The U.S. team won its ninth straight Presidents Cup title, beating its international rivals 17 1/2 to 11 1/2 on Sunday, and Cal’s contribution to the championship was significant.
Max Homa, 31, on the heels of his best season on the PGA tour, went 4-0 over four days in his Presidents Cup debut, including a 1 up victory over Tom Kim in singles competition on Sunday.
It was a spectacular weekend for the world’s 16th-ranked player. Only Jordan Spieth, at 5-0, topped Homa's 4-0 mark. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler struggled to an 0-3-1 record.
Unlike most of the season, this event is not about individual glory and cash paydays. Spieth echoed Homa's sentiments about how it feels to participate in a team event representing his country.
"I think Max said it really well: 'You just can't put a price on it,'" Spieth said. "There's really nothing that's more enjoyable."
Collin Morikawa, 25, beat Mito Pereira 3 and 2 on Sunday, giving him two wins against a single defeat in his first run at the Presidents Cup. Morikawa did not play on Friday.
Add it up and the two Golden Bear alums were 6-1 against the international team, meaning that all other Americans played .500 golf — a combined record of 11 1/2 to 11 1/2.
The Americans leaped out to a 10-4 lead after Friday at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, NC, before the international team — its roster depleted by defections to the LIV tour — put up a fight over the final two days.
Xander Schauffele clinched the win when he made a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory over Corey Conners, triggering an hour-long celebration while the final matches were completed.
Homa trailed Kim 4-1 after 11 holes but won Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 15 to go in front. He teamed up with Tony Finau to win in the foursomes format on Thursday and Saturday, and he birdied Nos. 17 and 18 on Friday to clinch a win in four-ball with Billy Horschel.
Here’s how the Golf Channel described Homa’s victory:
Mr. Twitter proved too tough for Thomas the Tank Engine. After going 3-0 in team play, Homa completed a 4-0 week by rallying from a 3-down deficit after 11 holes. He birdied four of his next five holes, grabbing a 1-up lead after No. 15. Kim had a 5-footer for birdie at the last to tie the match, but he couldn’t orchestrate any more heroics after a 2-0 Saturday. Kim finished his debut Cup 2-3.
Morikawa won on Nos. 4, 7, 8 and 10 to build a four-hole lead in his Sunday acts vs. Pereira. The ninth-ranked player on the world, paired in the foursome competitions with PGA Rookie of the Year Cameron Young, winning on Thursday before losing on Saturday.
Here’s the Golf Channel’s capsule of Morikawa’s Sunday match:
Though Morikawa won handily, Pereira didn’t play poorly. The two combined to go bogey-free on the front nine, but Morikawa led 3 up after nine holes thanks to three birdies and an eagle from 14 feet at the par-5 seventh. Morikawa added three birdies on the back, including a 25-foot make at the par-5 16th to tie the hole and win the match.
The Americans own an overall record of 12-1-1 against the international team in a series that began in 1994.
Cover photo of Max Homa by Peter Casey, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo