Ten years after losing the “Miracle at Medinah” Ryder Cup to Europe, another American team led by Davis Love faces another humiliating defeat at the Presidents Cup.
The Internationals went 11-7 away from the Americans on Saturday (Sunday AEST), the same four-point deficit Europe faced when they fought back epically on the final day to win the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Team USA, which leads the all-time Presidents Cup rivalry 11-1-1, must take 4.5 points in Sunday’s 12 singles matches at Quail Hollow to claim the trophy for the ninth time in a row .
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The Americans, with 10 of the world’s 16 highest-ranked players, were heavy favorites for a global team that lost several big stars that moved from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and became ineligible.
An upset loss from the United States would be an epic golf clash. But the Americans still have a four-point margin.
“Four points is four points. That was a big number,” Love said. “I’ve been four behind too, you know. .
Australian Cam Davis and South Korean Kim Joo-hyung offered 1-time winning putts in matches the American duos had led with three holes remaining.
But Americans feel no tension over historic ties to the surprise 2012 defeat as much as they are “pissed off” and determined to avoid such a fate this time.
“I couldn’t tell you what the score was and what it was, and I don’t care,” said undefeated American Jordan Spieth. “Nobody in this team is in this team.”
Another 4-0 American, Justin Thomas, noted: “I was in Turkey for the World Amateur. It’s pretty hard to watch that one on TV.
Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele said he wasn’t watching in 2012 either. “I just got to San Diego State, my sophomore year, so I wasn’t really watching golf when I was at school there,” he said. “Much better things to do.”
The only history lesson the American team was interested in was Saturday’s score, which left the Americans in a bad mood.
“They were pretty crazy. We wanted to win every session, and we tied one and lost one today. So that was not part of our plan,” Love said.
“(Singles) is one of our best formats, and they’re going to go crazy tomorrow. So I hope they’re crazy. I’m confident they’ll channel that into tomorrow’s game.
Thomas said Saturday’s setbacks will become Sunday’s motivation. “We’re going to play a little pissed off and try to go and earn 12 points and see what we can do,” Thomas said.
Spieth has made it clear that he likes his team’s superior talent in any man-to-man matchup.
“We have to refocus and we have a lot of angry guys who want to come out very strong,” Spieth said.
“I wouldn’t choose any of their players to play against any of our players and take them by any means. If you put any of our guys against one of theirs, I would still tell you that I think our guy is going to win.
Schauffele called himself “one of those pissed off guys”, adding: “I wasn’t very happy with myself. So we are looking forward to tomorrow.
However, he plans to calm his anger.
“I don’t play very well pissed off. I play like a toddler,” Schauffele said. “I play my best when I’m focused and very present.”
PAIRINGS FOR SUNDAY SINGLES (from 2:02 a.m. AEST)
Justin Thomas (USA) vs. Si Woo Kim (INT)
Jordan Spieth (USA) vs. Cam Davis (INT)
Sam Burns (USA) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (INT)
Patrick Cantlay (USA) vs. Adam Scott (INT)
Scottie Scheffler (USA) vs. Sebastian Munoz (INT)
Tony Finau (USA) vs. Taylor Pendrith (INT)
Xander Schauele (USA) vs. Corey Conners (INT)
Cameron Young (USA) vs Sungjae Im (INT)
Billy Horschel (USA) vs. KH Lee (INT)
Max Homa (USA) vs. Tom Kim (INT)
Collin Morikawa (USA) vs. Mito Pereira (INT)
Kevin Kisner (USA) vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout (INT)
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