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Big win for the Americans, and for Weir

Tiger Woods, Sunday Presidents Cup
Robert Beck/SI
Woods played against International team member Mike Weir on Sunday.

MONTREAL (AP) — The United States won the Presidents Cup. Mike Weir gave Canada quite a consolation prize.

The Americans won enough of the singles matches Sunday to capture the Presidents Cup for the second straight time, giving them an international victory in cup competition for the first time since 1993.

That didn't stop the relentless cheers that rocked Royal Montreal on a spectacular autumn day, especially when Weir won the final two holes to beat Tiger Woods and send his country home feeling like a winner.

Weir won the Masters four years ago, and he wasn't sure which felt sweeter.

"It's right there with it," Weir said. "Obviously, winning the Masters was such a thrill, but to play Tiger ... he's the best player there is, and I had to play my absolute best today to beat him."

He needed some help from the world's No. 1 player.

With the match all square and Weir safely in the 18th fairway, Woods pulled his tee shot and watched it land in a pond, just a few yards short of a Canadian flag fans were holding behind the ropes.

Weir hit his approach to 15 feet, and after Woods' chip for par stopped rolling 2 inches from the cup, he conceded the putt.

By then, the Americans were celebrating something far more important.

"I lost," Woods said after changing into sneakers. "But the team won the cup, and that's the important thing."

The International team won seven matches, not nearly enough to avoid the inevitable: United States 19 1/2, International 14 1/2.

For the Americans, it was another victory for their beloved captain, Jack Nicklaus, who now is 2-1-1 in the Presidents Cup. It also was the first time Nicklaus won in Canada. He was runner-up seven times in the Canadian Open, including a playoff loss at Royal Montreal in 1975.

Woods and Weir shared a hug on the 18th green as thousands of fans crammed into the bleachers. The crowd covered every blade of grass around the green and chanted, "Mike! Mike! Mike!"

"I told him I was proud of how he handled himself," Wood said. "He had to carry and entire country on his shoulders. Not too many people can play as well as he did. He handled it magnificently."

The Americans were superb.

Scott Verplank completed a 4-0 week with birdies on the 16th and 17th to beat Rory Sabbatini, 2 and 1. Phil Mickelson hammered Vijay Singh, closing him out on the 14th hole while wearing soft spikes. Woody Austin finally lost in a meaningless match against U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera, but he continued to keep the Canadian crowd entertained. Walking up the 14th fairway, Austin put on a mask to mock his plunge into the lake on the 14th hole Friday.

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