International team captain Greg Norman did not mince words after the United States clinched the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, the Americans kicked our butts,” said the Australian admitted after his second straight loss to Fred Couples’s team.
But Norman stuck by his criticism of Fred Couples for picking Tiger Woods, even though the 14-times major champion claimed the winning point.
“I still probably would have gone for Keegan Bradley because he won the US PGA,” Norman said of the American, who many felt unlucky to be overlooked, even if it was for the modern game’s greatest player.
Norman could not shy away from the emphatic 19-15 win by the United States in the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.
Delighted with the way his International team “stepped up to the plate” on Sunday to win six of the 12 singles matches, he conceded the Americans had putted them off the course.
“The Presidents Cup is the winner here. I’m very proud of my boys,” Norman said. “My team can hold their heads up extremely high. We’ll take a lot out of [the tournament].”
The two-time British Open winner had talked of a “home ground” advantage at Royal Melbourne where partisan crowds and tricky conditions would cowe the Americans into submission.
In the end, it was his own players who withered under pressure in front of huge galleries, while his captain’s picks Baddeley and Robery Allenby, selected for their intimate knowledge of the course, struggled.
Baddeley posted 1.5 points after being saddled with the toughest assignments, but Allenby joined American John Huston as the only player to post 0-4 in the tournament’s history.
While competitive, the Internationals failed miserably in their traditional Achilles heel, the alternate-shot foursomes, winning only three out of 11 of the matches.
Norman suggested he would like to do away with the format altogether and argued the host team should have the choice.
“It was 8-3 this week. That’s the way it’s always been [in foursomes] in the Presidents Cup except for one year,” he said.
“What’s wrong with the host nation having the choice of the format anyway? It’s a win-win for all. I don’t see any negative at all.” – Reuters