We decided to recreate the 1998 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne to see if we could generate a closer event than the one in progress at Liberty National. The original 1998 event saw the International team score a 201/2 to 111/2 victory.
The International Team
Stuart Appleby, Steve Elkington, Ernie Els, Carlos Franco, Shigeki Maruyama, Frank Nobilo, Greg Norman, Joe Ozaki, Craig Parry, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Greg Turner
The U.S. Team
Mark Calcavecchia, Fred Couples, David Duval,Jim Furyk, Scott Hoch, John Huston, Lee Janzen, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods
The format consisted of three days play. The first and second days consisted morning foursomes, followed by afternoon four balls. Each team played five pairs in each match. The final days consisted of singles matching up all 12 members of each team.
Day One Foursomes
O’Meara and Duval nearly squandered a 3-up lead with bogeys on 16 & 17, but held on for a 1-up win over Nobilo and Turner.
Elkington and Norman took the lead with a birdie on 5 and went on to win 3 & 2 over Furyk and Huston
Janzen and Hoch led from the beginning by as many as 3-up and won 2 & 1 over Maruyama and Parry.
Fred Couples’ 18 foot birdie putt on 15 gave Couples and Woods a 1-up win over Els and Singh.
Love and Leonard ran away with their match against Appleby and Price winning 5 & 3.
The U.S. led after the foursomes 4-1.
Day One Fourballs
Mark O’Meara birdied 10, 11, and 13 to lead partner Jim Furyk to a 4 & 3 win over Norman and Elkington.
Calcavecchia and Huston bested Maruyama and Ozaki 3 & 1.
Couple and Love came back from 2 down to beat Parry and Franco 2 & 1.
Vijay Singh’s 14 foot birdie putt on 10 gave he and Appleby the lead and they coasted to a 3 & 1 victory over Woods and Leonard.
The 3-2 Fourballs win gave the U.S. a 7-3 Day One lead.
Day 2 Foursomes
Continuing the U.S. reversal from real life, Leonard and Love easily defeated Nobilo and Turner 6 & 4.
Els and Singh temporarily stemmed the tide by taking the measure of Janzen and Calcavecchia 2 & 1.
Maruyama and Ozaki bogeyed the par 4 15th and the par 5 17th, to give couples and Woods the 2 & 1 win.
Mickelson and Duval birdied 17 to clinch a 2 & 1 victory over Price and Franco.
Hoch and Furyk won the first 3 holes, but Norman and Elkington caught them on 12. They took the lead on 14 and held on to apply a 1-up tourniquet.
The U.S. increased their overall lead to 10-5.
Day 2 Fourballs
Nobilo and Turner held a 1-up advantage through the turn bought gave it back with a bogey on 11. O’Meara birdied 17 to give the U.S the lead and he and Hoch scored the 1-up win.
Els had 3 birdies on the back nine as he and Singh defeated Woods and Huston 1-up.
Mickelson’s birdie at 7 brought the U.S. back from 2 down and Duval birdied 8 to put them up by 1. Maruyama squared the match on 11, but another Duval birdie on 15 gave he and Mickelson the lead. The U.S held on to defeat Maruyama and Ozaki 1-up.
Franco birdied 11 and he and Price kept the match all square as Price and Franco halved with Janzen and Calcavecchia.
Couples and Love took a 2-up lead after 6 over Norman and Elkington. But Elkington birdied 7 and Norman birdied 8 to Square the match. Then Elkington birdied 9 to give the Internationals the lead. The lead grew to 2-up after 11. Couples then birdied 13 and eagled 14 to even the match once more. They remained all square to the end and halved the match.
Day 2 ended with the U.S. in front 13-7 with singles to come.
Day 3 Singles
At the start of the day, the Internationals needed to win 9 of the 12 singles matches to catch the U.S.
Leading off Parry birdied 18 to win 1-up from Leonard.
Duval led from start to finish and defeated Price 2 & 1.
Furyk also led wire to wire as he beat Nobilo 3 & 2.
Mickelson took his first lead from Franco on 8 and continued on to a 1-up win.
The Internationals had their backs to the wall now.
Maruyama birdied 1 and never let Huston back in the match, winning 5 & 4.
Ozaki prevailed in a seesaw battle that saw 10 changes of lead. Hoch bogeyed 18 to surrender the match 1-up.
Turner went up on Calcavecchia at 13 and held on to win 2 & 1.
Elkington won the 1st hole, but it was all Janzen after that and he won the Cup clincher 4 & 3.
Love won 6 of the last 7 holes as he bested Els 5 & 4.
Singh beat Couples 3 & 2.
Woods beat Norman by the same 3 & 2 score.
Appleby took O’Meara also by 3 & 2, but it was too little too late.
Final score is U.S. 19, International 13.
The U.S. gains ASG revenge in the recreation of the 1998 Presidents Cup.