• Presidents Cup: Rating Ernie’s men

    Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman
    The good and bad at Royal Melbourne

    Compleat Golfer rates the Internationals after they ran Tiger Woods’ USA team close at the Presidents Cup but ultimately fell short at Royal Melbourne.

    Abraham Ancer (3-1-1) – 8.5/10

    The Mexican star did not disappoint on debut and left as one of the players of the event. Asking to play Tiger Woods in the lead out match was probably a step too far though.

    Sungjae Im (3-1-1) – 8.5/10

    Tied Ancer as the leading points scorer for the Internationals, the rookie left with an enhanced reputation and will be the foundation for many future Internationals teams. He was solid all week and demolished Gary Woodland on Sunday in a rare singles win for his team.

    Byeong Hun An (1-2-2) – 7/10

    Coming in as a replacement for Jason Day, the rookie played all five matches (with three different partners) and despite his well-written struggles with his putter did a fine job. His miss late on Saturday cost his side a bigger lead going into the singles where he ran out of steam against Webb Simpson.

    C.T. Pan (2-1-0) – 7/10

    Yet another rookie to stand up in this tough event. Was appointed as the main compliment to Hideki Matsuyama and earned two points for his work. He ran into a motivated Patrick Reed in the singles and showed his class by coming back from his 6 down through 7 start with four wins in the next six.

    Hideki Matsuyama (2-1-1) – 6.5/10

    A good but not great week. And that’s because of his dramatic halved matched against Tony Finau on Sunday. As one of the leaders of the team – by world ranking anyway – he needs to get out there and win matches to gives his side the mental belief.

    Cameron Smith (1-1-1) – 6.5/10

    The home favourite was sparingly used as Ernie Els’ stuck to his moneyball approach. He earned his side a point by beating the in-form Justin Thomas but alongside Sungjae Im dropped a half when they let Woodland/Fowler back into their Friday foursomes match. One of a number missed opportunities by the hosts this week.

    Louis Oosthuizen (2-1-1) – 6/10

    He started like a man possessed as he worked his charms on the famed design. While all across the pond were hyping up Tiger, Oosthuizen was doing the business for Els. He slipped up alongside Scott on Saturday and then coughed up a huge lead against Matt Kuchar in the singles. A week that might’ve been personified by the de facto leader of the squad.

    Adam Scott (2-2-1) – 5/10

    The veteran of the team turned back the clock early in the competition and produced some of his best stuff and was unbeaten after two days. He then missed a putt on 18 to drop half a point against Kuchar/Finau and combined with Oosthuizen to lose to Woodland/Johnson. Was blown away by Xander Schauffele in the singles as his fast start to the Presidents Cup became a thing of the past.

    Adam Hadwin (1-1-1) – 5/10

    Struggled with illness and did an okay job. He was one of the players to lose a Friday point on the last hole but battled to a half against an out of sorts DeChambeau.

    Marc Leishman (1-2-2) – 4/10

    One of the leaders of the team but struggled to produce even his B game. Scrambled a half in his singles against Fowler although the cup was already won. Just one of the veterans to struggle.

    Joaquin Niemann (0-3-1) – 3/10

    Much was expected of the 21-year-old but he never looked at the races. Never at the races against Cantlay in the singles.

    Haotong Li (0-2-0) – 0/10

    The less said about Li the better this week. Ignored Ernie’s call on the first hole on Saturday. Played out of turn on the next and was four over through 15 in his loss against Johnson.

    Ernie Els (Captain) – 8/10

    Surprised many with his picks over the first two days and was within 90 minutes of watching his side start Saturday with a 8 point lead. He did all that he could but was undone by a US side motivated to deliver the cup for Tiger.

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