It was a gorgeous day in Melbourne, Australia as the International and United States teams began the 9th President’s Cup.
The United States is 6-1-1 all-time in President’s Cup, but their lone defeat occurred on the same course the event is taking place this year. Royal Melbourne is widely considered one of the greatest courses in the world and is a national treasure down under, and once again it takes center stage for an international event.
It was a solid first day for the United States team has they won four of the six available points. The team of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson rolled, as did the veteran duo of Phil Mickelson and Jimmy Furyk.
However, the news of the day was the destruction of a once-formidable pair. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker have faired very well as partners in recent international competitions, but on Thursday in Australia, they were soundly drummed, and that is putting it nicely.
Any match play match that doesn’t get past the 15th hole is considered lopsided. Tiger and Strick’s match ended on the 12th green.
The golf world has been abuzz the past few weeks over Steve Williams’ racially insensitive comments about beating Tiger. We will not rehash it here, but suffice it say, the only break up worse for Tiger than his separation from Stevie was his marital divorce.
Woods and Williams won 13 majors together and over 70 total tournaments. However, after the scandal, the relationship was obviously strained and officially ended this past summer.
Since the split, Williams has been way too vocal. Caddies are supposed to show up and shut up, however, Williams was acting as if he had actually swung the clubs.
Tiger kept his mouth shut as Williams ran his, and in the end, Stevie was no longer the victim, especially after his recent comments.
Williams in now the caddy for Adam Scott, the leader and best player on the International Team. So as Fred Couples and Greg Norman, each squad’s respective captain, sat down to make the pairings, you just knew Tiger Woods and Adam Scott would be facing off on Day 1.
And wouldn’t you know, that is exactly what happened, in the last match of the day. Who says two old guys don’t know how to create good theater.
Even though the Americans took a commanding lead on Day 1, the story was the total annihilation of Team Woods. Sure, Stricker didn’t play well, worse than Woods, but that is back page news.
The story of the rest of the weekend won’t really be who wins, it will be how Tiger plays.
As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Golf is still all about Tiger.