SAN FRANCISCO – Leading by three points, the Americans go into Sunday’s singles lineup needing just five points to retain the Presidents Cup. Here’s how they’ll line up:
Hunter Mahan (U.S.) vs. Camilo Villegas (Int.)
Stewart Cink (U.S.) vs. Adam Scott (Int.)
Justin Leonard (U.S.) vs. Mike Weir (Int.)
Anthony Kim (U.S.) vs. Robert Allenby (Int.)
Steve Stricker (U.S.) vs. Geoff Ogilvy (Int.)
Sean O’Hair (U.S.) vs. Ernie Els (Int.)
Kenny Perry (U.S.) vs. Ryo Ishikawa (Int.)
Zach Johnson (U.S.) vs. Tim Clark (Int.)
Tiger Woods (U.S.) vs. Y.E. Yang (Int.)
Lucas Glover (U.S.) vs. Vijay SIngh (Int.)
Phil Mickelson (U.S.) vs. Retief Goosen (Int.)
Jim Furyk (U.S.) vs. Angel Cabrera (Int.)
A few observations:
• You can’t accuse U.S. captain Fred Couples of stacking his lineup early to try and get the quick clinch. He’s loaded the back end, a strategy that has backfired for captains in the past. So, we’ll see.
• So, Match 31 is a coincidence, right? Woods vs. Yang, a rematch of the PGA Championship shocker. Well, Couples was asked about it and he went off in tangents that confounded everyone in attendance. It didn’t get any clearer when the captain said, “We have talked to Tiger every day about the matches. Today, he said, ‘Put me out early.’ And obviously, putting him out in the eighth match is not early.”
And what does Mr. Yang think about his rematch with Woods?
“I’m going to stick to my game plan,” he said. “Just like I did (at Hazeltine). I’ll have a few tricks up my sleeve, perhaps.”
• Smack in the middle you have the youngest in the field (Ishikawa, 18) vs. the oldest (Perry, 49).
• The second-to-last match features a player who hasn’t lost a match (Mickelson) against one who hasn’t won (Goosen).
• Ogilvy will face Stricker for the third time in four days, having lost to him twice already, albeit when Woods was giving assistance.
• Stunning, perhaps, but Singh has won just one of his seven singles matches in the Presidents Cup.
• Ogilvy and Stricker is a rematch of the 2007 singles affair in Montreal. Ogilvy won, 1 up.