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Couples hails American team

Updated: Monday, 12 Oct 2009 07:51

Fred Couples - US team won by 19.5 to 14.5 points
Fred Couples - US team won by 19.5 to 14.5 points

Fred Couples paid tribute to his victorious USA team after they retained the Presidents Cup with a 19.5 to 14.5 win over the Internationals in San Francisco last night.

World number one Tiger Woods secured victory with a singles win over YE Yang at Harding Park to avenge his final-round defeat to the Korean at the US PGA Championship in August and complete a perfect week at the competition in which he took the maximum five points available to him, four of them with playing partner Steve Stricker.

World number two Phil Mickelson also went unbeaten, collecting 4.5 points, and Couples revealed he and his assistants Jay Haas and NBA legend Michael Jordan were delighted by the all-round effort of his 12 players, all of whom scored points.

'The week was phenomenal,' Couples said.

'We had a lot of fun every day and the guys played practice rounds together and practised together and we ate together like any other team.

'But as the week went on I felt Jay and I and Michael had an easy job of making pairings. And when I say Michael, he sat with Jay and I several times and actually came up with a couple of great ideas, which helped Jay and I.

'But basically these guys played golf and did it all. I would like to say that I didn't have a whole lot to do with it, that's for sure."
Losing captain Greg Norman was equally as proud of his International team.

'From my perspective it was a great week,' the Australian said.

'I know we came here to win the Presidents Cup. I know each and every one of these guys gave 101% of their concentration and their effort and their willingness and their desire to win the Presidents Cup.

'I think if you look back over the series of the last four days, and the five competitive rounds of golf, I think the Americans probably just out-putted us a little bit. From a ball-striking perspective I think my guys stacked up shot for shot except just getting the ball in the hole a little bit quicker.

'The format is very much indicative of that type of need, to get the ball in the hole quicker, but at the end of the day, I know I'm proud of my guys and I know I'm very, very proud of the event and to leave here we should hold our heads high, but also leave here knowing that we can work on a few things to make sure that we have a good chance of winning the Presidents Cup in 2011.'

The next contest will be in Norman's homeland at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club and both captains said they would be happy to lead their teams again if asked to do so.

'Absolutely I would do,' Norman said.

'I've learned so much from right now on how to prepare from two years out but I've no idea if I'll be asked.'

'Would I do it again? Hell yeah, I would do it again,' Couples said.

'Would I be picked again? I have no idea, but I certainly wouldn't turn it down. It was way better than any golf tournament, ever. It was that much fun.'

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