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Day hangs on to win World Cup of Golf

8:07 AM, Nov 24, 2013   |    comments
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Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Day carded a 1-under 70 on Sunday to hang on for a 2-stroke victory at the World Cup of Golf.

Day, who earned his first win since the PGA Tour's 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, finished the tournament at 10-under-par 274.

"It was such a tough week mentally. To play the course and to see my mom on Saturday morning was a real blessing," Day said in a televised interview. "Today was the toughest day, not only because it was Sunday. We had a little bit of rain over the night, which softened up the greens, but they started to get really firm and fast during the back part of our round."

Thomas Bjorn bogeyed two of his last three holes at Royal Melbourne Golf Club to close out a 71 and finish alone in second place at 8-under 276, while Adam Scott matched the low round of the day with a 5-under 66 to claim third at minus-7 and Matt Kuchar (71) took fourth at 6-under.

Ryo Ishikawa (69) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (70) shared fifth at 3-under 281.

With Day and Scott capturing two of the top three spots, Australia handily won the team competition by 10 strokes with a combined score of 17-under-par 551 over the United States team of Kuchar and Kevin Streelman.

It is the first time the World Cup has been won by the host country's team since 1996 when the South African team of Ernie Els and Wayne Westner captured the cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

"I have a great partner who carried me through the whole week and obviously he won the individual, which is fantastic," stated Scott. "That I got my act together and that we won the World Cup for Australia is something that I think one day we'll both look back on and be very proud of."

After Day and Bjorn both opened their final round with a bogey at the first to move to 8-under and 7-under, respectively, the duo traded birdies at the second to maintain their 1-stroke difference.

Day then stuck his second shot at the fourth to within five feet and converted the short birdie to move two strokes clear of Bjorn at minus-10.

A 2-stroke swing at the par-3 fifth, however, pulled Bjorn even with Day as Bjorn rolled in a lengthy birdie, while Day found a bunker with his tee shot before 2-putting for bogey.

But Day bounced right back by holing out his second shot at the sixth for an eagle to reclaim the outright lead at 11-under. He was handed a 3-stroke lead at the same hole when Bjorn failed to convert his par putt.

Bjorn stumbled to another bogey at the seventh to fall further off the pace at 7-under.

Scott would briefly join Bjorn in second with a birdie at the 11th before Day's errant drive at the 10th led to a double-bogey 6 to drop him to 9-under.

Bjorn then reclaimed sole possession of second with about a short birdie putt at the 11th, and later pitched his second shot at the par-4 13th to within a foot and kicked in that short birdie to meet Day atop the leaderboard.

After Day and Bjorn traded birdies at the 15th to both reach 10-under, Bjorn bogeyed the 16th to fall a shot behind.

The Dane would not be able to atone for his mistake over the final two holes and fell further off the pace at the 18th after finding a greenside bunker with his second shot.

He would need two shots to escape the hazard en route to a bogey, dropping him to 8-under.

Day, meanwhile, stuck his second onto the green and calmly 2-putted for par and to close out the victory.

"Thomas was slow and steady out there, and he played such good golf coming in too. I'm just glad that I held on. I played some good, solid golf today and I'm very proud with how I handled myself out there today," said Day.

NOTES: Day, who was making his first appearance at the World Cup of Golf, earned $1,200,000 with the victory. He is the third Australian to win the individual title ... Australia won the World Cup for the fifth time ... The tournament consisted of 60 players representing 34 different countries based on the Official World Golf Ranking. The top two players from each country were teamed up and their scores were combined to account for their team score.

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