Presidents Cup 2019: Woods' USA make history to retain title after Melbourne rally

By Sports Desk December 15, 2019

The United States completed a record comeback to clinch an eighth consecutive Presidents Cup at the expense of the Internationals following a lopsided singles session.

No team had ever won the Presidents Cup after trailing at the start of the final round, with Tiger Woods' USA 10-8 adrift of the Internationals heading into the deciding day in Melbourne.

But the USA made history as they sensationally rallied past Ernie Els' Internationals in Sunday's singles for a 16-14 win at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

The Internationals, who were dreaming of a first Presidents Cup since 1998 having kept the USA at bay for three days, had to win the final three matches just to tie the 13th edition of the tournament in a tense finale.

However, the Internationals could only manage one as the USA collected eight points - a joint singles record - to defy the odds and see off the challenge. 

Woods wanted to lead from the front after teeing off for the USA in the opening match of 12 singles, and the record-breaking American did just that.

Having watched from the sidelines on Saturday, playing captain Woods produced another masterclass to blitz Abraham Ancer 3 and 2.

Woods, the youngest captain at 43, made it three wins from three at this year's event to surpass Phil Mickelson for most Presidents Cup match victories with 27 in total.

That set the tone for the USA as Dustin Johnson followed suit by collecting another point to level the Presidents Cup at 10-10 - the former world number one easing past Li Haotong 4 and 3.

Red continued to dominate the leaderboard as American villain Patrick Reed broke through for his first win of the tournament. Without his usual caddie following a fan altercation on Saturday, Reed steamrolled C.T. Pan 4 and 2 thanks to eight birdies.

A tough day for the Internationals saw Hideki Matsuyama squander a 4up lead to tie with Tony Finau, though they finally got on the board courtesy of Im Sung-jae, who took down U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland 4 and 3.

Cameron Smith put some wind into the Internationals' sails with a gritty 2 and 1 victory against star Justin Thomas, but victories from Patrick Cantlay (3 and 2 over Joaquin Niemann), Xander Schauffele (2 and 1 over Adam Scott) and Webb Simpson (2 and 1 over Byeong Hun An) proved too difficult to overcome.

Matt Kuchar went 1up on the 17th hole to guarantee a USA victory and spark wild celebrations among the team, Woods becoming a first-time winning captain.

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    The Englishman first appeared on the circuit in 1998 and had three runner-up finishes and a pair of third places to his name across his career before this week, but the first win had proven elusive.

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