Anirban Lahiri’s miss on a three-foot putt on the 18th proved costly as the United States managed to prevail 15.5 to 14.5 over the International to claim the Presidents Cup here on Sunday. (Anirban Lahiri lose four-ball event)
For the third session in a row, the Internationals and US were locked in a tie after the singles ended 6-6, but the final score read 15.5 to 14.5 in the favour of the Americans, who have now won nine out of 11 times.
The Internationals won once in 1998 and the teams were tied in 2003.
The Internationals still had a chance with Sangmoon Bae, possibly playing his last event before joining Military Service, hit too cute a third shot on the 18th and it rolled back from the mound. His opponent, Bill Haas, son of the US skipper, Jay Haas, grabbed the chance with both hands and took the hole and with it the match 2-up.
US won the Presidents Cup again, but this time by the thinnest of margins possible.
“I am gutted,” said Lahiri, who admitted that he just could not come to terms with the greens and putted the worst in his life.
Lahiri hit a superb third shot to within three feet and Kirk was at least 15 feet and he needed to hole it for a birdie to give himself an outside chance of halving the match, which at that stage was All Square.
Kirk holed the putt and then admitted, “(I was) purely just thinking, make it (putt) for the halve. Obviously didn’t expect Anirban to unfortunately miss that putt. Hate to see that. Just trying to hit it like any other putt, hit the line and roll it in.”
Kirk’s putt died perfectly into the hole from the right edge. And then Lahiri sent it to the right, it caught a big chunk of the lip and then came out.
The final putt could halved the match and given the Internationals one hand on the Cup, something that has not happened since 2003.
Speaking about it and whether he had rushed it, Lahiri said, “No, not at all. I was pretty sure what the line was and I made a good stroke. But I think I did what I’ve done all week: Misread putts.”
“I had Bubba Watson come up to me about a minute after we finished up and he said that he had done the same exact thing. Both of us thought — I guess. I don’t know about his putt. I didn’t see it. It looked like right in to me. That’s why I hit it. Went left to right and caught a big part of the lip. Spat it out,” said Lahiri.
“In the end, it was not about letting myself down, but the whole team; the players, the captain and the vice-captain,” he added.