U.S. golfers reclaim the World Cup trophy

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U.S. golfers reclaim the World Cup trophy

HAINAN, China - Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland yesterday claimed the United States’ first golf World Cup since Tiger Woods and David Duval lifted the trophy 11 years ago.

The Americans took advantage of an Irish tailspin as tournament favorites Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell endured a sloppy final day at Mission Hills in southern China.

Kuchar, playing in his first team event, was in sublime form on the greens, helping the pair hole six birdies to finish top of the leader board on 5-under 67 and 24-under overall.

“We really clicked. It’s fantastic to win for the U.S.,” said an ecstatic Woodland.

“Undoubtedly the shots on the 12th and 13th were key. It was a great moment and to shoot a par when you expected a bogey,” said world No. 10 Kuchar.

The pair kept their nerve during a tight and thrilling front nine to build a two-point lead over chasing Germans, world No. 4 Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka at the halfway stage.

They maintained the advantage through the back nine despite a rare slip with a bogey on the par-three 11th hole.

Germany claimed joint second with a resurgent England on 22-under overall. England’s Ian Poulter and Justin Rose accelerated up the leaderboard thanks to their late rally, holing eight birdies and an eagle.

World No. 2 McIlroy missed several putts and fluffed another crucial 25-footer on the 18th which would have given Ireland a share of the runners-up check in the $7.5 million tournament. McIlroy and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell led the field from round two but finished tied fourth with Australia, Scotland and the impressive Netherlands on 21-under overall.

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