Bae's last hole heroics mark International fightback #PresidentsCup

Fri 09 Oct 2015

Bae's last hole heroics mark International fightback #PresidentsCup

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Incheon, Korea, October 9: Korea’s Sangmoon Bae delivered when it mattered the most in his Presidents Cup debut on Friday.
With his Fourball match with partner Danny Lee all square with Americans Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker heading into the 18th hole at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, the local hero rolled in a 12-foot pressure-packed birdie putt to seal a vital 1-up win for the International Team.
Bae’s last-hole heroics delivered one of the main highlight for the Internationals who rallied from an overnight four point deficit by winning three matches, halving one and losing another as the second day’s scoreline ended with the United States ahead by 5.5 to 4.5.
“I knew it was really, really a big putt and I am glad that it was a big success.  We played pretty solid but didn't make a lot of putts,” said captain’s pick Bae, who was rested on the first day. “I was a little nervous with that putt.”
Thongchai Jaidee watches eagerly as Charl Schwartzel celebrates his winning birdie putt. Thongchai Jaidee watches eagerly as Charl Schwartzel celebrates his winning birdie putt.
Bae, a double PGA TOUR winner, believes the Internationals’ strong team spirit could prove pivotal this weekend. “It was a different kind of happiness because I felt like I did something for the team and I also created a momentum for the other players, so I was very happy and it was a very thrilling moment,” he said.
Korean-born Lee was delighted to combine effectively with Bae and put a point up for the Internationals after losing his first day’s Foursome match with Marc Leishman.
“I was nervous watching him. So he had to stand up and man up and hit that golf ball; I'm pretty sure he was shockingly nervous,” said Lee. “I’ve never felt this kind of nerves before ... never been so nervous in my life. I feel like I just won a golf tournament,” added the New Zealander.
South African duo Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace maintained their winning run by outclassing a subdued world number one Jordan Spieth and Dustin Jordan 4 & 3 in the top match while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee secured his first point with a 2 & 1 win with partner Charl Schwartzel as they beat Chris Kirk and Bill Haas.
[pullquote align="left or right"]I just tried to calm the guys' nerves. Just tell them, hey, you all played very well all year to get to this situation, and just go back to playing golf. They just responded so well today. - International Captain Nick Price [/pullquote]Jason Day and Adam Scott halved their match with Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who was penalized for playing a different type ball on the seventh hole while the U.S.’s lone win came through Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes who maintained their winning combination with a 2-up win over Steven Bowditch and Marc Leishman.
Price, who is hoping to be only the second International Captain to win the Presidents Cup, said:  “Obviously it was a really good day for us. I think the talk that we had last night in our team room helped an awful lot ... calmed the guys down.
“We had some great pairings. Louis and Branden leading off, the way that they played was incredible. I must admit, that putt that Sangmoon made on No. 18, was probably the highlight of the last two days for us.”
Thongchai picked up his first Presidents Cup win and paid tribute to his partner Schwartzel, who closed out their match with an 18-foot birdie conversion. “He played so good, putting so well. Charl is great player. You can see how he holed the putt (on 17). His mind is too strong, that's why we can make the putt to win the match,” said the three-time Asian Tour number one.
With a big day ahead on Saturday with two sessions of four Foursomes and four Fourball matches, Price is hoping to keep players relaxed ahead of the weekend sessions.
“I think that just as a captain, watching yesterday, it was like a different team out there that I had on Tuesday. And so I tried to say to them, you know, you guys had this buzz going on Tuesday, and it wasn't there today, or yesterday, should I say,” said Price.
“I just tried to calm the guys' nerves. Just tell them, hey, you all played very well all year to get to this situation, and just go back to playing golf. They just responded so well today.”
U.S. Captain Jay Haas said Saturday morning’s four Fourball matches could be key to the outcome of this year’s Presidents Cup.
“Obviously we're not as pleased with our day as we were yesterday. We had some great match-ups out there, and the guys felt comfortable with who they were out with. Just the nature of the game. Some days are better than others,” Haas said philosophically.
“I don't think the guys are discouraged. There were some hard-fought matches, and other than Jordan and Dustin getting beat 4 & 3, the matches were right down to the wire. It's a putt here, a putt there; things could have been differently. But you know, still a little bit ahead, and looking forward, it's obviously a very important day tomorrow. I think the guys realise that and they will come out ready to go.”
