Notebook: U.S. ends title drought at World Cup

November 27, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

USA  -24 (264)
Germany  -22 (266)
England  -22 (266)
Australia  -21 (267)
Scotland  -21 (267)
Ireland  -21 (267)
Netherlands  -21 (267)

The United States captured its 24th overall World Cup title and the country’s first since 2000 (Tiger Woods/David Duval) in the 56th playing of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. South Africa ranks second with five World Cup titles.

Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland both made their debut at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. With their victory, they become the first team to win with both members being rookies since Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods for the United States in 1999.

The victory by the United States snapped a six-year streak by European countries: 2009 (Italy); 2008 (Sweden); 2007 (Scotland); 2006 (Germany); 2005 (Wales); and 2004 (England).

Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland are the 17th different combination from the United States to win the World Cup and are the 24th and 25th different players from the USA to win the World Cup.

The United States birdied all four of the par-5s for the second round this week (Round 1). For the week, the U.S. squad was 10-under-par on the 12 par-5 holes, with a total of 29 birdies vs. five bogeys on the week.

England’s Ian Poulter and Justin Rose posted the low final round of the day, a 9-under-par 63 thanks to a back-nine 31 that included an eagle on the par-4 16th hole. The 63 tied the second-best final round Foursome score since the World Cup went to its current format in 2000. England moved from T15 to T2 with the finish, the largest jump of the final round.

Low Foursome Final Rounds (since 2000)
Team  Year  Final-round score  Finish
USA (Nick Watney/John Merrick)  2009  62  T7
Sweden (Henrik Stenson/Robert Karlsson)  2008  63  1
England (Ian Poulter/Justin Rose)  2011  63  T2
England (Ian Poulter/Ross Fisher)  2009  64  4
England (Luke Donald/Paul Casey)  2004  64  1
Germany (Martin Kaymer/Alex Cejka)  2009  65  T7

Among the top three teams (USA, Germany, England), five of the six players representing those countries sit among the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Finish  Country  Player (OWGR) Player (OWGR)
1  United States  Matt Kuchar (10) Gary Woodland (48)
T2  Germany  Martin Kaymer (4) Alex Cejka (314)
T2  England  Justin Rose (16) Ian Poulter (25)

Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka (T2) yielded their best finish this week in their fourth start together for Germany at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. The duo’s best previous finish was fifth in 2008.

Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jonge and Bruce McDonald went out in 6-under-par 30 and finished with a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday en route to a 11th-place finish.

The Netherlands team of Joost Luiten and Robert-Jan Derksen birdied the last three holes to finish T4. It capped a strong two weeks for Luiten, having won the Iskandar Johor Open at the Horizon Hills Golf Club in Johor, Malaysia last week.

Once again, the 54-hole leader at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup (Ireland) was unable to close out a victory, as Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell finished T4. Not since 2003 (South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman) has a 54-hole leader gone on to win the event.

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, competing in his 13th career World Cup with his eighth different partner in Alvaro Quiros, finished T9 at 19-under-par with birdies on the two closing holes Sunday.

Edoardo and Francesco Molinari of Italy finished 17th in their attempt to become the first teammates to defend a World Cup title since the U.S. team of Fred Couples and Davis Love III won four consecutive years (1992-95). The U.S. also won back-to-back World Cups in 1999 and 2000, but Tiger Woods swapped Mark O’Meara (1999) for David Duval (2000) as his partner.

Only two eagles were recorded in the final round, by Denmark (No. 6) and England (No. 16).