lead in the biennial matches but has not won in Europe since 2007.