Friday’s Fourball Results (US first)
Dustin Johnson/Jordan Spieth lost to Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace 4 & 3
Rickie Fowler/Jimmy Walker lost to Danny Lee/Sangmoon Bae 1-up
Zach Johnson/Phil Mickelson vs Adam Scott/Jason Day A/S
J.B. Holmes/Bubba Watson beat Marc Leishman/Steven Bowditch 2-up
Bill Haas/ Chris Kirk lost to Charl Schwartzel/Thongchai Jaidee 2 & 1
Saturday’s Foursome Draw (US first)
7.05am: Patrick Reed/Rickie Fowler vs Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace
7.16am: Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes vs Adam Scott/Marc Leishman
7.27am: Bill Haas/Matt Kuchar vs Sangmoon Bae/Hideki Matsuyama
7.38am: Dustin Johnson/Jordan Spieth vs Jason Day/Charl Schwartzel
(Four Fourball matches to follow in the afternoon)
Thursday’s Foursome Results (US first)
Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes beat Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama 3 & 2
Matt Kuchar/Patrick Reed lost to Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace 3 & 2
Rickie Fowler/Jimmy Walker beat Anirban Lahiri/Thongchai Jaidee  5 & 4
Phil Mickelson/Zach Johnson beat Jason Day/Steven Bowditch 2-up
Jordan Spieth/Dustin Johnson beat Danny Lee/Marc Leishman 4 & 3
About The Presidents Cup
The Presidents Cup, a team match play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – is held every two years, and since 1996 has alternated between United States and international venues. The Presidents Cup was developed to give the world’s best non-European players an opportunity to compete in international team match-play competition. The U.S. Team has won eight of the 10 previous Presidents Cups, and the only win by the International Team came at the 1998 event in Melbourne. The Presidents Cup 2003 ended in a tie. The Presidents Cup 2015 will be held Oct. 6-11 when the biennial competition makes its first trip to Asia.  Nick Price and Jay Haas will serve as captains of the International and U.S. Teams, respectively.  Korea’s K.J. Choi was named the first vice-captain in Presidents Cup history and will help Price lead the International Team in front of what is sure to be a supportive “home” crowd.
Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will be the fourth international venue to host The Presidents Cup, joining The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1998, 2011); The Links at Fancourt, George, South Africa (2003); and The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2007).  The event is projected to be broadcast in 225 countries and territories, reaching more than 1 billion homes in 30 different languages around the world.
The Presidents Cup is a unique golf event in that there is no purse or prize money; instead, each player, captain and captain’s assistant allocates an equal portion of the funds generated to charities of his choice. Since the inception of The Presidents Cup in 1994, more than $32 million has been raised for charity from event proceeds, including more than $5 million from The Presidents Cup 2013. Over the past 20 years, The Presidents Cup has impacted more than 450 charities in 15 countries worldwide and 35 states in the U.S.
Citi and Rolex are the exclusive Global Partners of The Presidents Cup.
For updates on The Presidents Cup, check www.presidentscup.com, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thepresidentscup and sign up for The Presidents Cup e-newsletter.
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About Incheon Metropolitan City
Uniting the community Bringing Incheon to the world, Incheon is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent cities in Northeast Asia, as well as one of the best cities in which to live. Incheon has been trading with foreign countries since the Three Kingdoms Period, and was the first city in Korea to accept Western culture in 1883.
Throughout its history, Incheon has been at the center of Korea’s modernization. Today, more than 2.9 million people live in its 10 districts, called ‘gus’ and ‘guns,’ as well as on the more than 150 beautiful islands of Ganghwa-gun and Ongjin-gun. Incheon is now one of the three major cities of Korea.
About Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea
At 7,380 yards (6,748 meters) for the tournament, the par 72 Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is the first and only golf club in Korea to carry the name of the Golden Bear himself.  Its dramatic park land, links and rock formation styles are in perfect harmony with the panoramic views of Incheon Bay and the skyline of the Songdo International Business District. Crafted by the hand of master himself, the Jack Nicklaus design features unique fairway routings, a variety of tee locations, and greens protected by strategically located bunkers and hazards that provide special challenge to golfers of all levels.  In 2010 and 2011 the course hosted the PGA Champions Tour Songdo Championship event.  The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is proud to have been selected as the host venue for The Presidents Cup in 2015, the first time the event will be contested in Asia.  For more information visit: www.jacknicklausgolfclubkorea.com.