US Squeaks Out Presidents Cup Victory

By Sports NetworkSeptember 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PresidentGAINESVILLE, Va. -- Chris DiMarco rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the last hole to defeat Stuart Appleby and win The Presidents Cup for the United States.
 
'This is unbelievable,' said DiMarco, who won 4 1/2 points for the American side. 'To do it for the teammates here, I'm so happy. What can you say when the greatest player in the world has enough trust in you to put you in last?'
 
DiMarco's birdie gave the United States the 18 points needed to win the Cup.
 
Chris DiMarco
Chris DiMarco goes wild after rolling in his birdie putt at the 18th to edge Stuart Appleby and clinch the Cup for the United States.
This was the first year that there would be no halves in the singles matches unless the Cup was clinched, a fact that Phil Mickelson forgot after he holed a 4-footer at 18 to pull even with Angel Cabrera in the penultimate match.
 
That contest headed back to No. 1, but DiMarco drained his putt, resulting in a halve for Mickelson and Cabrera.
 
In the end, the United States won 18 1/2 - 15 1/2, giving captain Jack Nicklaus his first Presidents Cup win in three tries as the leader. It was the first American victory in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup since the 2000 Presidents Cup, and for Nicklaus, possibly his last bow in golf's stage.
 
'It looked like we were going to win early, then they came back,' said Nicklaus. 'It feels a lot better to have a win. I may never captain another team, I may never play another round of golf. If I end my career this way, it's a pretty good way to end it.'
 
The U.S. had a commanding advantage early with wins from Justin Leonard, 4 and 3 over Tim Clark, David Toms, 2 and 1 over Trevor Immelman and Kenny Perry, a 4 and 3 victor over Mark Hensby.
 
One early match went against the Americans and that was one of the bigger shockers. Tiger Woods, who has not lost a singles match in international team competition since the 1997 Ryder Cup, battled injuries, but ultimately fell to Retief Goosen, 2 and 1.
 
Fred Couples earned a spectacular point for the Americans with an 18-foot birdie putt at the last to knock off world No. 2, Vijay Singh, 1-up.
 
Jim Furyk, undefeated for the U.S. with a 3-0-2 mark, handled Adam Scott, 3 and 2, but the Internationals staged a comeback midway through the Sunday singles.
 
Mike Weir toppled Scott Verplank, reigning U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell bested Fred Funk and Peter Lonard beat Stewart Cink. All three matches went to the International side by a 3 and 2 margin.
 
Davis Love III assured the U.S. at least a tie when he bettered Nick O'Hern, 4 and 3, but it was the heroics of Mickelson and DiMarco that allowed the U.S. to remain undefeated on home soil.
 
Both of the final two matches were even late on the back nine and the Internationals took the lead in both.
 
Cabrera, from the left rough, hit a wedge to 8 feet at the 17th. Mickelson came up short of the putting surface from 100 yards out, but chipped inside 2 feet and was conceded par. Cabrera ran home the birdie putt to move 1-up with one to play.
 
After Cabrera won the 17th, Appleby, in the match behind, hit his approach to 3 feet at 16 and won the hole. DiMarco went from the right rough to the left rough by the green and would need to win 17 and 18 to get a full point.
 
Cabrera found the rough off the tee at 18 and Mickelson drove into the fairway. The long-hitting man from Argentina hit a great approach 15 feet past the hole, but Mickelson stopped his second 4 feet short of the cup. Cabrera ran his birdie putt past the hole, but Mickelson stepped up and drilled his putt to draw even with Cabrera.
 
Mickelson thought he halved the match and gave the U.S. the 17 1/2 points, which would be enough to clinch. He shook hands with Cabrera, then the rules official walking with the group and threw his arms in the air when he found out he had to go back to No. 1, with the Cup still in the balance.
 
'Captain Nicklaus said there were no halves, but I didn't quite grasp what he meant by that on 15,' said Mickelson. 'It was fine. It turned out just great.'
 
