Presidents Cup 2022: A new era for the International Team? Key storylines from Team USA’s win | Golf News



Highlights from day four of The Presidents Cup, held at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina

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Highlights from day four of The Presidents Cup, held at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina

Highlights from day four of The Presidents Cup, held at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina

As sunrise dawned over Quail Hollow Club on the final day of the Presidents Cup, United States Captain Davis Love III pulled his group together for one last meeting.

Just a few hours earlier, the International Team had pulled off a shocking comeback by winning the two-day session on Saturday for the first time since 1998, the last time they won in this series. Attempting to stave off any lingering aftereffects from the day before, Love brought in his team statisticians to put the Americans back in the right frame of mind.

“Our stats guys came up with some incredible stuff this morning about how their team played, especially against a couple of our teams,” Love said later that day. “We kept running the same guys out there against their best team. Even though some guys’ records don’t show it, everybody on this team played incredibly well. It was a great team effort.”

USA team captain Davis Love III holds the Presidents Cup trophy after team USA defeated the International team in match play at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Ca

USA team captain Davis Love III holds the Presidents Cup trophy after team USA defeated the International team in match play at the Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Ca

Whatever information the USA’s statisticians pulled, it seemed to work. The United States eventually prevailed in the Sunday singles after weathering yet another International surge, claiming a 17.5-12.5 victory for their ninth straight victory in the biennial event.

“We were in a tough spot on Friday, and we showed a lot of guts to fight back,” International Team captain Trevor Immelman said. “At some point, I don’t know about you guys, but at some point this afternoon, I thought there was still a chance.”

Tom Kim has been unstoppable for the International Team and has also provided some wild celebrations during the Presidents Cup

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Tom Kim has been unstoppable for the International Team and has also provided some wild celebrations during the Presidents Cup

Tom Kim has been unstoppable for the International Team and has also provided some wild celebrations during the Presidents Cup

Team USA’s win by the numbers

Immelman is not off base. As matches began to wind down on Sunday evening, the International Team was very much in the thick of it, thanks in part to victories by Si Woo Kim and Sebastián Muñoz over PGA Tour stars Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler, respectively.

But this was ultimately Team USA’s day. The five-point margin was the second largest in the 30-point iteration of the event, with the USA improving to 10-0-1 over the last 12 cups and 12-1-1 all-time since 1994. They also moved to 8-0 on American soil.

Team USA enjoyed a 17.5-12.5 victory at Quail Hollow Club

Team USA enjoyed a 17.5-12.5 victory at Quail Hollow Club

Early momentum helped the cause. The Americans built an 8-2 advantage over the first two days, and it looked like they might cross 20 points for the first time since the Presidents Cup went to a 30-point event seven years ago. The United States were either tied or leading after six holes in each of the first 10 matches.

“It’s easier to play with a lead,” Jordan Spieth said. “You have momentum, especially with a home crowd. Sometimes it’s a little harder to come back when you’re on the road and you’re down.”

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Spieth and Thomas lead the way

It was Spieth at the centre of much of that early momentum, as the 29-year-old carded the best Presidents Cup performance of his career, going 5-0-0 while registering his first Singles win in any international team event.

The 13-time PGA Tour winner capped his week with a 4&3 triumph over Australia’s Cam Davis, mercifully ending a dubious 0-6-1 record in singles across seven Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups. He did so despite opening with consecutive bogeys, as he rallied with birdies on five of his final 12 holes to coast to the win.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas won all four matches they played together

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas won all four matches they played together

“I thought that I played some of my best golf of the year this week, which was really cool to do on a team with these guys,” said Spieth, only the sixth player in Presidents Cup history to go 5-0-0. “Me and Justin (Thomas) had just an unbelievable time in the team setting, and I was glad to finally get in the winner’s circle in a singles match for my first time ever.”

An “unbelievable time” is certainly one way to describe his pairing with Thomas – the duo played 64 holes together over the first two days and trailed after only two of them.

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

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Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

The pair capped their time together on Saturday with a massive 4&3 victory in fourballs over Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith, giving the Americans a bit more comfortable 11-7 lead heading into the final day.

They became just the third pairing to go 4-0-0 in a single Presidents Cup, after Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker did it in 2009 and Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace matched them in 2015. And their domination came at a critical point for the USA, who saw Scottie Scheffler become just the second World No 1 to not win a Presidents Cup match (Nick Price also did it in 1994).

Scottie Scheffler (right) failed to win a match for Team USA across the four days

Scottie Scheffler (right) failed to win a match for Team USA across the four days

New stars arrive

Though the United States left Quail Hollow with the Presidents Cup, the International Team can still take solace in their hard-fought effort, which lifted several of their players into PGA Tour relevance.

None made quite the impression that young Tom Kim did, as the youngest Presidents Cup player ever went 2-3, including a crucial victory in Saturday Fourballs over Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay where he poured in the winning birdie at the 18th, inciting a joyous celebration on the green.

Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim were among the winning partnerships for the International Team

Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim were among the winning partnerships for the International Team

“He’s just wired different,” Immelman said of the 20-year-old, who also notched a foursomes win with K.H. Lee over Scheffler and Sam Burns.

“For him to stripe a two-iron in there and make that putt, man, that shows some guts. I’ve been in a few moments like that in my career. There’s some turmoil going on inside in those moments. You’re excited, you’re anxious, you’re nervous. You got some belief in there. Like there is a lot going on, man. And he pulled it off. We were damn proud of him.”

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

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Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas defeated Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith in the day three four-balls at the Presidents Cup

Kim was part of a record four Koreans to make this year’s Cup. The group proved to be the heartbeat of the Internationals, going 9-7-1 while the other eight team members went just 6-19-3.

Kim would go on to lose 1up in Sunday singles to the USA team’s own breakout star, Max Homa, one of only four rookies to go 4-0-0 or better in their Presidents Cup debut. David Duval and Stewart Cink did it in 1996 and 2000, respectively, while Shigeki Maruyama went 5-0-0 for the Internationals in 1998.

“To be here was one thing, and then to come out and play some great golf was another,” Homa said. “And this week has been beyond special, validating, meaningful, all of the above. It meant a lot. I think I’ll look back on this week as a week I kind of use as continued motivation going forward.”





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