USA secure Presidents Cup 18.5-15.5
Chris DiMarco sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to beat Australia's Stuart Appleby and secure Presidents Cup victory for the U.S. over the Internationals by 18-1/2 points to 15-1/2 on Sunday.
DiMarco's one up win earned the Americans the 18 points they needed to clinch the trophy for a fourth time.
U.S. PGA champion Phil Mickelson and Argentina's Angel Cabrera then halved the last singles match out after finishing the regulation 18 holes all square.
The sides had been deadlocked at 11-11 overnight after three days of pulsating foursomes and fourballs action, but the Americans came out blazing on Sunday and won five of the first seven matches.
But they had to hold off an inspired Internationals fightback at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club before the title was decided in the Virginia twilight by the final pairing on the final hole.
DiMarco delivered the decisive blow with a nerve-jangling putt to preserve his team's unbeaten Presidents Cup record on home soil and send the partisan American crowd into delirious celebration.
It was a fitting conclusion to four days of fluctuating team competition as the trophy found a home for the first time since 2000. The 2003 match ended in a 17-17 draw in South Africa.
"This is unbelievable," said a jubilant DiMarco. "What can you say when the greatest player in the world (captain Jack Nicklaus) has enough trust in you to put you out last.
"All I thought about as I was making that putt was getting him the win."
In an emotional season, Nicklaus has bade farewell to competitive major golf at the U.S. Masters and British Open. It was the American team's prime objective to give him a winning send-off by delivering him his first team title as a captain.
Widely regarded as the greatest player in history, Nicklaus led the U.S. to defeat at the 1998 Presidents Cup in Australia and had to settle for a shared trophy in South Africa when he captained the side for a second time.
DiMarco, with his trademark fist-pump often to the fore, produced some inspired play on his way to four wins and a half during the week to lead the U.S. charge.
One of the most combative players on the PGA Tour, the 37-year-old did not flinch when he stepped up to take the winning putt, although he later conceded: "That was probably the most pressure I've ever felt."
Justin Leonard set the tone for the U.S. in the first singles match out, crushing South Africa's Tim Clark 4 and 3.
Leonard, who had lost all three of his previous Presidents Cup singles, went one up at the first hole and put the match beyond Clark's reach with eagles on 10 and 12.
David Toms maintained the U.S. momentum with a 2 and 1 win over South Africa's Trevor Immelman before Kenny Perry steamrolled past Australia's Mark Hensby 4 and 3 after reeling off eight birdies in 15 holes.
Toms's victory capped a courageous effort by the 38-year-old American, who last week collapsed midway through his opening round at the 84 Lumber Classic with chest pains and a rapid heartbeat and was taken to hospital.
Once his team's Presidents Cup celebrations are over, the 2001 U.S. PGA champion is expected to return to hospital for an operation to correct the problem.
South Africa's Retief Goosen, helped by several monster putts, recorded the first point of the day for the Internationals with a gritty 2 and 1 comeback win over world number one Tiger Woods.
It was the first Presidents Cup singles defeat for Woods in four matches.
Nicklaus had earmarked Woods's clash with Goosen as a key matchup and the Masters and British Open champion seemed poised to deliver a crushing victory after three successive birdies from the second left him one up.
The South African was up to the challenge, though, rolling in a 45-foot chip for an eagle at the par-five third before draining a 49-foot birdie putt at the ninth to get to back to all square.
After the turn, the back problems that had bothered Woods all week flared up again and Goosen closed out the match to revive the Internationals' title bid.
"The last nine holes, it was giving me problems," Woods said of his sore back. "I had my opportunities to take control of the match but I didn't make the putts."
The fightback by the Internationals continued as Canada's Mike Weir beat Scott Verplank, Australia's Peter Lonard won against Stewart Cink and U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell put paid to Fred Funk -- each of them by 3 and 2 margins.
However, Jim Furyk posted a 3 and 2 victory over Australia's Adam Scott and Fred Couples, who holed the winning putt for the U.S. at the 1996 Presidents Cup, won a close tussle with world number two Vijay Singh by sinking an 18-footer at the last.
The one up win by Couples left the U.S. two points short of victory and Davis Love II edged them a step closer with a 4 and 3 success over Australian left-hander Nick O'Hern.
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