Tiger crowns revival with winning putt

FORMER world No1 Tiger Woods toasted a return to form after sinking the putt that ensured the United States beat their International opponents and retained the Presidents Cup.

Woods, who has endured a woeful spell since late 2009 following off-course troubles, continued his recent resurgence by beating Australian Aaron Baddeley 4&3 as the US won 19-15 in Melbourne.

“It does feel good. I was hoping it wouldn’t come down to my point. I was hoping Stricks [Steve Stricker] and I could take a victory lap back here but we didn’t get off to a good start early,” he said.

“I played well all week, unfortunately I just didn’t make putts. I hit putts well but they weren’t going in over the first three days, the first four matches.”

Fred Couples’ US side went into the final day 13-9 ahead but lost the first four singles matches, and were level at 15-15 with four left to finish.

Victories for Jim Furyk over Ernie Els and David Toms against Robert Allenby took the visitors to the cusp of victory before Woods and finally Stricker completed the triumph.

Couples said he felt vindicated, having fielded much criticism for his selection of Woods as a wild card pick. “For Tiger to get the winning point makes us feel very good as a team,” he said. “I got frustrated a bit [by criticism] because I felt I was picking the greatest player I’ve ever seen play. I heard he was the Tiger of old today and Aaron Baddeley said it was phenomenal.”