Tiger Woods seals Cup win, still Jack`s pick for 19 majors
Dublin (Ohio): Tiger Woods ignored an aching back at the end of a marathon golf weekend Sunday to clinch a dramatic Presidents Cup victory for the United States over the Internationals.
The 14-time major champion scored the clinching point in an 18 1/2-15 1/2 triumph by edging South African Richard Sterne 1-up in singles at rain-soaked Muirfield Village, then said he has had enough of golf for a while.
"I`m a little bit sore and certainly I`m looking forward to not touching a club for a while," Woods said.
Sterne took a bogey at 16 to put Woods 1-up and the US star halved the last two holes to win, knowing that singles matches before the Cup is clinched go extra holes to decide a winner.
"I wasn`t feeling my best coming down the stretch and happened to get a 1-up lead. I was just trying to hang onto that," Woods said.
"I knew I wasn`t feeling good and if I happened to mess up 18 and we had to continue playing until it was decided -- I was like, I really don`t want to play anymore, just can I win, can I halve this last hole, and it ended up being that way."
Heavy rain fell all four days of the event, playing havoc with the schedule and making the course a muddy slog for players while forcing Woods to play 31 holes over three matches Saturday and 27 holes on Sunday.
"It has been a long week for all of us," Woods said. "Our physios did a hell of a job this week of keeping us out there and keeping us going, especially with all the starts and stops and so many holes -- I`ve never played three matches in a day before."
Woods is chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, who hosted the Cup at the site where he hosts the US PGA Memorial tournament, an event Woods has won five times.
Nicklaus expects Woods, who turns 38 in December, will reach his career goal of breaking the major win record even though Woods has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.
"I still think he will probably do it," Nicklaus said.
"Tiger will probably have another 10 good years. That`s 40 majors. Can he win five out of 40? That`s about half the percentage he usually wins.
"All he has got to do is have the career (five-time major winner) Phil Mickelson has had in his life."
For now, Woods will enjoy having won the trophy-clinching point for the third Presidents Cup in a row, all under US captain Fred Couples.
"To have the opportunity to win the Cup for Freddie and all the guys on the team, it means a lot to me," Woods said.
It didn`t come easily. The Americans needed four points in singles and took three with seven matches remaining, but Woods was the only US winner in those last matches.
"Yeah, you are nervous. I must have asked 500 times where is the fourth point coming from," Couples said.
"At no given time was I a nervous wreck, but it was nice when Tiger two-putted that last green."
It was an eventful week for Woods, whose girlfriend, US ski star Lindsey Vonn, startled him by putting a baby squirrel on his right shoulder.
Vonn found herself stuck in a golf cart on a muddy hillside Sunday before Amy Mickelson and Matt Kuchar rescued her.
And Woods was tested by 41st-ranked Sterne, an unfamiliar face to most US fans.
"It doesn`t get any tougher than playing against Tiger Woods," Sterne said. "That was a pretty tough task but I gave Tiger a good go.
"So to hit the shots as good as I did and to play as calm and relaxed as I did will help me a lot going forward."
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