INCHEON, South Korea (AP) Bill Haas delivered the winning point to his team and to his father Sunday in a Presidents Cup that ended with a familiar result amid tension not felt in years.
The Americans won for the sixth straight time, 15 1/2-14 1/2, only this was one came down to the final match. And the emotion was never stronger – on both sides.
U.S. captain Jay Haas made his son one of two wild-card selections, and he put him out in the last of 12 singles matches at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea against the local star, Bae Sang-moon, playing in his final event before he starts his mandatory military service in South Korea.
Bae did everything he could to give the International team a chance by holing a 10-foot putt on the 16th to stay 1 down and nearly holing a bunker shot on the 17th for par to extend the match. Needing to win the par-5 18th to share the cup, Bae stubbed his chip short of the green. As the ball rolled back down the slope, Bae sank to his knees and covered his eyes as caddie Matt Minister consoled him. Haas blasted out of a bunker to 6 feet, and Bae conceded the birdie putt, giving Haas a 2-up victory.
The biggest putt belonged to Chris Kirk, the only American who had never played in a Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup, especially because of the shocking turnaround in the match and in deciding who won the gold trophy. Kirk was all square with Anirban Lahiri of India, both just short of the 18th green. Kirk hit his pitch too hard and it went 15 feet by the cup, while Lahiri played his shot with perfect pace to 4 feet.
Kirk slammed his fist down when his putt took one last turn and dropped into the cup. It looked as though they would halve the match until Lahiri’s birdie putt hit the right side of the cup and spun out, and he let his putter fall over his back in disbelief.
Branden Grace joined Shigeki Maruyama (1998) as the only International player to go 5-0 by easily beating Matt Kuchar. Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson each completed unbeaten weeks for the Americans, and Adam Scott got his putter going in the shortest match of the day, 6 and 5, over Rickie Fowler.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Jessica Korda won the LPGA Malaysia for her fourth tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 in sweltering conditions for a four-stroke victory.
After winning twice last season, the 22-year-old American entered the week with only one top-10 finish this year, a tie for second in January in Florida in the season-opening event.
She made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch that ended on the 10th, dropped a stroke on the par-4 11th and sealed it with birdies on the par-3 15th and 17th. Second-ranked Lydia Ko, No. 3 Stacy Lewis and 2014 winner Shanshan Feng tied for second.
Korda finished at 18-under 266 and earned $300,000. She opened with rounds of 69, 67 and 65 to take a two-stroke lead into the final day. The weekend 65s are her two best scores this year.
Ko finished with a 66. The 18-year-old New Zealander was coming off consecutive victories in Canada and France, where she became the youngest major champion. Feng also had a 66, and Lewis shot 67.
CARY, N.C. (AP) – Tom Lehman had an eagle and three birdies in the final four holes to win the Champions Tour’s SAS Championship.
The 56-year-old Lehman birdied the par-4 15th and 16th, eagled the par-5 17th and birdied the par-4 18th for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke victory over Joe Durant.
Lehman finished at 12-under 204 at Prestonwood Country Club and earned $315,000 for his ninth victory on the 50-and-over tour.
Durant closed with a 68. Needing to hole out from the fairway on the 18th to force a playoff, he hit close to set up his final birdie.
Bernhard Langer and Kenny Perry tied for third at 10 under. Langer shot a 68. Perry, the second-round leader, had a 70. Colin Montgomerie tied for fifth at 8 under after a 66.
WOBURN, England (AP) – England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick won the British Masters for his first professional title, leading wire-to-wire on Woburn’s Marquess Course.
The 21-year-old Fitzpatrick, the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion, closed with a 3-under 68 for a two-stroke victory. He finished at 15-under 269.
Ireland’s Shane Lowry (67) tied for second with Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (69) and Paraguay’s Fabrizo Zanotti (69).