McIlroy and McDowell slump to let Americans lift World Cup


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The Independent Online

The United States won the Golf World Cup in China yesterday after a final round of 67 was enough for Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland to capture the title by two strokes from Germany and England.

Starting the foursomes two behind overnight leaders Ireland, Kuchar and Woodland carded six birdies and a bogey at the Mission Hills Resort on Hainan Island to finish 24 under-par and lift the trophy for a 24th time.

England enjoyed a strong finish to the tournament as Ian Poulter and Justin Rose returned a 63 that featured an eagle, eight birdies and a bogey to end 22 under. They tied for second with Germany, who posted a 69.

Irish duo Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, could only produce an even-par 72 as they missed out on the last day for the second consecutive time after finishing runners-up to Italy in 2009, their score of 21 under par leaving them in a tie for fourth with Scotland, the Netherlands and Australia.

After ending America's 11-year wait for the title following Tiger Woods and David Duval's victory in 2000, Kuchar said: "When I got selected to represent the United States in the World Cup, I also got to choose my partner, and I knew it was going to be a great honour to come here to play for the United States, and I thought that if I picked the right partner, I'd have a real shot at winning the title.

"And I chose Gary Woodland, thinking he would team up well with me, we would have the best shot of winning this title and he played fantastic.

"I have no doubt that he was the best player in the field, and for me, it was a lot of riding his coat-tails, trying to keep encouraging him to keep it going, because he played some great golf.

Birdies at the first and second set the Americans on their way as they assumed the lead on the front nine and, after picking up further shots at the sixth and seventh, Kuchar and Woodland had established a strong position by the turn.

"It's a tough format, and both of us picked each other up when the other one got in trouble and to go out and shoot." Woodland said. "I don't know what we shot today, we got off to a hot start early, played solid on the back and really we were not in trouble in the back at all. It was a good day."