After Day 1 of the 2013 Presidents Cup, the American team owns a 3.5-2.5 lead over the International team. Perhaps no pairing was as dominant during Thursday fourball as that of Matt Kuchar and Tiger Woods.
With that performance, Woods broke out of his recent funk.
Woods and Kuchar defeated the world-class pairing of Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman 5 and 4. Despite going up against two of the top international stars in all of professional golf, Woods and Kuchar managed to end the match after 14 holes.
In turn, Woods became the most decorated competitor in the history of the Presidents Cup.
Tiger Woods: 21st career match won at @PresidentsCup - passes Jim Furyk for most matches won all-time.— Justin Ray (@JRayESPNGolf) October 3, 2013
In the words of Barney Stinson, legen—wait for it—dary!
Woods is the most decorated player of his generation, winning 14 major championships and shining at the Presidents Cup. After dominating the opening measure of the season, however, Woods was falling apart.
Fortunately, his Day 1 Presidents Cup performance ended that stretch of underwhelming struggles.
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Starting Hot, Finishing Slow
During his first 11 PGA Tour events of the 2013 season, Woods won five separate titles—more than any other golfer won all year. That includes a win as recently as August, when he won the Bridgestone Invitational at 15 under par. The second-place golfers finished at eight under.
Can Tiger Woods continue his Presidents Cup success?
Since then, Woods is 0-for-5 with just one top-10 finish.
In his most recent tournament, Woods shot an even 242, while 21 other golfers finished under par. Eleven of those players shot five under or better, and Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker all managed to shoot greater than 10 under.
Just as he'd done throughout the year, Woods started hot and finished slow.
It's something we rarely expect to see from Woods, who has carved out a legacy as one of the most feared closers in golf history. It's shocking to see someone of his caliber struggling to piece together comeback victories.
The Presidents Cup offers an excellent opportunity for a turnaround performance as Woods shines in the clutch for Team USA.
Presidents Cup Brilliance
For all of his failures over the past two months, Woods still managed to bounce back and dominate the first round of the Presidents Cup. Woods and Kuchar played a bogey-free 18 holes with eight birdies, setting the pace for a dominant performance.
Woods was the key to that pace as the player who led off every hole.
On a day in which two American teams collapsed during the final holes of their respective matches, Woods and Kuchar remained strong. Not only did they defeat two of the better closers in golf, but they also maintained an explosive style of play.
The end result was a 5-and-4 win.
Woods and Kuchar deserve equal amounts of praise, but it was Tiger who started things strong and helped the team achieve victory. In turn, Woods ended up helping Team USA get out to a one-point lead on a day in which his countrymen fell apart.
He'll need to do it again on Day 2, but Woods has broken out of his funk so far.