CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jordan Spieth capped a perfect week at the Presidents Cup and the Americans made it nine straight victories against an International team depleted by defections to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
The Internationals showed plenty of fight. They just don’t have a cup to show for it.
That stays squarely in the hands of an American team that was coming off a record romp over Europe in the Ryder Cup last year.
Xander Schauffele delivered the clinching point when he made a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory over Corey Conners. That gave the Americans 15½ points with five matches still on the course, and they went on to win, 17½ to 12½.
Conners and Taylor Pendrith, the only Canadians on the team, were the only players who failed to contribute a point. Conners three-putted from 25 feet on the 17th with a chance to square the match, and he hit into a bunker from the fairway on the 18th.
Spieth made putts from all over Quail Hollow for a 4-and-3 win over Cameron Davis that kept the Internationals — in need of their greatest Sunday singles performance — from gaining any early momentum.
Spieth became only the sixth player to win all five matches in the Presidents Cup, winning all four of his team matches with Justin Thomas.
Spieth, a three-time major champion and former No. 1 player in the world, first qualified for U.S. teams when he was 20. But he had never won a singles match — 0-3 in the Presidents Cup, 0-3-1 in the Ryder Cup.
And then he fell 2 down after two holes before turning it around in a big way.
“I was more nervous than I should have been because I wanted to get that monkey off my back,” Spieth said. “When you get off early on a Sunday, they’re looking for red on the board. And it feels good to provide it.”
Thomas was trying to join him, but he lost to Si Woo Kim in a match that came down to 10-foot birdie putts on the last hole.
No matter. When Patrick Cantlay crushed Adam Scott, and Tony Finau rallied from 2 down to beat Pendrith, the outcome was as inevitable as it usually is.
The Americans improved to 12-1-1 in a series that began in 1994. Their only loss was at Royal Melbourne in 1998, and there was a tie in South Africa in 2003.
The Internationals fell behind 8-2 after the opening two days with a team that featured eight rookies, half of them replacing players such as British Open champion Cameron Smith and Louis Oosthuizen who were not eligible after the PGA Tour suspended them for signing with the lucrative rival tour.
One of those rookies, Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, took out world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and went unbeaten for the week at 2-0-1. Another was 20-year-old Tom Kim, the fresh face of these matches, who gave the Internationals hope on Saturday night with a performance as big as his personality.
Over four days, the Americans were too strong and too deep.
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