Notes: Kim, Ishikawa prove to be quick studies
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The U.S.'s 19-15 victory over the Internationals brings the record of the event to a lopsided 7-1-1 in favor of the Red, White & Blue and the ghosts of the 1998 collapse have been forever purged from the U.S. psyche - if a scare ever existed.
The Sunday singles score of 6-6 was only the third time the singles were halved. It happened in 1996 and 1998, while the U.S. has won the session outright five times and the Internationals taking the session in 2007.
2011 Presidents Cup: Day 4 in pictures
A look at singles action on Sunday at Royal Melbourne.
• QUICK STUDIES: K.T. Kim and Ryo Ishikawa finally learned how to play Royal Melbourne. In his 1-up victory over Webb Simpson, Kim made four birdies, including a 10-footer on the 17th to take the lead heading into the difficult 18th.
“I tried to maintain a good condition from yesterday,” Kim said of his four-ball win over Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson on Saturday. “It wasn't really a good start today, but I tried to just think of myself, just play myself.”
Ishikawa took down Bubba Watson, 3 and 2, with Watson making only two birdies and three bogeys and a double in 16 holes. It was Ishikawa’s second consecutive point after a difficult start to his second Presidents Cup.
“I just believe in myself,” Ishikawa said after his win, his first point in singles. “I wanted to say to the International team members, just we can do it, so believe in yourself. “
Watson and Simpson started 3-0 but lost their last two matches.
• BIG-TIME STRUGGLES: Robert Allenby fashioned himself as the man who knew Royal Melbourne maybe better that anyone, which is partly why captain Greg Norman picked him. But with a devastating 7-and-5 loss to David Toms on Sunday, Allenby became the 14th player not to advance past the 13th hole in Presidents Cup history. He might have been more of a liability than an accomplished authority. Allenby went 0-4-0, his career record slipped to 8-17-3 and his singles record fell to 1-4-1.
• STREAK SNAPPED: Phil Mickelson finally lost a match in the Presidents Cup. Going 3-0 in the first four sessions, Mickelson had gone undefeated in his last 11 Presidents Cup matches, dating to 2005. Adam Scott snapped the string when the Australian won in singles, 2 and 1, to bring Mickelson’s career record to 18-14-10 (including 12-2-5 in the last 19 matches).
• FAILED STRATEGY: With all the hype about having five Australians on the International team, it clearly turned into a failed strategy. The five Australians collectively went 7-14-2, with only Geoff Ogilvy having a winning record, at 3-1-1. It seems the home-course advantage at Royal Melbourne didn’t turn into much at all and in the end may have hurt the International team. The South Africans - Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen - went 7-7-1 collectively, and the South Koreans - K.T. Kim, Y.E. Yang and K.J. Choi - were 6-7-0.