The Associated Press
JERSEY CITY, N.J.–U.S. President Donald Trump showed up about an hour after the final match was underway yesterday at the Presidents Cup.
Had he shown up much later, he might have missed the start of a long celebration for an American team that rarely had it this easy.
This really was over before it started.
“Honestly, it was really weird being out there today, knowing there was no chance of losing,” Dustin Johnson said after going unbeaten in five matches.
“I don’t know how to explain it but it was like playing golf with my buddies,” he noted.
“We were going to win no matter what.”
The Americans so thoroughly defeated and demoralized the International team that they needed just one point from 12 singles matches to win the gold trophy.
Daniel Berger delivered the cup-clinching moment in the fourth match.
Charley Hoffman, one of five Americans who had never experienced Cup competition as a pro, chased after Berger and sprayed him with champagne, then Berger grabbed the bottle for a guzzle before passing it over to U.S. captain Steve Stricker.
The final score was 19-11, the seventh-straight victory for the Americans.
They extended their dominance to 10-1-1 in this contest–if it can even be called that.
“This is a juggernaut of a U.S. team,” said Nick Price, in his third and final stint of the International captain, all of them losses.
“They’re an overpowering team that played some phenomenal golf,” he added.
“It was tough to watch, especially being on the receiving end.”
The only consolation was keeping the Americans from a record rout.
Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, and Jhonattan Vegas each won their first point of the week as the International team won the singles session.
That kept the Americans from becoming the first team to win every session in the Presidents Cup.
No matter. All they really wanted was the cup–and the only difference this year was who gave it to them.
Trump became the first sitting president to attend the final day of the Presidents Cup, and the first to present the team with the trophy.
“They came in here riding a ton of momentum and a ton of confidence,” Stricker noted.
“It was about getting out of their way.”
So thorough was this beating that Hoffman and Kevin Chappell could have clinched the cup Saturday evening if they had won their fourballs match.
Stricker sent them out at the top of his lineup to give them a chance to finish the job.
Chappell nearly did–doubling over when he missed a 20-foot birdie putt and halved his match with Marc Leishman.
Hoffman was beaten by Jason Day, a former world No. 1 who had gone nine-straight matches without winning until a 2-and-1 victory.
Instead, the clinching match fell to Berger, who had told Sky Sports in an interview Saturday, “Our goal from the minute we got here was to crush them as bad as we can.
“I hope that we close them out today, and we go out there tomorrow [Sunday] and beat them even worse.”