US team finishes strong in lopsided affair
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The Americans won the Presidents Cup for the seventh straight time, and this one was no contest.
With most of the work already done, a dominant US team needed only 1 point from the 12 singles matches Sunday. Kevin Chappell halved the opening match with Marc Leishman, and victory was secured when Daniel Berger went 3 up with three to play against Si Woo Kim.
Berger wound up winning that match, and the celebration was on.
President Trump arrived at Liberty National about 45 minutes before the Americans secured the gold trophy that he was to present to them. Trump, the honorary chairman of the matches, is the first sitting president to attend on the final day and present the trophy.
‘‘This is a juggernaut of a US team,’’ said Nick Price, in his third and final stint as the International captain, all of them losses. ‘‘They’re an overpowering team that played some phenomenal golf. It was tough to watch, especially being on the receiving end.’’
The Americans had an 11-point lead going into Sunday. All that remained in doubt was the margin of victory, and whether they could become the first team to win all five sessions.
So thorough was this beating that Chappell and Charley Hoffman could have clinched the cup Saturday evening if they had won their fourballs match. Stricker sent them out at the top of his lineup to give them a chance to finish the job. Chappell nearly did. Hoffman was beaten by Jason Day, who had gone nine straight matches without winning until a 2-and-1 victory.
Instead, the clinching match fell to Berger, who won his match on the 17th green with the Americans who had finished gathered around and ready to start their party.
‘‘They came in here riding a ton of momentum and a ton of confidence,’’ Stricker said. ‘‘It was about getting out of their way.’’
The Americans have a 10-1-1 record in the Presidents Cup. The only loss was at Royal Melbourne in 1998, which ended just 12 days before Christmas. The matches return to Australia in two years for another pre-Christmas test for the Americans.
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