DiMarco rallied at 17 with an approach that stopped 15 feet from the hole. Appleby, who was always ahead of DiMarco in the fairway with their difference in distance, airmailed a wedge off the grandstand and chipped his third 10 feet past the stick. DiMarco left his putt on the lip, but Appleby missed his par try and it was all-square with one to go.
 
Appleby had the advantage off the tee at the closing hole as he found the short grass. DiMarco drove in the right rough, but hit his approach to 12 feet. Appleby, from 87 yards, hit it to 15 feet, but missed the putt.
 
DiMarco did not, thus ensuring there would not be another tied Presidents Cup.
 
In 2003, Woods and Ernie Els had a playoff that was halted for darkness with the sides tied. Nicklaus and International captain Gary Player decided to share the Cup.
 
'Golf benefited from today,' said Player. 'Congratulations to the U.S.A. That putt that Chris holed on the last, I really take my hat off to him. They played better.'
 
Two other matches proved crucial in the outcome, each side taking an unlikely point.
 
Couples and Singh were all-square after Singh won the 16th and both players missed short birdie putts at 17. Neither player hit the fairway at 18, but Singh ran through the green with his second, while Couples' ball stopped 18 feet past the flag. Singh's chip nearly went in, but ran past the hole, on almost the exact line of Couples' putt.
 
Couples, a captain's pick who has not played in an international team competition in seven years, sank the putt, raised his arms in the air, dropped the putter and listened as the galleries chanted, 'Freddie.'
 
'To hole that putt in front of everyone...I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it,' said Couples, who holed a long putt to beat Singh in 1996 and secure the Cup for the U.S. 'This is certainly exciting for me.'
 
Woods was 1-up through eight holes, but Goosen played solidly with a 50-foot eagle putt at the third. He holed another putt of that length to win the ninth and square the match.
 
Goosen won the 10th with a routine two-putt par after Woods missed the fairway. Woods drew even at 11, lost the next hole, but once again knotted things with a win at 14 when Goosen missed the green at the par-3.
 
Woods drove the ball erratically all match long and it happened again at the 16th. His drive trickled into the trees and he had a walnut against his ball. Woods managed to get into the rough left of the green, but Goosen landed 25 feet from the hole. Woods chipped on, but Goosen rolled in yet another long putt to go 1-up with two to play.
 
By the 17th, Woods was in pretty obvious pain with an injury somewhere to his left side. Woods once again mis-hit a drive and was forced to hit from one knee out of the trees on the right. His third landed 15 feet from the hole, but Goosen was 25 feet from the hole in two.
 
Goosen came up 3 feet short, but Woods missed his putt, then conceded the South African par and the match.
 
'It was giving me a little problem the last nine holes,' said Woods, who received therapy on his back both Friday and Saturday. 'I had my opportunities. I didn't make the putts.'
 
Related Links:
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    Schauffele just fine being the underdog

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

    Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

    Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

    Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

    “All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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    Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

    Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

    So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

    Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

    Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Jordan Spieth: 7/4

    Xander Schauffele: 5/1

    Kevin Kisner: 11/2

    Tiger Woods: 14/1

    Francesco Molinari: 14/1

    Rory McIlroy: 14/1

    Kevin Chappell: 20/1

    Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

    Alex Noren: 25/1

    Zach Johnson: 30/1

    Justin Rose: 30/1

    Matt Kuchar: 40/1

    Webb Simpson: 50/1

    Adam Scott: 80/1

    Tony Finau: 80/1

    Charley Hoffman: 100/1

    Austin Cook: 100/1

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    Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

    By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

    For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

    By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

    But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

    As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

    “This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

    Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

    As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

    After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

    “I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

    But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

    Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

    “I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

    There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

    Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

    And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

    As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

    “We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

    Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

    Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

    The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

    Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

    It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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    Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

    One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

    McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

    McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

    “I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”