CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A lot has modified for the reason that final Presidents Cup was performed, when captain Tiger Woods led the 2019 U.S. group to a 16-14 victory at Royal Melbourne Golf Membership in Australia.
In simply the previous week, it was introduced Greg Norman goes to Congress to advocate for LIV Golf, Cameron Smith received one other $4 million on the LIV Golf circuit and Max Homa defended his title on the Fortinet Championship.
Whereas skilled males’s golf stays extra splintered than ever, the game will come collectively — not less than these gamers who’re nonetheless eligible to compete on the PGA Tour — on the 14th Presidents Cup at Quail Hole Membership beginning on Thursday.
One factor that is still the identical? With 5 of the highest 10 gamers on the earth, U.S. captain Davis Love III’s group is as soon as once more a large favourite. The People have received eight consecutive occasions and in 11 of the previous 13 conferences. Worldwide group captain Trevor Immelman needed to reshape his roster after a number of gamers, together with Smith, defected to the LIV Golf circuit.
Love’s aim forward of the occasion is to ensure his group is not overconfident.
“I do not suppose we have now to do an excessive amount of messaging or motivation,” Love mentioned. “Actually you do not need to be on a dropping group ever, and we all know we’re up towards it. Trevor goes to have a group that is acquired a chip on their shoulder and that is motivated and needs to show that they will nonetheless be aggressive. We’ve got to watch out. Actually these guys aren’t going to take it mendacity down.”
Here is what to anticipate on the Presidents Cup this week:
The way it works
The Presidents Cup, which pits a 12-man U.S. group towards a 12-man Worldwide group (excluding Europe), is a four-day match-play occasion. There are 30 matches and the group that has the best level complete after 4 days is the winner.
Thursday contains 5 foursome (alternate shot) matches.
Friday contains 5 four-ball (finest ball) matches.
Saturday contains eight matches, break up between 4 foursome matches within the morning and 4 fall-ball matches within the afternoon.
Sunday’s finale contains 12 singles matches.
Every match is price one level and each groups obtain a half-point for every tie. There is no such thing as a playoff if the groups are tied after Sunday’s singles matches.
On paper, not less than, the American group would appear to be an awesome favourite to win one other Presidents Cup. Every of the 12 gamers on the U.S. group is ranked within the prime 25 within the Official World Golf Rating, together with 5 of the highest 10. The Worldwide group has simply three gamers ranked within the prime 25.
The common world rating for the U.S. group members is 11.6; the Worldwide group’s common is 48.9.
The U.S. group consists of: Scottie Scheffler (No. 1 on the earth), Patrick Cantlay (No. 4), Xander Schauffele (No. 5), Justin Thomas (No. 7), Collin Morikawa (No. 9), Sam Burns (No. 12), Jordan Spieth (No. 13), Tony Finau (No. 14), Billy Horschel (No. 15), Max Homa (No. 16), Cameron Younger (No. 18) and Kevin Kisner (No. 25).
The Worldwide group contains: Hideki Matsuyama (No. 17), Sungjae Im (No. 19), Joohyung “Tom” Kim (No. 22), Corey Conners (No. 26), Adam Scott (No. 30), Ok.H. Lee (No. 43), Mito Pereira (No. 49), Sebastian Munoz (No. 63), Cam Davis (No. 66), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (No. 67), Si Woo Kim (No. 76) and Taylor Pendrith (No. 109).
Who’s not enjoying?
The Worldwide group was dramatically depleted by gamers defecting to the LIV Golf circuit. The Presidents Cup is sanctioned by the PGA Tour, so LIV golfers who had been suspended by the tour are ineligible to compete at Quail Hole.
Australia’s Cameron Smith, the third-ranked participant on the earth and Open Championship winner at St. Andrews, would have been the highest-ranked participant on the Worldwide group. Chile’s Joaquin Niemann (No. 21), Mexico’s Abraham Ancer (No. 24), South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (No. 33) and Australia’s Marc Leishman (No. 61) additionally would have been certain issues to make the group.
India’s Anirban Lahiri (No. 95) competed within the Presidents Cup in 2015 and 2017 and can also be ineligible this 12 months.
