Woods pays back Couples
Updated: 2011-11-21 08:00
US team player Tiger Woods (right) embraces team captain Fred Couples after winning the Presidents Cup against the Internationals at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Sunday. [Photo / Agencies]
US keeps Presidents Cup crown as Tiger snares the winning point
MELBOURNE, Australia - Tiger Woods delivered the knockout punch to the International team on Sunday to silence critics of his Presidents Cup selection by captain Fred Couples.
Woods captured the 18th and winning point for his team at Royal Melbourne when he closed out Australian Aaron Baddeley 4&3 on the par-five 15th with an exquisite bunker shot to less than a meter from the flag.
The wall of the bunker was so steep Woods could not see the hole when he played from the sand but he quickly scampered up the face of the trap to see where the ball finished.
Couples was the first man to rush onto the green and shadow box Woods to celebrate.
"For Tiger to get the winning point makes us feel very good as a team," Couples said after celebrating his second win in charge of the US
"I don't think I've ever been vindicated in golf, but I feel like I know what I'm doing. When I picked Tiger a month early, he worked six to eight hours a day on his game.
"When a guy looks you in the eye and says: 'Don't worry about me, I'll be right', it brings a smile to your face, especially when it's Tiger."
Without a tournament win in two years after being plagued by injuries and personal problems, Woods looked like the Tiger of old against Baddeley, notching six birdies and finding all the greens bar one.
He holed four putts over three meters and said it was due to a tip on the practice green from teammate Steve Stricker before Sunday's match.
"He (Stricker) basically was talking about ball position and releasing the toe of the putter. Whatever he (Stricker) says about putting, I'm going to listen to.
"I had played well all week, but the putts did not go in. I caught a lot of lips (of the hole) the first three days, first four matches.
"Today was a different deal, I felt it on the putting green and they (the putts) poured in."
Woods finished 2-3 for the tournament after being the only US player to fail to score on the first two two days when he scowled his way around the sandbelt course and watched numerous putts lip out or burn the rims.
Couples said playing him in the last four matches with experienced campaigners Jim Furyk, David Toms and Stricker was a deliberate ploy.
Toms thrashed a disappointing Robert Allenby 7&5; Furyk beat South African Ernie Els 4&3 and Stricker downed South Korea's Y.E. Yang 2&1.
"(Having) the old standbys at the end worked well," Couples said.
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