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Archive for Monday, September 26, 2005

Couples, DiMarco clinch win for U.S.

Americans outlast International team in Presidents Cup

September 26, 2005

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— Fred Couples delivered another magical moment. Chris DiMarco provided the clinching point with a dramatic birdie. Best of all, the Americans sent captain Jack Nicklaus into retirement as a winner.

Right when it looked as if the Presidents Cup might end in another tie, DiMarco holed a 15-foot putt on the 18th hole to outlast Stuart Appleby for a 1-up victory Sunday, giving the Americans an 181â2-151â2 victory at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club and keeping their record perfect on home soil.

"That's what our whole goal was as a team this week, to win for him," DiMarco said. "We wanted this bad. We wanted this for Mr. Nicklaus. And it's nice to give him that."

Nicklaus, who already said farewell to the majors and might not play another PGA Tour event, was captain for the third time. His team got hammered in Australia in 1998, and the matches ended in a tie two years ago in South Africa.

This time, he went out a winner.

Only three matches reached the 18th hole Sunday. Couples' 20-foot birdie putt for a stunning victory over Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson's four-footer for birdie to square his match with Angel Cabrera, and DiMarco's winning putt over Appleby, the biggest shot of a competition loaded with spectacular play.

Tiger Woods lost for the first time in a Presidents Cup singles match, falling to Retief Goosen on the 17th hole. But the Americans got loads of help, from Jim Furyk (3-0-2) beating Adam Scott, and Kenny Perry and David Toms getting their first points of the week.

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