Presidents Cup 2017: Daniel Berger clinches cup for the Americans at Liberty National
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The outcome was inevitable on Sunday at the Presidents Cup, but the International team did their best to make it interesting early on at Liberty National Golf Course. The Americans clinched, but not until the fourth match of the day, when Daniel Berger halved the 15th hole with a par against Si Woo Kim, making the match dormie and clinching at least a half a point. That, plus Kevin Chappell's half point he earned against Marc Leishman, sealed the deal for the U.S.
Chappell, a Presidents Cup rookie, came out firing, looking to grab the full point he and Charley Hoffman were unable to in Saturday's final four-ball match. The reigning Valero Texas Open winner took a 2 up lead to the ninth hole on Marc Leishman, but then began to fall apart. Chappell lost three of the next five holes, including the par-3 10th, where his ball came to rest inside a TV tower. Despite the chaos, he fought back, squaring the match at the 17th and halving the final hole to earn the U.S. a half a point, giving them a 15-4 lead at the time.
"It was a lot of fun, a position I asked to be in," Chappell said. "Disappointed to only get a halve, but being down on the 17th tee and having a putt to potentially win, you know, I fought hard."
The first full point of the day went to Jason Day, who defeated Charley Hoffman 2-and-1, giving Day his first win in a Presidents Cup match in his last 10 tries.
Two matches behind, Berger led Kim almost the entire way, as if he were on a mission to gain a full point for the U.S. But Kim did his best to challenge, holing birdie putt after birdie putt and even channeling his inner-Patrick Reed. Berger was able to keep pace, eventually taking a 3 up lead to the 15th hole, and halving with a par, clinching at least a half point and the Presidents Cup. The two-time FedEx St. Jude Classic winner finally finished Kim off at the par-4 17th, winning 2-and-1 to gain the full point.
"Captain Stricker came up to me on 16 and told me we had clinched it. What a feeling," Berger said.
The Presidents Cup rookie, who went 2-1 on the week, made sure to soak this career highlight all in.
"I'm just speechless right now," he said. "I'm just so excited for the team. It's been amazing. We've come together so well, everyone's played so nicely, and it's just nice to finish off the week with a win."
The match of the day between Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas was just finishing as well. The pair combined for 15 birdies and an eagle, which belonged to Matsuyama, who won the match 3-and-1.
Eight matches on the course remained, and the Internationals did their best to make it a respectable score. They took the singles session overall, taking 7 1/2 out of 12 points. It's just the third singles session victory in 12 Presidents Cups for the International team.
Fittingly, Phil Mickelson holed the final putt of the 2017 Presidents Cup, a two-putt par to beat Adam Hadwin 2-and-1 in his 100th match in a team event. The final tally was 19-11 in favor of the U.S.
The victory is the 10th in Presidents Cup history for the American team, and seventh in a row.