Tiger faces Nemesis today

Tiger Woods will today get the chance at the Presidents Cup of gaining revenge for two of his most notable defeats.

Tiger Woods will today (Sunday) get the chance of gaining revenge for two of his most notable defeats in the final round of singles at the President’s Cup.

South Korea’s YE Yang, the man who came from nowhere to beat Woods in the HSBS Champions in 2007 and then repeated his heroics in this year’s US PGA Championship, has, by “sheer coincidence”, according to Fred Couples, captain of the defending USA team, been drawn to play Woods in the 9th of today’s 12 singles matches that traditionally climax the Presidents Cup.

The so-far unbeaten Woods (4-0) and once-beaten Yang (2½ – 1) have been among the heroes of their teams at Harding Park so far, but while their battle could be an absorbing one, it, somewhat ironically, may have no bearing on the final destination of this year’s President Cup.

With the USA having by far the larger contingent of highest world ranked golfers and with them needing just five points from 12 matches, they may well have sealed the defence of a trophy they have lost only once long before the Woods-Yang duel is over.

Woods, this time, could have the edge over Yang in one respect. He can already claim a victory over the remarkable Asian star here at Harding Park.

He and his perfectly suited partner Steve Stricker (Europe will certainly have to watch out for this World Nos 1 and 3 pairing in next year’s Ryder Cup) stopped the stunning Yang-Ishikawa victory run when they beat the Asian duo 4 & 2 in the Saturday afternoon Fourballs.

In what could be another feature match of the final day’s play the US’s 49-year-old Kenny Perry is lined up to play Ishikawa in an intriguing clash that pits age and experience against youth and optimism.

Interestingly enough, it is Japan’s 18-year-old Presidents Cup debutante who has been the most successful of the two this week with one of his victories, in fact, being over Perry when he and Yang beat Perry and Zack Johnson 3 & 2 in Saturday’s mornings foursomes.

On paper, the US, who have traditionally been at their strongest in the singles, both in the Presidents and Ryder Cup matches, have too much going for them and should not lose the title they have held for so long, but knowing the complexities and the twists and turns of match-play golf, Couples won’t breath easy until his men have won the five matches they need today.

If you look at the pairings below, you will see a fair number of games that could go either way and you can almost see The Shark holding thumbs and hoping that miracles do happen

(USA names first):

Hunter Mahan vs Camilo Villegas (Col)
Stewart Cink vs Adam Scott Aus)
Justin Leonard vs Mike Weir (Can)
Anthony Kim vs Robert Allenby (Aus)
Steve Stricker vs Geoff Ogilvy (Aus)
Sean O’Hair vs Ernie Els (RSA)
Kenny Perry vs Ryo Ishikawa (Jap)
Zach Johnson vs Tim Clark (RSA)
Tiger Woods vs YE Yang (Kor)
Lucas Glover vs Vijay Sing (Fij)
Phil Mickelson vs Retief Goosen (RSA)
Jim Furyk vs Angel Cabrera (Arg)