What you missed: U.S win Presidents Cup amid a week full of controversies in golf


What you missed: From the USA's fight back to win the Presidents Cup to a week full of controversies from around the world of golf

Golf certainly had itself a week when it came to controversy, both on and off the course last week. And we aren't just talking about the Presidents Cup.

The drama from Patrick Reed's penalty at the Hero World Challenge predictably rolled over in to this week, but things escalated after he celebrated with a controversial 'shove' mime, and was left without his regular caddie after he got in to an altercation with a fan during Saturday's play.

The only silver lining for the U.S team in that regard was Reed's rally to gain his first point of the week against C.T Pan, as the American's fought back from being down all week to win the Presidents Cup for the eighth consecutive time, 16-14. 

Captain Tiger Woods was at the forefront of that victory: He was the only player on either side to win every match he played, and achieved a Presidents Cup record in the process. 

Elsewhere, banned European Tour player and Ryder Cup star Thorbjorn Olesen pled not guilty to a sexual assualt charge, PGA Tour player Tommy Gainey was arrested in relation to a prostitution sting, and the Ladies European Tour have announced a new tournament in Saudi Arabia. 

USA rally to win Presidents Cup 

The United States came from behind to win the 2019 Presidents Cup 16-14, claiming eight of the 12 available points during Sunday's singles matches. 

The U.S. had trailed ever since falling 4-1 down in the opening fourball matches. Both teams then earned 2.5 points from the first foursomes session, before the Internationals increased the gap with a 2.5 - 1.5 win in the following day's fourballs. That was quickly halved when the USA won the final team matches 3-1, which gave the International side a 10-8 lead heading in to the final 12 singles matches on Sunday. 

Captain Tiger Woods led from the front to capture the first point of the day against Abraham Ancer, and Patrick Reed levelled the scores with his win over C.T. Pan before Dustin Johnson defeated Haotong Li to put the U.S ahead. From there, they were never behind, and Matt Kuchar sealed their victory by ensuring a half against Louis Oosthuizen.

"We did it together," said an emotional Tiger Woods after his team claimed the Presidents Cup for the eighth consecutive time.

"We came here as a team. My teammates and my boys all played well. The [assistant] captains did an amazing job of just being there for every little detail. I couldn't have done it without all their help and all my boys. They did it."

Recap: How the USA won the Presidents Cup
Presidents Cup: Final Results


Tiger Woods makes Presidents Cup history 

Not only did Tiger Woods' side rally from 10-8 to win the Presidents Cup for the eighth consecutive time at 16-14, but he also earned himself another spot in the record books with his singles win over Abraham Ancer. 

Woods, who was just the second playing Captain in the history of the contest, was the standout performer for the United States side, winning all three of his matches. 

He and Justin Thomas won the solitary U.S. point of the first fourballs session, and paired up again to win their foursomes match on the second day of play. Woods then followed it up with a 3&2 victory over Abraham Ancer in the singles matches to earn the first crucial point for his side, and began taking off his hat in celebration before his ball had even found the bottom of the cup. 

With his three wins, Woods has now overtaken Phil Mickelson by winning the most matches by a Presidents Cup player, with 27. It puts his all time record to 27-15-1 from nine appearances.

tiger woods

A week of controversy for Patrick Reed 

Even without the fallout from his controversial two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge, Patrick Reed was always bound to receive plenty of heckling at the Presidents Cup. He's a polarizing figure, known to deliberately play up to the crowds in team events, but this week went beyond that.

And while Rory McIlroy might have been fighting his corner, he wasn't in Australia. Instead, Reed was facing disdain from people like International player Cameron Smith, who helped fuel the fire when he proclaimed he has no 'sympathy for anyone that cheats'.

The tone of the contest was soon set on the first tee on Wednesday when someone called out to Reed: "you gonna make your caddie carry 14 clubs and a shovel?". He didn't reply to that, but the following day he traded his customery 'shhh' for a rehearsed looking shovel action after holing a birdie putt - something he was quickly blasted for on social media.

But things only escalated on Saturday morning, and Reed's caddie and brother in law Kessler Karain was involved in altercation with fan during his third straight loss, and was subsequently banned from being by Reed's side in the singles matches.

"Riding on the cart, guy was about 3 feet from Patrick and said "you f***ing suck"," Kessler said in a statement. "I got off the cart and shoved him, said a couple things, probably a few expletives. Security came and I got back in cart and left. I don’t think there’s one caddy I know that could blame me."

Reed went on to win his singles match against C.T. Pan in convincing fashion during the U.S.A's comeback victory at the Presidents Cup, but he'll be once again be remembered for bringing extra drama to the American teamroom rather than how he played last week.


Thorbjorn Olesen pleads not guilt to sexual assault charge

Thorbjorn Olesen has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and being drunk on an aircraft
The Ryder Cup star, named as Jacob Thorbjorn Olesen in court, pleaded not guilty to three charges during a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.

Olesen, 29, only spoke to confirm his personal details and deny the charges, which the court heard included having sexually touched a woman without her consent during his flight back from Nashville to London on July 29. He also faces a charge of assault by beating against a second person.

The five-time European Tour winner was flying back to London following the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis, and he was arrested when the plane landed. He was subsequently suspended by the European Tour pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

He had previously indicated that he intended to plead not guilty.

A trial date has been set for the 11th of May, 2020.


PGA Tour player Tommy Gainey arrested as part of prostitution sting, then posts bail and players at Korn Ferry Tour Q School Finals

PGA Tour player Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey, 44, was charged with soliciting a prostitute last week as part of a big prostitution and human-trafficking sting that saw 124 people arrested. 

According to CNN, Gainey was released with a $500 bail for his charge, which is a misdemeanor in Flordia. 

He then teed up on Thursday and shot a 66 in the first round of the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School Finals, but failed to earn his Tour card. 

tommy gainey

Ladies European Tour announce controversial new tournament in Saudi Arabia

The Ladies European Tour have announced that they are adding a new tournament in Saudi Arabia to their schedule in 2020 - marking the first time a female golf event has been held in the country.

Staged in collaboration with Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, the 72-hole tournament will be held at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club from 19-22 March 2020.

It boasts a prize fund of $1 million, with a field of 108 players, and forms part of The Kingdom's vision to 'increase golf participation significantly in the years to come'.

The new event comes on the heels of a new joint venture announced last month with the LPGA Tour, where players voted in favour of a partnership which promises increases in both financial and playing opportunities for women.

"I am incredibly excited by this announcement and it is an honour for the Tour to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women's golf event to Saudi Arabia," said Ladies European Tour CEO Alexandra Armas.

"Confirmation of adding Saudi Arabia to our schedule for 2020 is an exciting prospect for everyone at the Ladies European Tour and having seen the quality of the event staging for the Saudi International, I am sure this will be a fantastic experience for our players."

The tournament itself follows in the footsteps of the divisive Saudi International on the men's European Tour - controversial for its staging in a country with a dubious human rights record - which held its inaugural staging last year. 

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