Tiger Woods finally had something to smile about after leading the US team to victory over the Internationals in the Presidents Cup golf at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club here Sunday.
Woods, who has failed to win any tournament after his high profile divorce with Elin Nordegren last June, beat Australian Aaron Baddeley four and three to push the US beyond the 17.5 points needed to claim their seventh Presidents Cup against the Greg Norman-led non-European Internationals. The US won 19-15.
Earlier, Jim Furyk blew the field away becoming only the fourth player to win all five matches. US captain Fred Couples decision to enlist Woods in the team bore fruit as the American was hardly challenged in his final singles against Baddeley. Couples had been criticised for his decision to choose Woods over Keegan Bradley for the tournament down under.
Couples said Woods was ready to go all week at Royal Melbourne.
"He was ready for a month," Couples said. "Certainly, I couldn't answer how he was going to play, but this week I think he showed to himself that his swing is back and he's healthy, and that's more important to me. Obviously, we want to win the cup, but's more important for me to have people realize that he can play the game," Couples was quoted saying by the official PGA website.
The US team put up a dominant performance the entire week and going into the final day led the Internationals by four points and in the end it proved too much the Internationals.
"He (Woods) stepped up to the plate. He putted extremely well," Norman said. "Any player hates to see another great player struggle, because we all know what it's like to go through the ins and outs of the game.
At the end of the day, you want to see the player who has dominated the game come back," Norman said.
But Norman stuck by his criticism of Fred Couples for picking Tiger Woods, even though the 14-times major champion claimed the winning point.
"I still probably would have gone for Keegan Bradley because he won the U.S. PGA," Norman said of the American, who many felt unlucky to be overlooked, even if it was for the modern game's greatest player.