Americans claim Presidents Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia — The Americans returned Down Under and wound up on top in the Presidents Cup.

Jim Furyk became the fourth player to win all five of his matches, and the bottom half of the lineup was strong enough Sunday to give the Americans their fourth straight win in this lopsided series.

Perhaps it was only fitting that Tiger Woods clinched the cup for the second straight time.

U.S. captain Fred Couples was criticized for using a pick on Woods, who had been out with an injury most of the summer and hasn't won since his personal life crumbled two years ago.

Woods played well all week, even if he didn't always get rewarded with a point. In his singles match against Aaron Baddeley, he was never seriously challenged.

Woods closed out Baddeley, 4 and 3, and the celebration was on.

The Americans won, 19-15, the third straight time they have won by at least four points.

It was a small measure of revenge for the Americans, whose only lost came at Royal Melbourne in 1998.

The International team's only win came 13 years ago at Royal Melbourne, when the Americans suffered their biggest loss in any team competition. There was no repeat this time, not even close.

The Americans led after each session, and their 13-9 lead going into the final session Sunday was too much for the International team to overcome, even with a loud and boisterous Australian crowd behind it.

Ryo Ishikawa, Charl Schwartzel, K.T. Kim and Geoff Ogilvy got the International side going. But the outcome was never seriously in doubt. Furyk, David Toms and Woods were at the bottom of the lineup, and none ever trailed. Toms routed Robert Allenby, 7 and 5, giving the Australian a dubious distinction. He joined John Huston as the only captain's picks to not win a single point.

Furyk, coming off his worst season since he was a PGA Tour, joined Woods, Shigeki Maruyama and Mark O'Meara as the only players to record a 5-0 record in the Presidents Cup. Furyk made an eagle on the par-5 second and beat Ernie Els 4 and 3. Mickelson, 3-0 going into singles, conceded the first three holes to Adam Scott and conceded another hole at the eighth to fall 4 down. He rallied far too late and lost, 2 and 1.

Titleholders

At Orlando, Fla., South Korea's Hee Young Park won the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders for her first tour victory, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to hold off Paula Creamer and San Gal by two strokes.

Park, tied for the third-round lead with Gal, finished at 9-under 279 at Grand Cypress and earned $500,000.

The 24-year-old Park also has six victories on the Korean LPGA.

After bogeying the fourth hole, Park birdied three of the next four and parred the final 10 holes.

Creamer also finished with a 70, and Gal shot a 72.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 74 to tie for sixth at 2 under.

She won seven times on the LPGA Tour this year and had four other worldwide titles. The Taiwanese star was the Rolex Player of the Year for the second straight year, won her first Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average at 69.66, and topped the money list with $2,921,713.

Pebble Beach Invitational

At Pebble Beach, Calif., Harrison Frazar won the rain-soaked Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational by a stroke when Cameron Tringale missed a 2-foot par putt on the final hole.

Frazar, who won the St. Jude Classic in June for his first PGA Tour title, closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 9-under 279. Tringale had a 73 to tie for second with Matt Bettencourt.

Johor Open

At Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Dutchman Joost Luiten won the rain-shortened Johor Open for his first European Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Sweden's Daniel Chopra.

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