Shot-by-shot recap: Tiger Woods defeats Abraham Ancer 3 and 2 at Presidents Cup

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Shot-by-shot recap: Tiger Woods defeats Abraham Ancer 3 and 2 at Presidents Cup

2019 Presidents Cup

Shot-by-shot recap: Tiger Woods defeats Abraham Ancer 3 and 2 at Presidents Cup

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After sitting out both rounds of play on Saturday (Friday night in North America) at the 2019 Presidents Cup, playing captain Tiger Woods is back on the course for Sunday’s final singles match.

Woods, who boasts a 6-2 record in eight previous singles appearances, will be first out the gate for the Americans, taking on the MVP for the Internationals, Abraham Ancer. The Presidents Cup rookie has been lights-out for Ernie Els this week at Royal Melbourne, going 3-0-1 in his four matches.

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Woods and Ancer tee off in Australia at 6:02 p.m. ET, and you can follow their final match with shot-by-shot analysis below.

Hole 16 – Par 4

Bad tee shot turns into a GORGEOUS approach. Tiger’s in his bag today, to quote the youths. Driver goes right into the baked out-trampled down rough and his approach perfectly runs the contour of the green, rolling to just inside 20 feet. “Anything you can do I can do better,” says Ancer, who has around 15 feet for birdie. Putting contest, shall we fellas? Tiger says “contest? What contest?” Mr. Captain cans the birdie putt and claims the match for a CRUCIAL first point.

Match: Woods wins 3 and 2.

Hole 15 – Par 5

Tiger hits a pure tee shot and finds the fairway, and lays up with an approach just short of the green. He elects to use his putter from there, more than 100 feet from the back pin, and this is his best shot of the day. His ball just misses the cup, coming to rest within a foot for birdie to win the hole. It’s almost over.

Match: 3 up thru 15.

Hole 14 – Par 3

After watching Ancer go after the pin and miss long (though he’s still clinging to the back edge of the green), Tiger appears to either A) Play it safe or B) Just mishit and simply finds the green and avoids the trouble. The pin is left, literally surrounded by bunkers, and now TW will have an interesting putt awaiting. He’s playing for par here, clearly, but needs to lag this putt from 51 feet nice and close. Well, not good not bad. He gets this one up and then back down the ridge but it just doesn’t release as much as he would have liked. Both players now have eight footers left for par. Tiger walks it in the last foot to convert as Ancer pulls it left.

Match: Woods 2 up thru 14.

Hole 13 – Par 4

Tiger misses right off the tee into the rough area, while Ancer finds the fairway. When Ancer sticks his approach to 10 feet, TW’s approach barely clings to the green well away from the pin. Ancer wins with a birdie, nothing much more to see here, frankly.

Match: Woods 1 up thru 13.

Hole 12 – Par 4

Safe shot in the fairway for Tiger and his approach was right on line but just doesn’t run and checks up. He’s got 50-plus feet for birdie, but Ancer isn’t too close, either. In fact, Ancer’s ball is on a small sliver of fairway grass between the green and the bunker, just sitting on the edge. Not sure how this one didn’t find the beach. Tiger’s putt never really was close to going in, just had too much pace. He’ll have a four-footer to clean up par after Ancer chips to a foot and picks up for his own par. TW buries the putt and glides off the green. Mr. Cat is in the zone.

Match: Woods 2 up thru 12.

Hole 11 – Par 4

I love whomever (yes, I used that correctly … I think) set up Royal Melbourne today. They are just BEGGING the boys to attack this pin off the tee. The cup is cut 324 yards from the tee, on the front of the green, with trouble to the left and right and an alleyway to knock it right down the middle to the green. Tiger played it safe, finding the fairway and leaving a little flip wedge to the green. His approach checks up inside eight feet, and that’s a great birdie look. Ancer found the bunker but man his out was just about perfect, rolling inside Tiger’s ball. This dude is unreal. Both players convert their birdie putts, on to No. 11.

Match: Woods 2 up thru 11.

Hole 10 – Par 4

He’s “missed” a ton of fairways so far, but he’s just outside the short grass in the trampled-down, baked-out rough. Might as well be the fairway because Tiger gets clean contact on the approach, landing it well short of the back pin but letting the ball release to just inside 10 feet. Beautiful shot. WALKS IT IN! Big Cat’s got something cooking.

Match: Woods 2 up thru 10.

Hole 9 – Par 4

Fairway here for Tiger but the angle to the pin is less than stellar. The hole is to the front right, surrounded by bunkers. With the firm and fast greens, the players just can’t attack pins and stuff shots. That said, his shot here didn’t cut. At all. BUT, he’s got 40-some feet for birdie while Ancer will have to work some magic from a short-sided bunker shot that will have to carry a lot of sand (and uphill). Long story short: Abe’s needs to get nasty here or else he’s making the turn 1 down. Do something nasty he did not, and Tiger claims the hole with two putts to make the turn with the lead.

Match: Woods 1 up thru 9.

Hole 8 – Par 4

Big Cat paints the center of the fairway off the tee and attacks the back left pin. He’s pin-high, about 20 feet to to the right of the cup. Ancer’s approach was just on the front of the green, so, advantage Tiger. This one never had a shot. Two-putt par and the boys tie the hole. To No. 9!

Match: Tied thru 8.

Hole 7 – Par 4

Another tee shot runs a little long and through the fairway for Tiger. He’ll have around 200 yards to a back-left pin. Good lie just off the fairway in the baked-out, trampled-down rough. Solid shot there, following Ancer’s lead (who’s just five feet from the hole). Tiger’s got 16 feet for birdie, needs to make this to really put pressure on Ancer. Great pace here, just misses it a hair left. Ancer deserved to win this hole after stuffing the approach and he does just that. THIS. IS. FUN.

Match: Tied thru 7.

Hole 6 – Par 4

Short par 4 that has some treacherous hazards if you go for the green. With the wind in his face, Tiger pulls a fairway wood and finds the middle of the fairway. Great angle at the pin, should be able to attack here. Not a poor effort, skipping this one 15 feet past the hole. Not as dialed-in as the first two days, but that’s because HE DIDN’T PICK HIMSELF AT ALL YESTERDAY. Yeah, still not over that. Anyways, it’s a putting contest here with Ancer about three feet closer to the cup. YAHTZEE! Tiger paces this one in with ease. Ancer just misses the edge. Advantage Tiger.

Match: Woods 1 up thru 6.

Hole 5 – Par 3

Oof. This was … bad. Very bad. I’m talking like 7-handicap bad. He’s well short of the pin, in the bunker. And it’s not even a nice day for the beach, looks a bit chilly in Oz today. His out is pretty average by most standards, coming to rest eight feet behind the hole, but Ancer’s close. This putt just dives right at the last second, and Woods concedes. Even again.

Match: Even thru 5.

Hole 4 – Par 4

Driver here for TW finds the short grass, middle of the fairway. Useful. Just useful. The pin today is tucked away left, guarded by bunkers in the front and rear. Tiger plays this one middle-left of the green, safely 25 feet from the pin. Ancer has a considerably longer putt, so this could be a good time to get the lead back. Full-on defense mood here, just lagging this one close, putting the pressure on Ancer, whose birdie blew by the hole. With Ancer in for bogey, Tiger curls in the three-footer for the win.

Match: Tiger 1 up thru 4.

Hole 3 – Par 3

This one was on a perfect line, but just a few feet short. Instead of climbing up on the green, it’s down in front. Pitch up the hill isn’t too great, leaving 15 feet for par. This one fails to drop, and Tiger plays out of turn and taps in from just outside a foot. Interesting. Ancer evens the match with a par. Tough bogey. Weird hole, though.

Match: Tied thru 3.

Hole 2 – Par 5

Another confident swing with the driver has Tiger down the right side of the fairway. Time to score. The Big Cat gets home in two, finding the green below the hole, lets call it 30 feet. He lags that eagle putt up close and it’s a gimme birdie. We’re on the board! Ancer can’t convert his birdie from above the hole (that’s the first putt he’s missed all week it seems like).

Match: Woods 1 up thru 2.

Hole 1 – Par 4

SHOWTIME! Driver here on No. 1 for Tiger and it looks like this one leaked through the fairway and into the rough. Shouldn’t be too bad of a look there. Not a bad lie and Tiger gets this one onto the green, inside 15 feet for birdie. No dice on the birdie, leaving a two-putt par. Not bad after missing the fairway. Ancer pars as well. All tied.

Match: Tied thru 1.

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