The outcome hinged on a dramatic, 25-foot putt on the next-to-last hole of the final match, exactly the type of finish the Presidents Cup needed to build a pedigree.
With his 11 teammates and captain Arnold Palmer watching anxiously by the side of the green, Fred Couples made that birdie putt Sunday to defeat Vijay Singh and give the United States a 16 1/2-15 1/2 victory over the International team to retain the trophy in the second edition of the biennial competition at Gainesville, Va.
Singh had a chance to match Couples' birdie, but missed a 15-footer that would have sent the match to the 18th hole.
The International team, composed of players from the Japanese, Southern Africa and Australasian tours, won six of Sunday's 12 singles matches.
Singh was down 2 when he closed the gap with a birdie at the par-three 16th. He needed to win one of the final two holes to force a playoff.
Mike Hill won a tournament for the seventh consecutive year, the longest current streak on the Senior PGA Tour, a one-stroke victory in the Bank One Classic at Lexington, Ky.
Hill, who was in a four-way tie for the lead after the second round, shot a four-under-par 68 to finish with a 54-hole total of 207.
Australian rookie Karrie Webb shot a three-under 69 to win the $550,000 Safeco Classic at Kent, Wash. With her third victory of the year she overtook Laura Davies on the LPGA money list.