Presidents Cup 2019: Tiger returns to open singles with title on the line

By Sports Desk December 14, 2019

United States captain Tiger Woods will attempt to lead from the front after putting himself out first for Sunday's singles as the seven-time defending champions fight to retain their Presidents Cup crown against the Internationals.  

The USA head into the final day trailing the Internationals 10-8 following a dramatic ending to Saturday's action at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Playing captain Woods kept himself out of both the morning four-ball and the afternoon foursomes as Ernie Els' International team preserved their lead, despite a USA rally.

But with the USA - who threatened to sweep the foursomes before the Internationals stormed back - eyeing an eighth straight title, Woods will open the singles against Abraham Ancer in Melbourne.

Woods has the chance to set the record for most matches won at the Presidents Cup, after the 15-time major champion tied Phil Mickelson with his 26th victory on Friday.

Controversial American Patrick Reed will face C.T. Pan in the third match, but without caddie Kessler Karain - who has been banned following a fan altercation on Saturday.

Australian Marc Leishman will be the final International to tee off after being drawn against Rickie Fowler as the challengers target a first Presidents Cup triumph since 1998.

Leishman has confidence and momentum after he and Ancer sensationally rallied from 5down through 10 holes to halve their match against Fowler and Justin Thomas in Saturday's foursomes.

 

Sunday's singles matches (Internationals v the USA)

Abraham Ancer v Tiger Woods
Hideki Matsuyama v Tony Finau
C.T. Pan v Patrick Reed
Li Haotong v Dustin Johnson
Adam Hadwin v Bryson DeChambeau
Im Sung-jae v Gary Woodland
Joaquin v Niemann v Patrick Cantlay
Adam Scott v Xander Schauffele
Byeong Hun An v Webb Simpson
Cameron Smith v Justin Thomas
Louis Oosthuizen v Matt Kuchar
Marc Leishman v Rickie Fowler

Related items

  • Tiger Woods in hospital: Golf great touched by players wearing red as Morikawa thanks 15-time major champ Tiger Woods in hospital: Golf great touched by players wearing red as Morikawa thanks 15-time major champ

    Tiger Woods was touched by the support of his peers at the WGC-Workday Championship, expressing his gratitude as he continues to recover following a car crash.

    Woods was involved in a single-vehicle incident that saw his car roll "several hundred feet" on Tuesday – the 15-time major champion, who was "very fortunate" to survive, undergoing a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle.

    The crash involving Woods rocked the golf and sports community, with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy among the players to have showed their support on Sunday by wearing the American great's traditional final-round outfit amid doubts over his long-term future.

    After donning Woods' iconic red shirt and black pants, McIlroy – who finished tied for sixth at The Concession Golf Club in Florida – said: "Obviously things are looking a little better today than they were on Tuesday, but he's still got a ways to go. He's got a huge recovery ahead of him.

    "I think it was just for everyone to show their appreciation for what he means to us out here. If there was no Tiger Woods, I just think the Tour and the game of golf would be in a worse place.

    "He's meant a lot to us, he still does mean a lot to us, and I think that was just a little way to show that."

    Woods then tweeted: "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts.

    "To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."

    American Collin Morikawa, 24, followed in the footsteps of Woods after claiming the WGC-Workday Championship by three strokes.

    Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, four-time PGA Tour champion Morikawa joined Woods as the only players to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

    Further to that feat, Morikawa also became the seventh player to clinch four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25 after Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

    Morikawa paid tribute to Woods, saying: "Tiger means everything to me. Yes, he had the crash and thankfully he's alright and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery, but I don't think we say thank you enough. So, I want to say thank you to Tiger." 

  • Morikawa follows in Tiger's footsteps with WGC-Workday Championship title Morikawa follows in Tiger's footsteps with WGC-Workday Championship title

    Collin Morikawa added the WGC-Workday Championship to his growing list of achievements after triumphing by three strokes.

    Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa used a three-under-par 69 to seal victory at the star-studded World Golf Championships event in Florida ahead of Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel on Sunday.

    Morikawa holed four birdies and just one bogey to finish 18 under for his fourth PGA Tour crown – the most by any player currently aged under 25.

    He also joins Tiger Woods as the only player to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

    Further to that feat, Morikawa is the seventh player to claim four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25, following in the footsteps of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

    The overnight leader by two strokes, Morikawa recovered from a slow start after bogeying his second hole of the final round – the 24-year-old American birdieing three of five holes before the turn as he ended the day without dropping another shot.

    Norwegian star Hovland mounted a serious title charge following a five-under par 67, but he was unable to stop Morikawa.

    Hovland finished tied for second alongside four-time major champion Koepka (70) and Horschel (70) at The Concession Golf Club.

    McIlroy's final-round 71 saw the former world number one and four-time major winner slip down into a tie for sixth, six strokes adrift of Morikawa.

    Defending champion Patrick Reed (72) ended the co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour tournament a shot further back.

    Justin Thomas (71) earned a share of 15th at eight under, a stroke better off than U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (69).

    It was a forgettable finish for world number one Dustin Johnson, who closed proceedings with a six-over-par 78.

    The two-time tournament winner plummeted 12 positions to T54 at five over the card.

  • Emotional Grace felt late father's guidance in Puerto Rico triumph Emotional Grace felt late father's guidance in Puerto Rico triumph

    Branden Grace believes he was guided to victory at the Puerto Rico Open by his late father as the South African secured an emotional triumph.

    Grace holed a chip-in eagle from the bunker at the 17th and closed with a birdie to finish on 19 under, one stroke ahead of Jhonattan Vegas.

    The 32-year-old's PGA Tour success on Sunday comes after his dad died with coronavirus in January.

    "My old man passed away not too long ago, and he always said I'm an aggressive player and I knew he was watching over me," Grace said following his final-round 66.

    "It was good. I was just able to hit the shots that I needed. I just stayed in the moment, in the zone. I played the right shot at the right time. I got aggressive.

    "I spoke to my wife today and she said that my dad's watching over me and he'll give me the guidance I needed, and he did."

    Home hope Rafael Campos, ranked 666th in the world, finished in a tie for third after shooting a closing 70.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.