Coming into team tournaments like the Presidents Cup, much like major tournaments, all eyes are on the highest ranked players in the world. The exception for the 2011 Presidents Cup was captain's pick Tiger Woods of the USA, who didn't exactly have a golf season that suggested he was one of the best 12 American golfers on the PGA Tour. Fred Couples picked Tiger for his experience and ability and that pick paid off, but he was far from the team's biggest star in the Americans' 19-15 win over the International team.
Instead of Woods or any of the top-ranked golfers on the United States team, Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan were the best performers for their squad. Furyk was perfect, going 5-0 as he played all five rounds of action. He partnered Phil Mickelson in their wins in the first three rounds of competition, then partnered Nick Watney in a huge one-up win over Ernie Els and Adam Scott in Saturday four-ball. On the final day, he defeated Els easily, 4&3, after the USA had lost six of the first eight singles matches.
Mahan was nearly as good. Though him and David Toms lost in Friday four-ball, he competed in and won in all four other rounds, capping off his performance with a 5&3 victory over Jason Day in singles that broke up a string of four-straight International wins on the final day.
This is now the sixth consecutive time the USA has won the Presidents Cup and the fourth straight time that they have won it outright, with the lone tie in the competition's history coming in 2003. Since the Presidents Cup started in 1994, the International team has won just once.