Australia’s Cameron Davis and South Korea’s Kim Si-woo swept the last four holes to produce a thrilling Presidents Cup comeback win for the internationals on Thursday at Quail Hollow.
Kim and Davis stunned Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns 2-up to avoid a sweep in the US on the opening day of the competition.
It’s the kind of moral boost that could inspire an underdog team to bar their teeth against the heavily favored Americans, who took a 4-1 lead after opening four games (alternate shot).
“For them to finish strong like that to get a point for us is really important from a psychological point of view,” said international captain Trevor Immelman. “If we had been bleached, it would have been a hard pill to swallow. We have our work cut out for us, but we’ll keep going until the bell rings.”
Players gathered on the 18th green to cheer after four of the five games were battles on the last two holes.
“Everyone’s super pumped. We can do it, you know,” Davis said of the upset offer.
“Everyone on our team is capable of the golf we’ve played along the stretch. If we can get it all out at the same time this week, we can really make things work. So I’m excited to see what we’ve got to come in the next couple of days.”
The Americans possess an 11-1-1 lead in the all-time rivalry and have never lost at home, having captured their last eight fights with the global team.
“We will continue to fight,” Immelman said. “That’s what we do. It’s the mentality of this team. We will reorganize. We started badly. We will have to adapt for this, make some putts. A long way to go.”
Kim was feeling nervous on the first hole and didn’t help when the US duo led 3-up after seven holes.
“When we first announced our name, I was shaking my leg slightly,” Kim said. “And I’m getting pissed off because I’m losing. I think this gets a little nerve-wracking. Then Cam puts the clutch on 10. It’s time for my nervousness to go away.
“Cam has a great iron shot and I was very familiar with the short game and putts. We had a great combination.”
Kim sank a 10-foot birdie putt at 16 to equalize the game and took advantage of birdie putt to win 17 after Davis came within four feet of the hole.
“Eventually it started hitting, and it was the right time too: 16, 17, 18, we just played them great,” Davis said. “It was great to change that from a rather difficult start to a really fantastic ending.”
Immelman was overjoyed for the lift, victory on the condition that a team play as if they have nothing to lose.
“The message is a free game,” Immelman said. “Nobody here expects us to win. We have to have this belief deep down. We are perhaps against the strongest American team ever assembled on paper. So we do what we do? We prepare, we prepare and play as hard as we can. The chips will fall where we can. can.
© 2022 AFP