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Tank Choi Rebounds in Last President’s Cup Match

Posted October. 02, 2007 03:05,   


“The Tank,” KJ Choi, ranked 10th in the world, saved face on the last day of the President’s Cup, the golf tournament where a U.S. team plays against an international team, by earning some points for his squad.

On October 1, Choi beat American golfer Hunter Mahan, the youngest member of the U.S. team and ranked 41st in the world, by 3-2 (leading by three holes with two holes left) in the final round of singles match play held in the Royal Montreal GC, Montreal, Canada.

On the front nine, Choi trailed Mahan, but at the 10th hole, Choi birdied to tie the score, and had consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to take the lead. At hole 16, taking advantage of Mahan’s bogie, he cemented his victory.

The international team won the last round 7-5, but lost in overall score terms, 19.5 to 14.5, and let the American team take the cup. The U.S. team had 14.5 points until the third round, and was leading the international team by seven points at that point. With this win, the American team improved their record at the President’s Cup to five wins, one tie, and one loss.

Until the final day, Choi had accumulated three losses. In the first round, he teamed up with Australian Nick O’Hern and took on Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III in a foursome match, where two players take turns hitting a single ball, but lost by three holes. In the following round, he paired with Aussie Adam Scott and played four-ball, where two players each play their own ball and the better score is selected, but again was defeated by the American duo of Steve Stricker and Scott Verplank. In the third round, Choi partnered with this year’s U.S. Open champion Argentine Angel Carbrera but once again lost, this time to Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink, and failed to earn a single point.

The international team’s Canadian Mike Weir, ranked 46th in the world, staged an upset when he beat future hall of fame inductee Tiger Woods. Needing only three wins to defeat the international team, U.S. team captain Jack Nicklaus sent Woods in the fourth match and his counterpart Gary Player, the captain of the international team, sent Weir, as tradition stipulates that the star player of the host country should play. Weir once led by three holes, but was soon behind by one, but managed to tie in the par-3 17th hole. In the last hole Tiger Woods’ tee-shot fell into the water leading to the Weir’s dramatic come-from-behind win in front of a frenzied home crowd.