As Sunday’s singles matches begin at Muirfield Village, reality for the International team has set in. Trailing the American squad 14-8 and needing 17.5 to win, today’s matches will be played for pride, dignity, and hopefully a bit of fun.
Through the first two days of the President’s Cup, the Internationals had certainly held their own. Jason Day and Graham DeLaet – who have really been the best players on the team thus far – opened the competition by taking care of Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker, and if only for a moment, it felt as though this installment of the contest might not be the American romp that it has been for most of it’s history.
Of course, given the sheer talent on the American side, nobody should be surprised by the yankees’ success, but with downpours delaying play and pushing back the schedule, the way they dominated the four-ball match on Saturday really ended any momentum the Internationals hoped to carry over.
If you’re looking forward to the Ryder Cup next year at Gleneagles, take note of the team of Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, especially. Woods’s recent struggles in this match-play format are well-known, but this team seems to have the chemistry that brings out the best in both players. Complete with their “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” handshake, they seem to actually enjoy playing together. No wonder they won their first three matches before dropping a tough one to Ernie Els and Brendon de Jonge.
In the end, even though the Internationals took two key matches from top American teams, including Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker‘s only loss, their 2.5 points out of a possible ten just won’t get the job done. It was a fun ride while it lasted, but soon, it’ll be another celebration for the American team hoisting the President’s Cup at day’s end.