A fightback to remember

What a final day it was at the Presidents Cup at the Liberty National. Going out to play on Sunday, we knew we could not change the result, faced as we were with a 11-points deficit with 12 singles to go. But as a team, we want to go back with our heads held high and I am glad to say we did just that.

Winning six singles, halving three and losing only three to this hugely talented and strong American team was indeed a superb effort. It had a bunch of Major champions, a lot of experience and the advantage of playing team events every year – with Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup alternating in odd and even years. For Jhonny Vegas to beat Jordan Spieth, who is a great sportsman, and for Hideki (Matsuyama) to beat the in-form Justin Thomas and Adam Scott to come into his own and beat Brooks (Koepka) was a good finish of sorts for us.

From being 3.5 to 14.5, we made it a respectable 11-19 and that gives better memories as we prepare to leave the place.

Personally, I have buried the demons of Korea and am now comfortable with where I am in team events and look forward to many more of them, including trying to turn things around in 2019, when it returns to Melbourne, the site of Internationals’ only win back in 1998.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t get the full point in singles match. I played really badly in the middle part of the round. I made a lot of bogeys, unforced errors, bad clubs.

I remember in the morning when we went out, Tony Johnstone (Vice captain) told me the worst the team has ever lost in a Presidents Cup was 10-1/2 points. I looked up and I saw 10-1/2, so I wanted to get that and be sure it was not going to be bigger than that.

I really lost my concentration in the middle there. I made some quick swings, in bad club selections. On ninth I should have gone one club more and on tenth I should have gone one club less. I didn’t really make bad swings, but a couple of bad decisions. That was completely on me.

It’s really special to be a part of this team. I’m just glad that I was able to step up on the weekend, you know, to kind of repay Nick’s faith in me. I knew there was a lot of flak given to him and me coming into this event for that. The kind of the singles result we had today was something we all wanted to give him in his last round as captain.

I’ve obviously learned a lot — we’ve all come up against a better side this week. I think despite the situation we were in, we didn’t throw in the towel and we fought. I think if we can come out swinging from Thursday onwards in Melbourne, we might have a different scoreline.

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