The US team of Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland surged past Ireland in the final round to win the golf World Cup.
It was America’s 24th title but the first since Tiger Woods and David Duval won in 2000. The English due of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose carded a superb final round of 63 to finish joint second with Germany on 22 under par.
Kuchar and Woodland finished on -24 after a closing round of 67 that was solid, if unspectacular. However, with the Irish team of McIlroy and Graeme McDowell only managing a bogey-studded round of 72 the Americans stole the show at the Mission Hills Course. It was the second time in three years that the Irish had led on the final day without winning.
Two years ago they were beaten by the Italian Molinari brothers and this time an outward nine with two bogeys and two birdies saw them fall two shots behind the Americans. It was a frustrating day for the Emerald Isle players as another birdie at 10 took them to within a shot but they gave that back almost immediately at 12. A further shot went on the par-three 15th after the team’s tee shot found sand and their challenge was effectively finished.
In contrast to this the US side made steady progress throughout the day with just one bogey on the 11th hole. A swift response with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 moved them clear and with Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka only able to card a 69 the title was headed back to America once again.
The Irish finished joint fourth with Australia, Netherlands and Scottish twosome Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher.