Presidents Cup: Day 4 Birdies & Bogeys
Who were the winners and losers on Sunday at Muirfield Village? It's time to take a closer look with another edition of birdies and bogeys
October 05, 2013
Birdie: Tiger Woods
The world No. 1 played like a world-beater all week, winning four of his five matches. His final victory, a 1-up win over Richard Sterne on Sunday, clinched a fifth consecutive Presidents Cup for the U.S. and was made more impressive by the fact he was visibly in pain after tweaking his back on the 15th hole. It was the third straight time that Woods provided the clinching point in the competition. Who says this guy still doesn't have a nose for the big moment?
One of the few advantages the Presidents Cup has over the Ryder Cup is the captains' ability to orchestrate exciting matches -- but apparently Fred Couples and Nick Price didn't get the memo. The two created some of the dullest matches possible on a day that could have used a little juice. Tiger Woods against... Richard Sterne? Really? Sure, it turned out to be a competitive match and one that ultimately determined the event's winner, but think about how much more dramatic it would have been if Woods was playing, oh, we don't know, Adam Scott?
Considering how bad the weather was throughout the first three days, Mother Nature finally took mercy on Muirfield Village on Sunday. Barring one bout of heavy rain that, unlike the previous days, wasn't enough to delay play, the course stayed dry enough to ensure a Monday finish wouldn't be necessary this time at the Presidents Cup. Although weather concerns did lead to one bad decision...
Bogey: NBC tape delay
The decision to push forward Sunday's singles matches to avoid the worst of the weather was made early, and was probably the right one. But deciding not to show the action live ensured that tape-delayed coverage would overlap squarely with NFL Sunday and forced fans to Twitter to keep up with the latest results.
Birdie: Jason Dufner
The winner of the season's final major finished off a four-point week with a 4-and-3 drubbing of Brendon de Jonge on Sunday. Dufner has quietly been the U.S. team's top player the past two years, with six wins and just two losses in the Ryder and Presidents Cup. The late bloomer has been a welcome addition to the U.S. squad and Dufner looks happy to be a part of these team competitions. He was even seen smiling and fist pumping a few times at Muirfield Village.
Birdie: Jason Day
It remains a mystery why the Aussie hasn't won more tournaments in his career, but he won plenty for the International team this week. The squad's No. 2 qualifier in terms of points wound up being its co-leader with 3.5 points, including an easy win over Brandt Snedeker in singles that kept hope alive for an International comeback.
Bogey: South Africa
Nearly half of the International team hails from South Africa, but Zimbabwean Nick Price couldn't have been too pleased with the production from his neighbors to the south. We'll give a pass to Ernie Els, who finished with three points (although those came thanks in large part to partner Brendon de Jonge), but the other four South Africans combined for 3.5 points. The main culprits? Rookies Branden Grace and Richard Sterne, who combined for a 0-and-8 record.
Birdie: Graham DeLaet
Throughout the week, DeLaet remained a bright spot in what was otherwise a wholly disappointing International team. Taking 3.5 points in five matches, DeLaet holed his chip on the final hole that almost earned he and partner Day a point over Mickelson and Bradley (the match ended all square). In the afternoon, he toppled 20-year-old Jordan Spieth 1 up with a holed bunker shot on No. 18 to capture the Internationals' third point of the day. If golf fans didn't know about the Canadian before this week, they will now.
Bogey: Brandt Snedeker
Snedeker went into the Presidents Cup as one of the few Americans boasting multiple PGA Tour victories in 2013, but left as the joint-lowest points earner on the U.S. team (just two points from five matches). Snedeker's Sunday singles performance was particularly disappointing: he was routed 6-and-4 by Jason Day, the largest defeat in any match the entire week.
Birdie: Els vs. Stricker match
The 2013 Presidents Cup may have been void of almost any drama, but Els and Stricker did their best to make a show of it. In a match between these veteran players that went the distance, Els won six holes to Stricker's five, and at one point in the middle of the round, Els and Stricker went six straight holes without a halve. In the end, it came down to a clutch long birdie putt on the 16th hole that helped Els secure a 1-up victory.
Birdie: The Streaker
While fans waited for an obvious outcome to unfold, it was a member of the gallery at Muirfield Village who provided the day's biggest buzz. A young woman stripped down and streaked across the course, apparently trying to fill Sammy the Squirrel's absence as the U.S. team's mascot. Captain Fred Couples, for one, didn't seem to mind.