DUBLIN, OHIO | Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Presidents Cup came to a wet, muddy and merciful end Sunday at Muirfield Village Golf Club and Water Park. There was an element of mild suspense near the end and not just because Tiger Woods’ 37-year-old back began acting up again. The Internationals, who started the singles session six points down, closed the gap late thanks to their own inspired effort and the Americans’ seriously sloppy finish. The record will show the U.S. won, 18 1⁄2 to 15 1⁄2, but after all the rain delays it was close enough for a time to have the Americans feeling squishy. It wasn’t until Woods, walking like a man in need of a massage, finally closed out spunky Richard Sterne, 1 up, that the red, white and almost blew could exhale. This was the 10th Presidents Cup and the Americans now hold an 8-1-1 record the not-so-competitive competition. The Presidents Cup is a good idea but needs help. Here are a few suggestions:
Shorten it by one day: International captain Nick Price and future captain Ernie Els suggested this to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem earlier this year but it went nowhere. Finchem said the Presidents Cup is too young to start tinkering with the format. Finchem is right about many things. He’s wrong about this one. This was the 10th Presidents Cup. The Internationals have won once. It’s one day too long. The Ryder Cup gets it right with 28 matches stuffed into three days. Each point becomes more important. It’s no secret that the International team doesn’t have the depth of the American team. The more matches, the bigger the American advantage.