The International team achieved its goal of keeping the Presidents Cup competitive, with the outcome not decided until the final hole of the final match. In the end, the United States prevailed, 15 ½ to 14 ½. The competition came down to the anchor match – local hero Sangmoon Bae against U.S. captain’s pick (and captain’s son) Bill Haas – and the final hole, which Haas won. Here's a match-by-match look at the Americans' victory on a cold, rainy day in Incheon, South Korea (matches posted in order of finish):
Match 20: Adam Scott (INT) def. Rickie Fowler (US), 6 and 5
Fowler won only one hole, and that was with a par. Scott's standard-length putter was on fire, as he birdied four straight holes (Nos. 7-10) and left a potential fifth straight birdie one revolution short.
Match 25: Phil Mickelson (US) def. Charl Schwartzel (INT), 5 and 4
Mickelson got off to a shaky start, with his opening tee shot ending up in a female spectator's umbrella, then seeing his second shot bury in a bunker. But he got up and down for par and never looked back. Mickelson made only two birdies, but Schwartzel won only two holes.
Match 19: Patrick Reed (US) and Louis Oosthuizen (INT) halved
One down going to the par-5 18th hole, Oosthuizen made eagle to halve the match. That completed an undefeated week (4-0-1) for the South African.
Match 21: Dustin Johnson (US) def. Danny Lee (INT), 2 and 1
Lee started horribly, bogeying his first three holes and doubling the fourth, but his putter gradually warmed up and he took his first lead on the 14th hole when Johnson failed to drive the green and found the hazard. Lee bogeyed his next two holes, however, to lose.
Match 22: Hideki Matsuyama (INT) def. J.B. Holmes (US), 1 up
This match came down to the 18th tee all square. Matsuyama outdrove the longer-hitting Holmes by 22 yards, but both players wound up just in front of the green on their second shots. Matsuyama chipped close and made a short putt for birdie. Holmes, after backing off a couple of times to towel off his hands, left his chip considerably short and failed to convert the putt.
Match 23: Bubba Watson (US) and Thongchai Jaidee (INT) halved
Another match that went to the 18th tee all square. Jaidee drove into the water and his chances appeared to have sunk, but he salvaged par and Watson missed a short birdie putt that would have won it.
Match 24: Steven Bowditch (INT) def. Jimmy Walker (US), 2 up
Walker was 2 up through eight holes, then went bogey-bogey-double bogey-bogey to lose four holes in a row. Bowditch stretched his lead to 3 up through 14, but Walker won two of the next three to cut his deficit to one going to the 18th. Both were just in front of the par-5 green in two, but both hit indifferent chips. When Walker missed his birdie putt, he conceded Bowditch’s birdie putt and the match.
Match 26: Chris Kirk (US) def. Anirban Lahiri (INT), 1 up
Kirk took a 1-up lead with a birdie at the third and stretched it to 2 up through 11, but Lahiri won the 12th and 14th and the match went to the 18th all square. Kirk's third shot left him with a 15-footer for birdie, which he made for a 1-up win. Lahiri had a 2-foot putt to halve the match, but it lipped out. That half-point could have ended the Presidents Cup in a tie.
Match 28: Zach Johnson (US) def. Jason Day (INT), 3 and 2
In a match where world No. 2 Day made six bogeys, Johnson built a 5-up lead through 11 holes, then coasted home.
Match 27: Marc Leishman (INT) def. Jordan Spieth (US), 1 up
After making eight birdies on Saturday, Spieth made another one on No. 1 to go 1 up, but Leishman refused to be intimidated. Spieth had to make a 5-footer on 17 just to extend the match to the 18th hole, but Leishman matched his closing birdie to hold on against the world No. 1.
Match 29: Branden Grace (INT) def. Matt Kuchar (US), 2 and 1
Grace dominated the front nine, going 5 up as Kuchar made four bogeys. Kuchar whittled away at the lead on the back nine, cutting his deficit to two holes through 16, but Grace held on to become just the fifth player in Presidents Cup history to go 5-0.
Match 30: Bill Haas (US) def. Sangmoon Bae (INT), 2 up
Bae made an insanely clutch putt on 16 to keep the match alive. He drove into a bunker on the par-3 17th, but almost holed out from there. Haas two-putted for par, sending the match to the 18th and clinching a tie (and retention of the cup) for the U.S. On the par-5 18th, Haas reached the greenside bunker, while Bae was just short and left of the green. Bae stubbed his chip, failing to reach the green, and sent the next one past the pin. Haas blasted out to inside 6 feet, and Bae conceded a 2-up win for Haas.