Rain drenched the Presidents Cup over the weekend, but that did not stop some of the best golfers in the world from showcasing their talents in Jack Nicklaus’ backyard. The spotlight remained on the course, as Tiger Woods and the United States team hung on for an 18.5-15.5 victory over the International squad.
This was not my first golf event at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, but it was certainly one to remember. I have been to the Memorial Tournament and played at Muirfield plenty of times before, but there was never that “buzz” in the air that came when watching singles play Sunday. Seeing the U.S. team together gave the feelings of camaraderie and pride, joining with fellow Americans to cheer on our country as they took on the best golfers from around the globe.
Sunday, the American team held a sizable 14-8 lead heading into the singles matches, only needing wins in four of the 12 remaining matches to retain the cup. Just one year ago, the Americans were in the same spot in the Ryder Cup, but lost eight of 12 matches on the final day of play, falling to Britain 14.5-13.5 in stunning fashion.
The tension from last year’s collapse could be felt in the crowd in the early part of Sunday as the American side dropped four of the first six matches. However, as the day went on, the thought of a repeat collapse disappeared, as Zach Johnson defeated South African Branden Grace. Johnson’s four and two victory put the U.S. on the doorstep, just one point from its fifth-straight President’s Cup victory.
I was lucky enough to be near the 18th green as Woods wrapped up the victory for the Americans by securing a win over South African Richard Sterne. The sight of the American side celebrating and rejoicing is something I will remember for a long time, as it was truly a memorable experience to see the U.S. defend its crown and home turf in a convincing fashion.
Overall, the rain showers and humid conditions could have made for a less than enjoyable experience for the first three days, but Sunday’s stoppage-free play gave Nicklaus and his course a moment to shine in the world’s spotlight.
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