Go to contents

S. Africa’s’ Grace emerges at Presidents Cup

Posted October. 12, 2015 07:44,   


Jorden Spieth of the U.S., ranking first in the world rankings, and Jason Day of Australia, ranking second, received more spotlights than any other golfers ahead of the Presidents Cup 2015. Surrounded by huge gallery, they demonstrated their immense popularity throughout the event, but failed to meet expectations in terms of performance.

Spieth performed well in the group competition (Four-Ball, Foursomes) by garnering three wins (one loss). However, in the singles match against Marc Leishman of Australia on Sunday, he suffered upset loss, losing his face. Spieth boasts of highly accurate putting, but failed in 1.5-meter par putting at Hole 12 (par 4), when he was leading by a gap of one hole, and allowed Leishman to tie, and ended up losing the match by a gap of one hole after struggling throughout the game.

Day, who was considered ‘Ace’ in the International Team ahead of the event, ended the competitions in disgrace with one draw and four losses. In the singles matches, he also lost to Jack Johnson (ranking 10th) of the U.S. by a gap of three holes, and failed to recover his tarnished fame. The International Team, which lost the championship only by a one-point deficit overall, was unfortunate due to, more than anything, sluggish performance of Day, who failed to garner even a single win.

In contrast, Branden Grace of South Africa, ranking 22nd, emerged as the biggest star of the event. The South African, whose best performance in the U.S. PGA Tour was third place, swept the entire five matches in the latest event, and thus tied the record of most wins acquired in a single championship with Tiger Woods of the U.S. and others. Notably, in the group competition, in which he formed his group with Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, he garnered as many as four wins. Grace said, “Whenever either Oosthuizen or I faced a crisis, the other person solved it.”

In the Four-Ball competition on Saturday, Oosthuizen stopped playing after placing his second shot in the water at Hole 18 (par 5), when his team was leading by a gap of one hole. He told the rival team’s Bubba Watson, “I did that because I believe Grace will play birdie.” Living up to expectation, Grace achieved birdie at Hole 18, and led his team to win. Phil Mickelson of the U.S., the only golfer who has participated in all Presidents Cups, earned big rounds of applauses from gallery by performing impressive ‘bunker shot skills.’ Mickelson, who garnered a 15-meter bunker shot birdie in the Foursomes competition on Thursday, secured a bunker shot eagle using the pitching wedge in the Four-Ball competition on Friday, becoming a hot topic of conversation.