US ends drought in golf’s World Cup with victory

Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland ended the United States’ 11-year

drought in golf’s World Cup by shooting a 5-under 67 on Sunday to

win by two strokes.

The American pair fired six birdies in the alternate-shot final

round at Mission Hills Blackstone course to finish at 24-under, 264

overall, notching the 24th U.S. win in the history of the

tournament.

English pair Ian Poulter and Justin Rose had the final day’s

best round with a 63 to tie for second at 22-under with Germany’s

Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka (69).

Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell led by two strokes

going into the final round but could only manage an even-par 72 to

finish tied for fourth with Australia, the Netherlands and

Scotland.

The American victory was the first since Tiger Woods and David

Duval claimed the title 11 years ago. The event was annual up until

2009, and this year’s tournament was the first in the new biennial

format.

”We really clicked. It’s fantastic to win for the U.S.,”

Woodland said.

The U.S. duo built a two-point lead over Germany midway through

the round and after a rare slip with a bogey at the par-3 11th, the

Americans responded with birdies on the next two holes and then

pars the rest of the way to claim victory.

”Undoubtedly the shots on the 12 and 13th were key. It was a

great moment and to shoot a par when you expected a bogey,” Kuchar

said.

England seemed well out of contention heading into the final day

eight shots off the lead, but soared into contention. However they

needed more than one of the leading teams to falter. Instead it was

only Ireland which came back to the field.

World No. 2 McIlroy was well below his best, hitting some loose

shots, including a putt on the 18th which would of given Ireland a

share of the runner-up check. The tournament favorites had a run of

misfortune, including a penalty stroke on the 6th and four bogeys

on the card.

They shared fourth with Australia’s Richard Green and Brendan

Jones (69), plus Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Martin Laird (66)

and the Dutch pairing of Robert-Jan Derksen and Joost Luiten

(68).

Like Ireland, South Africa also had a pair of major winners who

faltered on the final day, with Charl Schwartzel and Louis

Oosthuizen only able to record a 74 to quickly drop out of

contention.

Defending champions Italy, represented by Edoardo and Francesco

Molinari, also had a final-round 74 to finish 17th, 10 shots

back.