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Presidents Cup victory vindication for Fred Couples and Tiger Woods

The United States wins the Presidents Cup, 19-15, as Woods justifies his selection to the team.

November 20, 2011|Wire reports
  • Tiger Woods chips out of a bunker during the final day of the Presidents Cup tournament at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Sunday. The United States won the tournament, 19-15.
Tiger Woods chips out of a bunker during the final day of the Presidents Cup… (William West / AFP/Getty…)

The winning point for Tiger Woods. A perfect record for Jim Furyk.

And validation for U.S. captain Fred Couples.

The Americans won the Presidents Cup as a team, 19-15, avenging their worst loss ever in any cup competition 13 years ago on a Royal Melbourne course that lived up to its reputation as among the greatest tests in golf.

Yet even as they gathered around the gold trophy at the closing ceremony Sunday afternoon in Melbourne, Australia, all of them dressed in red shirts and blue blazers, it was hard to ignore the singular achievements.

Couples was criticized in some corners for picking Woods, who had fallen out of the top 50 for the first time in 15 years and had gone two years without winning.

So perhaps it was only fitting that it was Woods who blasted out of a deep bunker on the 15th hole to within two feet to put away Aaron Baddeley and give the Americans the point they needed to win the Presidents Cup.

Couples was among the first to greet him, shadow-boxing with the guy he called "the best player in the world forever."

"I'm thankful that he picked me," Woods said. "… It's great to be a part of this team. I'm thankful that Freddie believed in me to be a part of this team. This is just a great bunch of guys."

Furyk teamed with Phil Mickelson three times and Nick Watney once and was at his best by himself against Ernie Els to become only the fourth player to go 5-0 in the Presidents Cup.

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South Korea's Hee Young Park won the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders tournament for her first tour victory, closing with a two-under-par 70 to hold off Paula Creamer and San Gal by two strokes at Orlando, Fla.

Park, who had a share of the third-round lead with Gal, finished at nine-under 279 at Grand Cypress and earned $500,000.

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Harrison Frazar shot an even-par 72 and won the rain-soaked Pebble Beach Invitational by a stroke when Cameron Tringale missed a two-foot par putt on the final hole.

ETC.

Nadal, Federer win openers

Rafael Nadal toiled for nearly three hours before beating Mardy Fish of the United States, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3), at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and Roger Federer also needed three sets to win his opening match.

Federer began his quest for a record sixth title at the season-ending event by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

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Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton, coaching rivals and longtime friends, led an eight-member class inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame at Kansas City, Mo.

Knight and Sutton were joined by former North Carolina and Lakers standout James Worthy, three-time Naismith Award winner Ralph Sampson of Virginia, former Michigan star Cazzie Russell, St. John's star Chris Mullin, and contributors Joe Vancisin and Eddie Einhorn.

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Because of a muddy track caused by persistent, heavy rain, the final three races Sunday at Hollywood Park were canceled.

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Authorities said two men who ran in the Philadelphia Marathon collapsed during the race and died of apparent heart attacks.

Philadelphia police said a 21-year-old man collapsed at the finish line and a 40-year-old man collapsed about a quarter-mile before the finish line.

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