MELBOURNE, Australia —Tiger Woods described the United States’ comeback as “amazing” after the defending champion mounted a historic rally to retain the Presidents Cup.
The USA became the first team to win the Presidents Cup after trailing the Internationals heading into the final day thanks to a stunning fightback on Sunday.
PRESIDENTS CUP: The U.S. comeback, as it happened
Led by Woods, the USA clinched eight points in the singles for a 16-14 triumph and an eighth consecutive success, after having been down 10-8 by the close of play on Saturday.
Playing captain Woods — who broke the record for most Presidents Cup wins with 27, surpassing Phil Mickelson — said: “We did it together. We came here as a team. My teammates and my boys all played well.
“The captains did an amazing job of just being there for every little detail. I couldn’t have done it without all their help and all my boys. They did it.”
“It’s been one of the more amazing challenges, but you know, Stricks [Steve Stricker] and Coups [Fred Couples] and Zach [Johnson], they were amazing,” 15-time major champion Woods added.
“All the guys, they believed in one another. We relied on one another as a team and we did it together.”
Woods sat out Saturday’s four-ball and foursomes but returned to lead off for the USA on Sunday, setting the tone with a comprehensive 3 and 2 victory against Abraham Ancer.
“I trust all my 11 guys. I trust them implicitly; I told them from the very get-go. They went out there and got the points we needed. We fought,” Woods continued.
“Even the points we lost, we were making them earn every one of them, and this Cup wasn’t going to be given to us. We had to go earn it, and we did.”
It was a case of so close, but yet so far for Ernie Els’ International team, which was dreaming of a first Presidents Cup success since 1998.
The Internationals stormed out of the blocks with a 4-1 lead after the opening day and maintained that advantage until the USA flipped the script on its head Sunday.
Captain Els, whose team included a number of debutants, was emotional afterward.
“I can only give them my love,” Els said. “They tried so hard. They played so hard for each other and the team, and to buy into something new like I tried, I really have to take my hat off to every one of them.
“There are a lot of young, young players, a lot of players that the world has never seen or heard, but you will see them a lot in the future. I have admiration for my guys and the caddies and the wives, it’s been fantastic.”
Els added: “You’re going to make me cry now. I just love these guys. We’ve spent all week together and all year together with all the meetings we’ve had, and them buying into all the stuff that I came up with, and they were 100 percent in, and I was 100 percent with them. It was a collective effort of just great people, the wives, the caddies, PGA Tour staff, everybody worked together on this one.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we got 10 points in four sections of team play, and that means the team building was a success.”
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