Team Kim – Si Woo and Tom – made the previously undefeated U.S. duo of Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele shake in their golf spikes, and pulled off the upset of the day, claiming a 1-up victory.
Tom Terrific tossed his hat, dropped his putter and roared with delight as his 10-foot left-to-right bending birdie putt fell in the cup for birdie.
“I wanted that putt more than anything in the world,” he said.
The Cantlay-Schauffele team had built leads of at least 5 up on the front nine and cruised to easy victories, including over Tom Kim the day before, but this time they’d have to go the distance. Si Woo drained an 11-foot birdie at the second to grab an early lead in the match. But the Americans, who had sat out the morning and were rested, bounced back to win the next two holes and didn’t trail again until the end. They built a 2-up lead at the 10th with a pair of pars as Si Woo took three putts from 37 feet.
Cantlay and Schauffele smelled blood in the water. They had destroyed their previous competition in winning two full points. This time would be different. Giving away that hole lit a spark under the Internationals and Tom Kim sank a 55-foot eagle putt at 11, the same hole where he had buried a 37-foot eagle putt in foursomes that morning. Two holes later, Si Woo made a 22-foot birdie to tie the match. The Americans were up to the challenge, too, as Schauffele drilled a 37-foot birdie at 15 to regain the lead, but Si Woo knotted the match again with a birdie at 16. It all came down to Tom at 18 and a giant point for a pair of giant killers.
“I played them yesterday. We lost 3 down. I told myself I really want to beat these guys. It doesn’t get any tougher than Xander and Patrick,” Tom Kim said. “So it’s an amazing feeling to be able to hole that winning putt for the team. I’ll remember this for a while.” — Schupak.