IN the end, Freddie Couples and his US Team even conquered the Fanatics Aussie cheer squad at Royal Melbourne on the final day of the 2011 Presidents Cup.
Having beaten Greg Norman’s Internationals 19 to 15 after the final round of singles, Couples took his team over to the Fanatics on the 16th tee like a victorious footie captain.
The Fanatics, you know them as the group dressed in yellow and green at the tennis shouting “Lets go Leyton” all the bloody time, had been giving the Americans stick all week singing their little ditties about the players.
Couples took the team over and one by one they embraced what became a crowd and media photographers’ scrum, with the captain even encouraging the reluctant ones such as Tiger Woods to take part.
As Norman said later at the official closing ceremony: “For the USA team to go over there and play with the guys, have fun with the guys, that’s what [the Presidents Cup] is all about.”
It was a huge day at Royal Melbourne, finally a day of perfect weather, with football crowd like cheers and groans coming from across the course as the 12 singles matches were played out.
Early on it seemed like the Internationals could pull off a famous victory by making up the four point deficit they faced at the start of the day, but in the end it was not to be. The six all score line reinforcing the point that the difference between the teams after four days was the Internationals’ poor performance in the alternate shot foursomes sessions.
There were some marvellous performances on the day, particularly from the youngsters with Korean KT Kim beating the previously undefeated Webb Simpson 1UP and Ryo Ishikawa defeating Bubba Watson 3 & 2.
In the other matches Adam Scott beat Phil Mickelson 2 & 1 after jumping to an early lead, Geoff Ogilvy beat Bill Haas 2UP, Charl Schwartzel beat Dustin Johnson 2 & 1 and Retief Goosen defeated Matt Kuchar 1UP.
The US winners were Hunter Mahan over an out of sorts Jason Day 5 & 3, Nick Watney over KJ Choi 3 & 2, Tiger Woods 4 & 3 over Aaron Baddeley, Steve Stricker 2 & 1 over YE Yang, David Toms 7 & 5 over Robert Allenby and the unlikely star of the American challenge, Jim Furyk 4 & 3, over Ernie Els.
After being in the worse form of any of the US team members all year (he got in mainly on his 2010 performances) Furyk ended the week with a 5-0-0 record.