MELBOURNE — The U.S. golf team won the Presidents Cup because they were the better team, not because they were more accustomed to its format, captain Fred Couples said after his team's fourth straight victory in the biennial tournament on Sunday.
Internationals captain Greg Norman said the tournament should allow the hosts to pick the format after his players were routed in the foursomes matches, which the United States play on alternate years against the Europeans in the Ryder Cup.
The U.S. won eight out of 11 of the foursomes, the margin greater than their winning total of 19-15, but the Internationals more than held their own in the four-ball and singles formats.
Norman, who lost his second successive Cup to the Couples-led Americans, also called for an extra two captain's picks for the Internationals saying there were at a relative disadvantage being spread across the globe and playing a number of different tours.
Couples suggested Norman's comments were sour grapes.
"We won this week because we were better players, and I think we have a little motivation, and we teamed well and we won," he told reporters. "I don't know what they would have said if they would have won.
"Everything would have been fair. But we won, and you know, I'm not saying anything bad to Greg.
"I'm just saying, I don't get that. We had 10 players, they got two picks. We got ten players and two picks and we won."
Couples placed four of his seasoned campaigners in the final singles matches and it proved a masterstroke as they notched four straight wins to secure victory after the Internationals made an early charge.
Tiger Woods, in his seventh Presidents Cup appearance sealed the win with his crushing 4&3 victory over Aaron Baddeley after 41-year-old Jim Furyk beat Ernie Els to post a perfect 5-0 record for the tournament, only the fourth to manage the feat in the tournament's history.
It was the Americans' seventh win from nine editions of the tournament but only their first outside of North America and was clinched at the venue of their sole loss in 1998.
"I give the guys a lot of credit, because obviously they came a couple weeks before this tournament, and we had a game plan to come play as a team, win as a team, and that's what we did," Couples added.
"The best thing I feel great about is our team won in Australia on away soil, which is a demanding task.
"We'll be celebrating, staying up late, and we have flights tomorrow, but you know, I think it's not top secret, but we'll have a beer or two and gamble a little bit tonight.
"We're staying at the Crown [casino], and we'll hang out and tell stories about how we won."
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