SAN FRANCISCO, October 12 – Tiger Woods provided a 'defining moment' of the Presidents Cup, it was only fitting he delivered the definitive point in another American victory over their International foes.Woods amassed a perfect five victories in five matches in four days of competition – including snatching a crucial victory from a likely defeat on Saturday – to lead the United States to a 19.5-14.5 victory.
"That’s what you expect out of your number one player in the world," said Australian Greg Norman, who captained the Internationals side drawn from everywhere in the world except Europe.
"You need your big gun, and he is their big gun."
The big gun hasn’t always fired in team competition, however.
In five previous Presidents Cup appearances, Woods had 13 victories and 11 defeats, while his Ryder Cup record is 10 wins, 13 defeats and two draws.
This time around, however, there was no doubting Woods’s dominance.
Four of his victories came paired with world number three Steve Stricker, starting with a 6 and 4 thumping of Geoff Ogilvy and Ryo Ishikawa in foursomes on Thursday.
Woods responded to the only real adversity he and Stricker faced in trademark style, rolling in a 22-foot putt to keep their Saturday foursomes match against Mike Weir and Tim Clark alive, then sticking a three-iron within eight feet at the par-five 18th to win the match with a conceded eagle.
"Pretty cool," Stricker said of the shots, but they were more than that to Internationals captain Norman, who called that Woods victory the "defining moment" of the penultimate day.
That’s the day the United States stretched their lead from a slim one point to a three points that proved insurmountable in Sunday’s singles.
"It was just great golf by Tiger Woods, making the putt on 17, turning the whole thing around, and he hit a phenomenal shot on 18," Norman said.
US captain Fred Couples said it was important for Woods to dominate, not only because of the points he scored but also because of the damper it put on the Internationals’ morale.
"Every tournament Tiger plays, everyone wants to know what he’s shooting and where he’s at, and the President’s Cup is no different," Couples said.
On his own in singles, Woods was able to exact a small measure of revenge with a 6 and 5 victory over Yang Yong-Eun, the player who beat him for the PGA Championship title in August.
Yang’s PGA victory saw Woods finish the year without a major title for the first time since 2004.
Woods, who returned to action in February after an eight-month injury layoff in the wake of major knee surgery, said it was gratifying to close out a season that started amid uncertainty in such strong style.
His six US tour titles this year included one – the BMW Championship – in the US Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff series, and his two runner-up finishes in the elite series saw him nab the title and the 10 million-dollar bonus.
"Even though I didn’t win a major championship, to come back from what I came back from, to have the success I had this year, I don’t think anyone would have predicted that," he said. "I’m very proud of that."