PGA Tour
Tiger clinches Presidents Cup for U.S.



Melbourne, Australia (Sports Network) - Tiger Woods clinched the Presidents Cup for the American side with his 4 & 3 victory Sunday over Aaron Baddeley at Royal Melbourne.

Woods was a controversial captain's pick by Fred Couples, but he came through on Sunday. In the penultimate match, with the U.S. needing one point to win the Cup, Woods hit a spectacular bunker shot to concession range at the par- five 15th.

Baddeley gave Woods the birdie, then missed a chip from the back of the green to give Woods the point, and the Americans the Presidents Cup for the fourth straight time.

For Woods, this was the second straight Presidents Cup he clinched for the American side. His victory over Y.E. Yang two years ago at Harding Park gave the U.S. the win.

"We played really well today," Woods said in a televised interview. "I played well all week. I didn't make putts. Today was a different deal. For some reason, I felt it."

Woods only went 2-3 this Presidents Cup, but his singles performance was vintage Woods. He made five birdies on Sunday and validated the decision of his captain.

"I feel like I know what I'm doing," Couples said. "When I picked Tiger a month-and-a-half early, there was a reason for it. He worked really, really hard on his game."

The two sides split the 12 singles matches, but the final margin of victory was 19-15 for the Americans. Steve Stricker won a meaningless anchor match over Yang, 2 & 1, for the final tally.

They took an almost insurmountable four-point lead into the singles. The U.S. lost singles just once before and, despite a bit of an early rally by the Internationals, the U.S. won big matches down the stretch.

"I knew our guys would settle down," Couples said on TV. "The old standbys at the end worked well."

The MVP of the American team was undoubtedly one of those "standbys," Jim Furyk.

He became the fourth player in Presidents Cup history to go 5-0 when he bested Ernie Els, 4 & 3. That win got the U.S. to the doorstep before Woods claimed the Cup.

It was a sweet performance for Furyk. One year removed from winning the FedExCup, Furyk struggled in 2011 and didn't even qualify for the field to defend his Tour Championship.

"I didn't expect to play as well as I did," Furyk admitted in a televised interview.

Furyk credited his teammates this week, especially Phil Mickelson. The two went 3-0 as a team, then Furyk won a crucial four ball match Saturday afternoon with Nick Watney.

Watney earned a big point Sunday with a 3 & 2 victory over K.J. Choi that stemmed some International momentum.

Hunter Mahan got the first point of Sunday for the U.S. with a 5 & 3 drubbing of Australian Jason Day in the fifth match.

The Internationals won the first four to give Greg Norman's side the start it needed.

Kyung-tae Kim squandered a big lead, but came back for a 1-up win over Webb Simpson in the opener.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel topped Dustin Johnson, 2 & 1 and Ryo Ishikawa bested Bubba Watson, 3 & 2. Geoff Ogilvy, who grew up near Royal Melbourne, beat Bill Haas, 2-up.

David Toms crushed Robert Allenby, one of Norman's picks who went 0-4 for the week, 7 & 5. Toms' point moved the U.S. to 16, then Furyk got them close.

Before Woods closed the door, Adam Scott knocked off Mickelson, 2 & 1. Mickelson conceded the first three holes after some poor play, but fought back to make it close.

Woods won the next point to put the Presidents Cup on the flight back to America.

The U.S. is now 7-1-1 all-time in the Presidents Cup.

The Americans dominated the foursomes sessions yet again this week to the tune of 8-3.

"We put a little bit of fear into the Americans, but too much horse-power in the Americans," Norman said on TV. "We'll take a lot out of this. I'll talk to them tonight to make sure they understand what foursomes is all about. I think that's what really put us behind the eight-ball and we never really recovered.

"That's the way it's been for pretty much every Presidents Cup except one."

NOTES: The next Presidents Cup will be in 2013 at Muirfield in Ohio...Allenby became the second captain's pick to get shut out...Woods, Mark O'Meara and Shigeki Maruyama were the other players before Furyk to go 5-0.

11/20 00:51:11 ET