DUBLIN, Ohio —
Even though the Americans clinched a tie with more than an hour left, it took until Woods in the ninth of 12 matches to secure the win.
“There was no intensity. We played and enjoyed the day and the people here in Columbus,” Phil Mickelson said after he made four bogeys in the last five holes and lost a match that ultimately didn’t matter to Angel Cabrera. “I thought it was going to be closed out early. On 12 or 13, they said, ‘Your match is going to count.’ What? We ended up winning. That’s all that matters.”
It looked like the rout was on early.
Hunter Mahan quickly dispatched of Hideki Matsuyama. Jason Dufner never trailed in beating Brendon de Jonge. Zach Johnson overwhelmed Branden Grace, keeping the South African winless for the week. That gave the Americans 17 points and assured them a tie. But it took more than an hour for them to clinch the cup thanks to a spirited effort by Price’s team.
Graham DeLaet, who earlier Sunday chipped in from in front of the 18th green to help earn a half-point, holed out from a bunker on the 18th for birdie to give him a 1-up win over 20-year-old Jordan Spieth. Ernie Els made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and won his match when Steve Stricker missed birdie putts on the last two holes.
Adam Scott and Jason Day won their matches, and Marc Leishman gave the Internationals yet another point when he made a 15-foot par from the back of the 18th green.
It figured to come down to Woods, who won despite not making a single birdie on the back nine.
He grabbed his back after trying to hit fairway metal into the par-5 15th green, though Sterne missed an 8-foot birdie putt to halve the hole. The match turned on the par-3 16th, when Sterne’s tee shot cleared the water, the green and nearly the sky boxes. He made bogey as Woods went 1-up.