The United States clinched their ninth consecutive Presidents Cup on Sunday when Xander Schauffele beat Canada's Corey Conners 1-up in the singles to register the winning point against the Internationals.
Needing 4-1/2 points from 12 singles matches to reach the winning total of 15-1/2, the U.S. got the job done early with five contests still to be completed and the party well underway as 40,000 mostly American supporters celebrated at the Quail Hollow Club.
The heavily favored Americans were made to work a little harder than expected against the underdogs, but the result was never really in doubt as the U.S. led from Thursday's opening tee shots.
The Internationals, with a record eight Presidents Cup debutants in their 12-man team, were given little chance against a U.S. powerhouse featuring nine of the top 15 players in the world but they proved to be tough opponents.
Unable to match the U.S. depth and quality, International captain Trevor Immelman had vowed his men would fight until the final bell in a bid to take the Cup for just the second time — and the first on American soil.
What had looked like a rout after the U.S. steamrolled through the opening two sessions on Thursday and Friday turned into a tight contest after the Internationals hit back in stunning style on a marathon Saturday, splitting the morning foursomes (2-2) then taking three of four points in the afternoon fourballs.
While it was an inspiring performance from the Internationals, they still entered Sunday's singles facing a daunting challenge of overhauling a U.S. team with a comfortable four-point edge.
Still, the Internationals had the momentum going into the day, having planted the seeds of concern in the heads of their opponents, some of whom were spotted on the practice green late into the evening working on their putting under golf cart lights.
No one was more aware of the dangers lurking than U.S. captain Davis Love III, who was also leader of the American squad at the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah when the Europeans climbed out of a similar four-point hole on the final day to snatch the trophy in what is still regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in golfing history.
In the end, the early hole the Internationals had dug for themselves proved too deep to escape, with Tony Finau taking down Canada's Taylor Pendrith 3&1 to put the U.S. on 14-1/2, leaving it to Schauffele to finish the job off.
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