The U.S. Presidents Cup team had a nightmare start on day one. The duo of Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas won the sole point of the day with the International Team taking a 4-1 lead.
On day two, both teams won two matches to bring the Presidents Cup score to 6.5 – 3.5, in favor of the International Team.
The early success of the International team can be attributed to Presidents Cup rookie, Aberham Ancer. The young Mexican finished the week 3-1-1 and his performance will go down as one of the best Presidents Cup debuts since its inception. His stellar short game was the key to both scoring and surviving at the ruthless Royal Melbourne.
Day three was a huge turning point in the Presidents Cup. Tiger Woods elected to sit out saying, “I trust my boys”. This was a rallying cry for the U.S. team, as they won 3 points compared to the International’s 2 points. This shifted the momentum in favor of the US team going in to day four, with the Internationals leading 10-8.
Day four of the Presidents Cup was absolutely dominated by the U.S. team. Woods, Reed, Johnson, Cantlay, Schauffele, and Simpson all won their matches. Matt Kuchar sunk a five foot, heavily breaking putt on the 17th green to tie his match and clinch the Presidents Cup for the US squad.
This victory was made possible by arguably the greatest golfer of all time – Tiger Woods. He proved that he deserved to pick himself in an undefeated performance, surpassing Phil Mickelson’s all time win record with a career 27-15-1. Not only did Tiger lead his team as a player, but also as a captain. Sitting out on the third day showed selflessness in a sport where you usually only care about how you play.
“We relied on one another as a team, and we did it together,” Woods stated. His incredible leadership and perfect performance this week is what allowed the U.S. team to come back when it looked like they would be put away by day three.
Tiger’s team mentality and ability to rally the U.S. team is what made this historic comeback possible.
(P/C; Sports Illustrated)