The United States has won the Presidents Cup by one point against the International Team on 11th October, with Bill Haas securing the winning point against home hero Korean Sangmoon Bae in the final singles match on the 18th green. The 11th staging of the biennial team match play contest, held in Korea and Asia for the first time and with Thongchai Jaidee as Thailand’s first International Team Member, went down to the wire in front of large galleries at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea with Haas notching a thrilling 2-up victory giving the U.S. Team a 15.5 to 14.5 win, which was its ninth in the series and sixth consecutive success.
The decorated Thai star, who holds 13 Asian Tour titles and three Order of Merit crowns, contributed 1.5 points to the International Team that also featured fellow debutant Anirban Lahiri of India. While the International Team lost by the narrowest of margins to the U.S. team after four days of intense battle, Jaidee remains upbeat that the fortunes will swing back to his favour soon.
“The contest was very close. We lost by only one point. It doesn’t matter as we tried our best. I was playing in the Presidents Cup for the first time in my life and it was felt really good to be part of the team, which had all the right qualities. Sometimes you put on your best show but you still lose. It’s okay. More importantly, you learn from it and get more experience,” he said. The Internationals secured some big wins, with Marc Leishman edging world number one Jordan Spieth 1-up, Adam Scott trouncing Rickie Fowler 6 & 5 and Hideki Matsuyama beating J.B. Holmes 1-up with a birdie on 18.
Branden Grace emerged as the star for the Internationals with a 2 & 1 win over Matt Kuchar giving him a perfect five wins this week. But with the Americans gaining wins through Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Chris Kirk and Zach Johnson and with half points from Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson, it all came down to the last tie between Haas and Bae. International Captain, Zimbabwean Nick Price, paid tribute to his 12 men, especially Bae and India’s Anirban Lahiri.
“For it to come down to just a couple of shots at the end of the day on Sunday make for incredible theatre,” said Price. “The truth of it is, is that if we got off to a better start on Thursday and we had not been 4-1 down, it might not have been quite as exciting today. But we had five rounds of golf, and so we all feel for Anirban and for Moon for what happened, but they are part of our team, and we will leave here as a team.”
About The Presidents Cup
The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The 2017 Event will be held at Liberty National, a country club in Jersey City, New Jersey, the fourth golf course in the United States to host the prestigious team match-play competition,
For the full results of all the matches, check www.presidentscup.com