October 10, 2009

Sunday's Birdies And Bogeys

SAN FRANCISCO -- So the Presidents Cup ends again with an American victory and one wonders what the Internationals have to do to make this thing competitive.

Hey, Tiger -- have you considered Australian citizenship?

Woods isn't a flight risk anytime soon, so we'll have to be content in figuring out something before Royal Melbourne in 2011. Until then, we bring you the best from Sunday's final matches:

Birdie: Harding Park -- The first American venue in the Presidents Cup outside Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia more than lived up to its reputation as one of the country's great muni layouts. The Willie Watson-Sam Whiting design doesn't have the allure of neighboring San Francisco Golf Club or Olympic Club, but it more than holds its own against the world's greatest players. The course will host the Champions Tour's Schwab Cup in 2010 and 2011, then is contracted for another major PGA Tour event in 2013 or 2014. Nothing is locked yet, but locals believe the bet is either the BMW Championship during the Fed Ex Cup playoffs or trading that date for another Presidents Cup down the road.

Birdie: Vijay Singh -- The often stoic Fijian showed a playful side -- and the difference in intensity between the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup -- when he slowly walked up to the first tee box and playfully slapped his club at the ground next to the foot of Lucas Glover. Singh ended their match in equally fine fashion, this time with great sportsmanship, when he conceded Glover's 6-foot birdie putt at the home hole to ensure the match ended halved.

"Well, we already lost," Singh said. "So it was kind of demoralizing. But Lucas played well. He would have made it anyway."

Bogey: Greg Norman -- Hard to say whether or not the outcome would have changed much, but throwing Camilo Villegas and Adam Scott, perhaps the two team members struggling the most this week, into the opening two singles matches didn't give the Internationals the kind of fast start they needed. Though Scott won the first day with Ernie Els, his wild-card selection didn't pan out for the Shark.

Birdie: Geoff Ogilvy -- The Aussie and No. 1 qualifier for the Internationals admittedly played like "rubbish" the first two days, but he came back with a four-ball win with Robert Allenby on Saturday afternoon and then held off the ultra-hot Steve Stricker, 2 and 1, in singles, never trailing after a birdie at the second hole.

Birdie: Kenny Perry -- The heavy-hearted veteran, who lost his mother recently, wasn't on form. But he showed heart in wanting to compete against Ryo Ishikawa, who at 18 is the youngest player ever to compete in the Presidents Cup. Ishikawa eventually defeated the 49-year-old Perry, the oldest player in the field, 2 and 1.

Birdie: PGA Tour field staff -- Fabricating an 18-hole configuration that ensured the closing stretch would yield lead and momentum swings proved to be a winning strategy, even though only two singles matches went the distance the final day.

Bogey: The few fans hanging out at 18 -- Folks, the 18th was a lonely perch. Yeah, it would have been nice to have a great seat for some drama, but there wasn't any at the 525-yard par 5. It's match play. Better luck next time.

-- Compiled by Dave Shedloski, Sam Weinman and John Marvel