Haas grabs crucial point as U.S. wins Presidents Cup

Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:43am EDT
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By Peter Rutherford

INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - Captain's pick Bill Haas claimed the crucial final point at the Presidents Cup on Sunday, as the United States beat the Internationals 15.5 to 14.5 to clinch the team golf event for the ninth time in 11 editions.

Haas, who is also the son of U.S. captain Jay Haas, held his nerve in the last of Sunday's 12 singles matches to beat local favorite Bae Sang-moon on a day of missed putts, momentum swings and hand-wringing tension.

Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, the top two players in the world, both lost their matches, while there was delight and heartbreak in equal measure for Asia's four representatives -- Thongchai Jaidee, Anirban Lahiri, Hideki Matsuyama and Bae.

After five straight comfortable U.S. wins, the one-point margin of victory was the narrowest since the Americans won 16.5 to 15.5 in 1996, and suggests the PGA Tour got it right by reducing the total number of points on offer to 30 from 34.

An emotional U.S. captain Jay Haas struggled to get through a televised interview next to the 18th green but said he had given his son a pep talk through the closing stages.

"I told him, 'Come on, win one for your mom, your mom deserves this,'" he said. "We put him out 12th and had no idea this was going to happen. Couldn't even have dreamt this."

The Internationals trailed 9.5 to 8.5 going into the final day at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea but got the first point on the board when Adam Scott thrashed an out-of-sorts Rickie Fowler 6&5 to level the match.

Louis Oosthuizen eagled the 18th to claim a half of his match against Patrick Reed, while fellow South African Branden Grace beat Matt Kuchar 2&1 and became just the fifth player to win five matches at a single Presidents Cup.   Continued...

U.S. team Phil Mickelson hits out of a bunker on the first hole during their singles matches of the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji