America trounces the Internationals
The President’s Cup will remain on American soil after an emphatic performance from the home team at the 12th staging of the event at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Steve Stricker's team lived up to their overwhelming favourite's tag when they put away Nick Price's International side 19 -11 in one of the biggest wins in President's Cup history.
It looked like the home team were heading for a record margin of victory but the eight-point win did not eclipse the efforts of the USA team of 2000 when the Ken Venturi team defeated the Internationals 21 ½ - 10 ½ at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia.
The Internationals, who came into the week searching for their second victory in the event since their sole win back in 1998, talked about continuing the momentum and belief they got back in South Korea two years ago in the narrow loss (15 ½ - 14 1/2). The goal was to make the competition relevant again. They never turned up until the final day where they rallied impressively in the Singles to restore some credibility.
In the most patriotic of settings with the incomparable cityscape of New York and the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop to the famed Liberty National course, the Americans were at another level.
As always the leaderboard doesn't tell the full story. The Internationals showed more fight than this definitive score line suggests, but every time the States were put under pressure they found another gear and the men from around the globe were found wanting.
USA continues their incredible record in the bi-annual event where they have now won the past seven in a row, 10 in total, drawn once and lost once in the 12 events of The President's Cup dating back to 1994.
Right from the outset the States set the tone. In the Thursday morning Foursomes, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler put away two of the Internationals bigger names Charl Schwartzel and Hideki Matsuyama. That followed with Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson earning the next point over Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Scott (1up) and Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth continued the momentum with a 5 and 4 win over Emiliano Grillo and Si Woo Kim.
On the opening morning, the USA side had got off the best possible start winning the opening three matches and the bespoke confidence and belief in the International team was gone.
They did fight back to claim a valuable 1 1/2 points in the remaining Foursomes matches with Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen showing some muchneeded fight in a 3 and 1 win over Daniel Berger and US Open champion Brooks Koepka, while Jason Day and Marc Leishman managed a halve against Phil Mickelson and Kevin Kisner. It was a flash in the pan as the home side dominated the event from that point on.
If the Internationals took anything from the opening day then that belief was squeezed out of them in the following two days as a Red, White and Blue juggernaut rolled over them in nonchalant fashion. The chorus of ‘USA, USA, USA' could be heard right around the course as it was clear the local patrons were witnessing the most one-sided display in the event's history.
We all know that the American fans need little encouragement to hoot and holler but with every tee shot and every approach from their boys the reception was at fever pitch.
After that brief resurgence from the Internationals on day one, their next win came two days later when late on Saturday afternoon when Anirban Lahiri and Si Woo Kim combined for a consolation point when they defeated Kevin Chappel and Charley Hoffman 1up.
Heading into the Singles on Sunday, the United States had an allbut unassailable 14.5 – 3.5 lead.
The 11-point advantage was the largest lead entering Singles in Presidents Cup history. The only way the Internationals could have won was to win all 12 matches and Price had conceded defeat.
“We've just come up against a juggernaut of an American Team that has not put a foot wrong, it seems like, in three days,” he told reporters. “They have had all the momentum and we've had nothing.”
Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth, who won both of his matches Saturday with partner Patrick Reed, could not wipe the smile off his face with the USA's dominance.
"We've had a phenomenal week thus far and our team has played incredible golf,” he said.
Everyone expected the Americans to continue that dominance on Sunday afternoon in the Singles to add an exclamation point to their victory but it did not play out that way.
The internationals showed some much needed character on the final day. Chappel got the home side off to good start when he managed a half with Marc Leishman which left the USA only half a point away from clinching the title.
Fittingly Daniel Berger, who was impressive in his debut event, assured the Stars and Stripes the title when he went 3 up with three to play against Si Woo Kim in the fourth match. Berger wound up winning his match 2/1 and the celebrations were heard all over the course.
President Donald Trump arrived at Liberty National about 45 minutes before the Americans secured the gold trophy. Trump, the honorary chairman of the event, became the first sitting president to attend on the final day and present the trophy.
The one-sided result will once again reignite the debate about the relevance of The President's Cup and whether it is worth pursuing.
The USA team, in the midst of the celebrations of their 10th victory in the event, will no doubt already be talking about continuing this dominance in the Ryder Cup next year in France.
While the President's Cup has been a walk in the park for American teams over the years, it is a different story in the historic equivalent with the Europeans. The men from the continent have won six of the past eight championships dating back to 2002 and the States have not won away from home since 1993 at The Belfry.
Charlie Hoffman sprays Daniel Berger of the U.S. Team with champagne after winning the Presidents Cup at Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey.
Members of the U.S. Team (top) and International Team pose for a photo prior to the Presidents Cup.
The victorious United States team with their wives and girlfriends with the Presidents Cup after their 19-11 win during the 2017 Presidents Cup at the Liberty National Golf Club.