Tiger Woods didn't single-handedly win the Presidents Cup for the United States team, but the reaction from his teammates after he closed out Aaron Baddeley on the back-9 at Royal Melbourne would suggest otherwise.
It was a redemption of sorts for Woods, who clinched the Cup for the US for the second straight time. Following nearly two years of poor play on Tour, Woods needed a good four days of golf more than nearly anyone in world. US captain Fred Couples took a lot of Heat for even putting Woods on the roster, but it is he and Woods who are hoisting the Cup, not we naysayers who were outraged that Woods was selected over major champion Keegan Bradley.
I'll be the first to say Woods' play made my criticism of his selection seem comical. Thing is, the criticism was valid and fair, and it won't be the last time I make a proclamation on this blog that doesn't pan out. We had little - if any - reason to believe Woods wasn't going to be the weak link on this team. With young Bradley having a career-year and closing out the season as hot as any golfer in the world, claiming that he should have been on the team rather than a golfer who hasn't put together a consistent round of golf, on a consistent basis, wasn't a stretch.
What Woods did was prove us all wrong. He played great golf, hitting fairways off the tee, nailing greens-in-regulation, and showing that steady stroke on the putting green that used to win him major championships. What was once in shambles all came together for Woods in Australia... not just at the Presidents Cup, but at the Australian Open, which he finished in 3rd place.
Woods was by far the biggest headline coming out of the Presidents Cup, but what should not be lost in the US 19-15 victory is the stellar play of Jim Furyk, who has also struggled in 2011. Furyk was 5-0 for the tournament and looked like a man who was almost surprised at how well he had played in his post-tournament interview. Much like we used to see on the face of Woods, Furyk showed signs of exhaustion and relief at the same time. His struggles clearly wore him out this year, but at the same time it looked like a 1,000 pounds was lifted from his soldiers after reminding himself how great he can play the game.
It was great to see Phil Mickelson make his singles match with Adam Scott interesting in the last few holes, sinking clutch putts on the brink of elimination to stay alive. Steve Stricker played like a guy without neck issues, which we know isn't the case. Hearing my fiance talk about how golfers have weird names while we watched Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson walking up the fairway was comical. I'm still not sure how to feel about her new found love of golf after seeing Adam Scott give a post-match interview, but if that's what it takes to get golf on my TV, I'm okay with that.
The Presidents Cup score was a bit anti-climactic as the tournament drew to a close, but there were plenty of "sidebars" that kept it interesting. I don't mind that those sub-plots proved me wrong (that's nothing new), I just care that they entertain me and make me look forward the next tournament.
Presidents Cup Challenge Winner
First off we would like to thank everyone who entered our Presidents Cup Challenge. We love giving back to our loyal customers and supporters on Facebook and Twitter.
So, without further ado.... the winner of a brand new Callaway RAZR Hawk driver is.... @jkim9238.
If that's your Twitter handle, send us a direct message on Twitter (as a bonus, we're following you now, so it will go through for sure).