Heading into Sunday's 12 singles matches, the United States needed just three-and-a-half points to win the 2013 Presidents Cup.
After losing a huge lead at the 2012 Ryder Cup, however, the Americans knew they couldn't approach the all-important finale with anything less than 100 percent focus.
Thankfully for the players and their fans flooding Muirfield Village, the United States earned one more point than it needed to secure the victory.
After Tiger Woods hung on to beat Richard Sterne 1-up, the team won the 2013 Presidents Cup by a final score of 18.5-15.5, as noted by the Associated Press, which also noted it was the fifth win in a row for the Americans:
There were many impressive performances throughout the final day, but the following players set themselves apart by playing their best golf under extreme pressure.
Jason Dufner, United States
If you've ever watched Dufner play for a few holes, then you're aware he isn't the kind of player who wears his emotions on his sleeve. But those who assume his lack of expression means he doesn't play the game with serious competitive fire would be mistaken.
The International team earned the first point of Sunday's singles matches when Jason Day defeated Brandt Snedeker (more on that later), and the Americans needed to respond quickly.
Hunter Mahan answered with a point of his own, and then Dufner brought the United States to within two points of the win by beating Brendon de Jonge 4 and 3.
Utilizing razor-sharp approach shots, Dufner gave himself scoring opportunities and simultaneously put intense pressure on de Jonge.
He opened the day with a birdie on No. 1, thanks to a pin-seeker on his approach shot.
After winning his match, Dufner finally smiled—sort of—as noted by golf fan Mark Dempsey:
He earned that half-smile.
Jason Day, International
The International team needed a miracle in order to pull off a huge upset. Heading into Sunday, Nick Faldo's team needed to score nine-and-a-half points to win the event.
Day came out with a sense of purpose and immediately gave his teammates a huge shot in the arm. He ended up beating Brandt Snedeker by a huge margin, 6 and 4, to give the International team the first point of the day for either team.
Snedeker had been playing well over the weekend, too, winning in both the third and fourth sessions. But Day was unstoppable on Sunday, scoring seven birdies to spark his emphatic win.
Unfortunately, his effort proved to be too little, too late for the International team.
Zach Johnson, United States
After Mahan and Dufner won their matches to move the United States to within two points of securing the win, the International team responded with two more wins. Graham DeLaet and Adam Scott won both of their matches.
After the Americans blew their huge lead in last year's Ryder Cup, the crowd was restless.
Thankfully, Johnson came to the rescue by defeating Branden Grace 4 and 2 to move the United States one point closer to the win, as noted by the Presidents Cup on Twitter:
Tiger Woods went on to seal the victory two matches later, but Johnson's clutch play slowed the momentum of the surging International team.
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