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Monday, October 12, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Presidents Cup

Winner: USA 15.5-14.5

Around the wider world of golf: This was an amazingly busy week for golf! ET Rookie Matthew Fitzpatrick got his first win at the ET's British Masters; Tom Lehman shot 5-under on the last 4 holes to win the SAS Championship on the Champions Tour; Wil Bateman won the Abierto de Chile, becoming the first Canadian to win on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Bryden Macpherson won the Lushan Open on the PGA TOUR China; Jessica Korda broke a string of missed cuts to win the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on the LPGA; Jackie Stoelting got back-to-back wins by taking the IOA Golf Classic on the Symetra Tour; Hye In Yeom got her first pro win at the Xiamen International Ladies Open on the LET; and Bo-Mee Lee won the Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details).

The US Presidents Cup team

I know it's a small sample -- only one Presidents Cup -- but it certainly appears that International Captain Nick Price was 100% correct when he said the format needed to match that of the Ryder and Solheim Cups. Over the last two days when the new format matched those other events (save for that "every player must play twice in the first four sessions" requirement), the two teams played each other to a draw.

Everybody be sure to thank him for forcing the issue with the PGA Tour. He may have finally given the Presidents Cup a future.

And when Adam Scott said that this Presidents Cup put the Internationals in the same spot that Seve said the first 'European Team' Ryder Cup went -- namely, to a place of hope -- it looks as if he was correct as well.

I won't even try to go into all that happened; there was simply too much for a single blog post. I'll just sum it up by pointing to Chris Kirk and Bill Haas's clutch play at the end of the singles session. It took some heroics by the overwhelming favorites to win this Cup by the narrowest of margins, and that bodes well for the event going forward.

Likewise, I won't be as hard on players like Jason Day or Aniban Lahiri as some may be. It simply takes time to learn how to play under team pressure. Hey, for all his "ability to finish" we need to remember that Jordan Spieth has yet to win a singles match in either professional team event, and even a team stalwart like Matt Kuchar came up blank this time! Pressure finds a way to embarrass us all from time to time, and the Internationals will learn how to deal with it eventually.

In the meantime I offer this simple Limerick Summary to the victorious US Team -- who, I feel compelled to add, better come better prepared next time or things might turn out a little differently...
The battle was closer this time
As changes brought scores more in line
With Ryder Cup tallies.
But last minute rallies
By Jay Haas’s team turned the tide.
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