Romero’s bogey hands UBS Cup to US

The United States retained the UBS Cup after a dramatic 12-12 tie with the Rest of the World at Sea Island.

Eduardo Romero looked like securing the visitors' first victory in the Ryder Cup-style event when he led Scott Hoch with one hole to play in the decisive 12th singles match.

But the 49-year-old Argentinian bogeyed the 18th and had to settle for half a point, meaning unlike the Presidents Cup's controversial finish earlier yesterday, Arnold Palmer's side kept the trophy as defending champions.

Hale Irwin had set the ball rolling for the home side with a record-breaking 7&5 thrashing of Bernhard Langer, and Bruce Lietzke and Mark O'Meara quickly added more points with 6&5 wins over Barry Lane and Ian Woosnam respectively.

Captain Tony Jacklin stopped the rot with victory over his opposite number Arnold Palmer, and Nick Faldo then went on to level the match scores with a two-hole victory over Curtis Strange.

Colin Montgomerie birdied the last to halve his match with Tom Watson and veterans Des Smyth and Bill Longmuir then appeared to have swung the contest the visitors' way with crucial wins over Craig Stadler and Rocco Mediate.

But Brad Faxon held on to beat a determined Carl Mason 2&1 and the first of two crucial halved matches kept the United States alive.

Australia's Rodger Davis left a 10ft putt to win his match on the 17th inches short and bogeyed the last hole to halve with Ray Floyd.

And then Romero saw Hoch eagle the par-five 15th as he recovered from two down with four to play.

Romero, who had won his previous two matches alongside Vicente Fernandez, said: "I made one mistake on the last with my second shot, you don't want to miss this green to the right because it's very difficult but that's what I did.

"We played well all week and to finish like this is disappointing. I thought I was going to win especially after going two up after 13. He made a great eagle on 15 and I had a chance on 16 but left it short."

Earlier in the day, Irwin was an approximate nine under par for the 13 holes necessary to beat European Ryder Cup captain Langer, who had won both his previous matches this week alongside Montgomerie.

The 58-year-old three-time US Open champion was four shots better than the previous lowest score to par, the margin of victory was also the biggest ever in the competition and Irwin twice equalled the record for most consecutive birdies, carding four in a row from the second to the fifth and eighth to 11th.

Langer, who famously halved his 1991 Ryder Cup singles match with Irwin as the United States won by a single point at Kiawah Island, said: "It was an awesome display of shot-making and putting and I hated to see it end here because he could have shot 59 today.

British Open runner-up Thomas Bjorn fired a level-par round in Miyazaki to win the Dunlop Phoenix tournament.

On a high-scoring day, the Dane kept his challenge on the rails as his rivals wilted hitting a 71 to finish the tournament with a 12-under-par total.

Bjorn made a poor start to his final round, bogeying the 386-yard first hole before claiming birdies at the fourth and seventh.

A pair of bogeys followed immediately to undo that good work. But a final-hole birdie was enough to ensure he ended the day on level par to hold a two-shot winning lead over Daisuke Maruyama.

Overnight leader Sergio Garcia blew a three-shot lead with a disastrous final round, hitting six bogeys and one double-bogey in his seven-over-par 78.

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