Report cards: United States Presidents Cup team

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USA

Grade
A-

Skinny: The two losses are misleading and the rookie was clutch Friday when he rolled in a 14-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to spark the U.S. rally. Unflappable under the most intense pressure, Cantlay is poised to become a staple on future U.S. teams.


Grade
C-

Skinny: He lost an early lead Sunday to Adam Hadwin for a tie and was strangely absent from all but a single team match, which he lost. It’s always odd when an automatic qualifier is benched without an obvious reason.


Tony Finau (0-1-3)

Grade
B+

Skinny: A relatively quiet week for the American following his impressive debut last year at the Ryder Cup, but he played clutch golf on the weekend for three huge ties that helped swing the momentum in the U.S. team’s favor. Huge singles comeback for a tie.


Rickie Fowler (1-0-3)

Grade
B+

Skinny: Sat out the very first session then never lost a match the rest of the way. Paired with Thomas twice. The late Saturday foursomes collapse prevents him from a higher grade, and the Sunday singles tie didn’t matter because the cup was already decided.


Dustin Johnson (2-2-0)

Grade
B-

Skinny: Came in rusty, having not played in a while and struggled all week on Royal Melbourne’s greens. Still managed a .500 record thanks to a commanding performance against Haotong Li on Sunday.


Matt Kuchar (0-1-3)

Grade
B-

Skinny: Half-points are not to be overlooked and Kuchar collected three of them. None were bigger than the final one in singles where he made birdie on the 17th hole to give the Americans the final half-point they needed to win the cup.


Patrick Reed (1-3-0)

Grade
D

Skinny: Was a distraction all week and continues to prove that without Jordan Spieth as a partner he’s no longer Captain America. But he did wake up Sunday with a 4-and-2 victory over C.T. Pan to salvage an otherwise forgettable week.


Grade
A-

Skinny: Speaks volumes that Woods trusted him enough to have him play all five sessions as a rookie. Paired with Cantlay four times then beat Adam Scott rather handily in Sunday singles. Will make many U.S. teams over the next decade.


Webb Simpson (1-3-0)

Grade
C

Skinny: Saddled with Reed three times in team play and did not perform very well. Once he was alone in singles he seemed to calm down and beat Ben An, who had played really well all week. Simpson did the best he could with the cards he was dealt.


Justin Thomas (3-1-1)

Grade
A-

Skinny: With or without Woods as a partner, JT was a stud and he’s now ascended to the U.S. team’s go-to player in clutch moments and is its emotional epicenter. He was also the American’s top point-earner but he’s lucky the Saturday collapse and Sunday singles loss didn’t come back to haunt him.


Gary Woodland (1-2-1)

Grade
C+

Skinny: He struggled paired with Johnson, although that seemed to be more of an issue with DJ’s game, and dropped a decisive match to Sungjae Im on Sunday. Still, the rookie proved to be the kind of team player the U.S. needs.


Tiger Woods (3-0-0)

Grade
A+

Skinny: Although he raised some eyebrows when he sat himself for both Saturday sessions, the playing captain delivered with a momentum-building early point Sunday to start the rout and finished the week with a perfect record. Incredible what he was able to accomplish as the team’s oldest player.


Grade
A

Skinny: It’s worth making the distinction between captain and player because even though Woods proved to be as good as advertised as a leader, he wasn’t flawless. Bringing Reed back into the fold backfired and was a monumental distraction. Otherwise, the captain pushed most of the right buttons.