Sunday, 17 November 2002
Arnold Palmer suffered the heaviest defeat of the day against Gary Player but had the last word over his old adversary when his United States team retained the UBS Warburg Cup at Sea Island, Georgia, with a 14 ½ - 9 ½ victory over the Rest of the World.

Palmer, who captained the US to a 12 ½ - 11 ½ win at Kiawah Island 12 months ago, lost 6 and 5 to Player, who avenged last year’s singles defeat by the same opponent. However the rest of the United States side rallied round their skipper and, needing only to share the singles 6-6, instead won the session 8-4 to keep possession of the trophy.

The Rest of the World, trailing 5 ½ - 6 ½ going into a final day more reminiscent of a British winter, with temperatures dropping to the thirties fahrenheit, produced two outstanding wins when Barry Lane accounted for Scott Hoch by one hole and Ian Woosnam defeated Tom Kite 3 and 2.

Lane, making his debut in the event, said: "I played lovely all day. I had maybe two bad shots but it’s always tough when it’s as windy as it was today."

However the writing was on the wall for the Rest of the World when Curtis Strange wrung a measure of revenge over his fellow Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance, with a 4 and 3 win over the Scot.

Then Paul Azinger delivered another point courtesy of a typical flourish from a bunker, similar to his heroics at The De Vere Belfry when he eagled the 15th to close out Bernhard Langer 4 and 3.

Langer, the newest member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, was disappointed to be part of a losing side for the second successive year but commented: "It’s been tremendous to be here and part of the UBS Warburg Cup along with the other players. It’s a shame about the weather but it was a great content.

"Paul played fantastic and whenever he’s in a bunker you know he’s either going to hole it or go very close. The Ryder Cup proved that. He’s one of the greatest bunker players ever."

Tom Lehman, claiming his third successive win out of three during the week, then accounted for Eduardo Romero 2 and 1 in three under par figures which belied the bitingly cold conditions while Hale Irwin, at 57, played his 17 holes in two under par in beating Rodger Davis 2 and 1.

Like Azinger, Irwin holed a superb bunker shot at the 15th to help him on his way to an impressive win.

At 11 ½ - 8 ½ it seemed that Fred Funk would have the honour of earning the clinching point, but his opponent, Isao Aoki, won the final three holes to earn a half. That made the score 12-9 and ensured the US would retain the trophy.

The moment of victory arrived soon afterwards as Ray Floyd protected his 100 per cent record from three ties with a 2 and 1 win over Seiji Ebihara while Bob Gilder beat Stewart Ginn by one hole and tom Watson halved with Denis Durnian.

Palmer, victorious for the second time as US captain, said: "I'm very pleased and proud and happy that we were able to retain the UBS Warburg Cup. I think what we accomplished with the cameraderie and competition says it all. Simply, these are good, clean matches.

"They are things that can bring nations together and the world together and particularly the game of golf. I was captain of the Ryder Cup a couple of times but there was not the same warmth that there is here."

Player, gracious in defeat, commented: "I would endorse Arnold's remarks. It makes us feel good when glf is played in such a spirit. The United States simply played better than us and deserved their victory."

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