Presidents Cup: United States beat battling Internationals 18.5-15.5 at Muirfield Village
Last Updated: 07/10/13 11:47am
Tiger Woods is hugged by Keegan Bradley after claiming the winning point
Tiger Woods secured the winning point as the USA beat the Internationals 18.5-15.5 to retain the Presidents Cup.
Leading 14-8 going into Sunday's singles at Muirfield Village in Ohio, it seemed a formality for Fred Couples' men and for most of the afternoon the result never seemed in doubt.
Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson moved the US onto 17 points but International wins courtesy of Jason Day, Graham DeLaet and Ernie Els stalled the victory celebrations.
Still needing to find an 18th point to secure outright victory, the US were held up further as Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Charl Schwartzel claimed victories.
But Tiger Woods, in the ninth match down, kept his cool to hold off Richard Sterne and bank the winning point for the third Presidents Cup running.
The day had started with five foursomes matches needing to be completed after persistent bad weather had played havoc with the schedule.
Leading 11.5-6.5 overnight, the US stretched that five-point lead to six to give themselves a big cushion going into the 12 singles.
Bill Haas and Steve Stricker beat Scott and Hideki Matsuyama 4&3 while Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker saw off Louis Oosthuizen and Schwartzel 1up.
DeLaet and Day halved with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley while Els and Brendon de Jonge won 1up to end the winning run of Woods and Matt Kuchar, who had taken victory in their first three matches together.
Day, a member at Muirfield Village, was the first man to secure victory in the singles as he thumped Snedeker 6&4 but Mahan hit back straight away for the hosts by defeating Matsuyama 3&2.
Dufner produced some more fine iron shots to beat de Jonge 4&3 to make it 16-9 before Presidents Cup rookie DeLaet dramatically holed from sand at the last - just as he had earlier in the morning - to win a fierce battle with Jordan Spieth 1up.
Johnson extended the US lead to 17-10 by beating Branden Grace 4&2 but, after the Internationals dug deep, it took another hour before Woods wrapped up victory by hitting a fine lag putt at 18 to concession range to beat Sterne 1up.
Before Tiger finished it off, Scott beat Haas 2&1 before Marc Leishman holed a 12 footer from the fringe at 18 to beat Kuchar 1up. Schwartzel then won three straight holes from the 15th to beat Bradley 2up and narrow the gap to 17-14.
Two matches remained out on the course after the US had been confirmed as winners and they saw Simpson halve his match with Oosthuizen and Mickelson lose to Cabrera after the Argentine won the final two holes.
That meant the Internationals won the singles 7.5-4.5 and reduced the US winning margin to just three points.
The Americans have now won eight of the 10 Presidents Cup matches which began in 1994. This was their fifth victory in a row.