It’s not exactly the match the world was waiting to see in what is shaping up as an epically anticlimactic Sunday finish, but that singles pairings perfectly captures the massive mismatch of this Presidents Cup.
The Americans take a commanding 14-8 lead into the singles session. No team taking a lead into singles has ever lost the Presidents Cup.
In Sunday’s pairings news conference, where one captain puts a player on the board and the other counters with an opponent, Internationals captain Nick Price took a possible No. 1 vs. No. 2 pairing of Woods and Adam Scott out of play. After U.S. captain Fred Couples put Bill Haas on the board in the sixth singles match, Price countered with Scott. Three pairings later, Price put Sterne on the board in the ninth singles match. Couples countered with Woods.
Sterne, a South African, is 0-3 in his first Presidents Cup.
Woods is 3-1.
Why did Couples match Woods against Sterne?
“Personally, Tiger talked about Richard,” Couples said. “They’ve not played each other. It just came down to where Tiger was going to go, between seven and nine. We just didn’t want to wait any longer. We feel like we gathered them where they liked to go.
Price had the first selection in the singles pairings, putting Ernie Els on the board. Couples countered with Steve Stricker. Els has struggled with his putter this week while Stricker, one of the world’s best putters, seems to have his top form going.
Because two foursomes matches were still on the course completing suspended rounds on Sunday morning, the singles' tee times were juggled. Stricker and Els were picked in the first match but will go off as the fourth match.
Here are the singles pairings with the matches beginning at 9:30 a.m.:
Match 24: Hideki Matsuyama (INTL) vs. Hunter Mahan (USA)
Match 26: Jason Day (INTL) vs. Brandt Snedeker (USA)
Match 27: Graham DeLaet (INTL) vs. Jordan Spieth (USA)
Match 23: Ernie Els (INTL) vs. Steve Stricker (USA)
Match 25: Brendon de Jonge (INTL) vs. Jason Dufner (USA)
Match 28: Adam Scott (INTL) vs. Bill Haas (USA)
Match 29: Branden Grace (INTL) vs. Zach Johnson (USA)
Match 30: Marc Leishman (INTL) vs. Matt Kuchar (USA)
Match 31: Richard Sterne (INTL) vs. Tiger Woods (USA)
Match 32: Charl Schwartzel (INTL) vs. Keegan Bradley (USA)
Match 33: Louis Oosthuizen (INTL) vs. Webb Simpson (USA)
Match 34: Angel Cabrera (INTL) vs. Phil Mickelson (USA)