It came down to the final group today before the United States won its sixth straight Presidents Cup, but that will be small comfort for Anirban Lahiri.
After the most enthralling day of singles since the Cup was shared in South Africa in 2003, American Bill Haas held his nerve up the closing hole of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, Korea, winning the anchor match 2-up for a 15.5-14.5 overall victory.
The same, sadly, couldn’t be said for Lahiri, who, probably unfairly, will be remembered for a miss on the last green in a see-sawing final hour that changed the momentum terminally against the Internationals.
The Indian debutant looked set to have a putt from inside 1m to win his match against Chris Kirk until the American rolled in a superb 5m putt of his own with their match all square.
It turned Lahiri’s putt into one to save a half point, but he will rue the stroke that blocked the ball right and he watched in disbelief as it hooked left and gave the US an unexpected point.
From there, Victorian Marc Leishman pulled off an upset victory over world No.1 Jordan Spieth, superbly holding his nerve on the last for a birdie to give the International team one last shot at glory.
Earlier, Adam Scott smashed Rickie Fowler 6&5 to give the Internationals the spark they needed to overcome the overnight one-match deficit.
Steve Bowditch won his first Cup singles match, 2-up against Jimmy Walker, but Jason Day couldn’t extend his back-nine comeback and went down 3&2 to Zach Johnson.
The star of the show again was Branden Grace, who remained unbeaten for the week when he took out Matt Kuchar 4&2.
But, as they have for all bar two of the 11 Cups, the Americans stood firm with veteran Phil Mickelson joining Zach Johnson with 3-0-1 records for the week by hammering Charl Schwartzel 5&4.
Louis Oosthuizen halved a classic top match against Patrick Reed to stay unbeaten himself, with a 4-0-1 record after a stellar week.
A day after the 2019 Presidents Cup was awarded to Melbourne, International captain Nick Price said the tension through the final round gave immense hope for the event’s future.
“I don’t think it could have got a whole lot more exciting than that,” Price said.
“Save a couple of shots and a bit of inexperience from us … I’m just so proud of the team.
“I can’t tell you how they’ve bonded – golf is the victor, that’s for sure.
“These guys have now got an impetus to go on from here, some fire to go because it got so close.”