“Oh, undoubtedly going to overlook it,” Lahiri mentioned finally week’s LIV Golf occasion outdoors Chicago. “It is near my coronary heart. I have been on two groups. Very proud to have been part of them, they usually had been very, very particular weeks for me. I will be supporting the Worldwide group wholeheartedly this subsequent week, and I hope our boys go on the market and put in an enormous effort and play actually good. Yeah, I imply, it is one thing that I care about deeply, and it is unlucky how issues are, however I want them the very best.”
Added Niemann: “Yeah, it is unhappy to see it, however clearly I’ll be supporting the Worldwide group. I’ve acquired a variety of buddies there and a variety of skilled golfers that we share lots throughout the 12 months, throughout the season. Yeah, I’ll be supporting them, and hopefully they beat the People.”
Will Zalatoris, who picked up his first PGA Tour victory on the FedEx St. Jude Championship final month, would have been on the U.S. group. He needed to take away himself from consideration due to a again harm. Two-time main champion Dustin Johnson (No. 23) additionally would have been strongly thought of for a captain’s selection.
What to anticipate
Not solely do the People have a large benefit in the case of world rating, however they’ve additionally been way more profitable within the three largest match-play occasions: the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play, Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.
Scheffler, who picked up his third PGA Tour victory within the WGC match-play event in Austin, Texas, in late March, is 11-2-2 in particular person matches over the previous two seasons. He memorably took down Spain’s Jon Rahm, who was then the No. 1 participant on the earth, within the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
Kisner received the Austin occasion in 2019 and was runner-up to Scheffler this previous season. He has a 22-7-2 document in particular person match play. Horschel, who’s making his debut in a group occasion as a professional, is 13-7-2.
The Worldwide group has eight President Cup rookies. Solely 4 of its gamers have competed in additional than seven match-play matches as a professional: Matsuyama (11-11-3 particular person), Conners (6-4), Scott (22-21-2 particular person) and Si Woo Kim (5-9-3 particular person).
Rerouting the Inexperienced Mile
Quail Hole Membership’s final three holes, dubbed the “Inexperienced Mile,” are thought of a number of the most troublesome and dramatic holes in skilled golf.
The sixteenth is the longest par-4 gap on the course and has a big peninsula inexperienced with hazards on three sides. The treacherous par-3 seventeenth has water in entrance and down the left facet of the inexperienced. The par-4 18th has a creek working down the left facet of the golf green, which appears to be a ball magnet as strain mounts. In relation to par, it is sometimes essentially the most troublesome ending gap on the PGA Tour.
For the Presidents Cup, these holes might be performed as Nos. 13, 14 and 15 to make sure that they arrive into play throughout matches. On the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne, every of the 30 matches reached the fifteenth gap, however 18 of them had been determined earlier than the 18th gap.
“There’s simply nowhere to cover on these holes,” Immelman mentioned. “You simply need to step up and hit an important shot. There’s simply no room to bail out. Simply actually demanding. I feel it was an excellent concept to place these three holes within the meat of the again 9. I [can] 100% foresee a few these holes you’ll be able to win with a par, no drawback. It will be nice stuff.”
As a part of the rerouting, Quail Hole’s common 14 by way of 18 holes might be moved ahead to grow to be holes 11 by way of 15 this week. So the gamers will full the normal holes like this: 1 by way of 8, 12 by way of 18, 10, 11 and 9.
The par-71 course is predicted to play greater than 7,500 yards, so size off the tee might be at a premium.
One other huge change at Quail Hole Membership from the Wells Fargo Championship, which is historically performed in early Could, might be fairways which were overseeded in Bermuda grass. The Bermuda grass greens determine to be firmer and the tough just a little thicker in late-summer situations as effectively.
Gamers do not receives a commission for competing
In contrast to the Ryder Cup, gamers do not obtain cash for competing within the Presidents Cup. As an alternative, they every obtain $150,000 to distribute to charities of their selection. Since 1994, the Presidents Cup has generated greater than $54.4 million for charity, together with $5.4 million in 2019.