We are on the eve of the Presidents Cup getting underway and just before it does there is enough time to have a look through the various player markets that have been priced up for the competition as a whole as well as the two teams involved.
Back in the day these were easy markets to bet on because everyone played in all but one session however that isn’t the case anymore. The only session everyone plays is the singles so there is a little more strategy to work out.
Top Overall Scorer
I think the first thing we need to state is the Top USA market is null and void this week. I fully expect a USA landslide here so if the top overall scorer isn’t American I’ll be amazed so for an American player I’m targeting this market rather than the USA one. Then we just have to work out who to be with. The default setting in this market in the last few events of this kind has been Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele but incredibly they didn’t team up for all the pairs sessions at Whistling Straits and if USA are dominating they might get a Saturday session off here too. Scottie Scheffler is the other at the head of the market but he’s never played a competitive round at Quail Hollow and him butchering the Tour Championship is way too fresh in the memory for me to back him.
It is Justin Thomas for me. His finest moment came on this course when he won his first major here five years ago and he can ride those good memories to a good week. He will be out alongside Jordan Spieth for most of the week and while they didn’t fare so well around Whistling Straits I think they could be ideal for this track. The other thing about Thomas is that you would back him to beat nearly everyone on the Internationals team in a singles match which might be the difference between him and Spieth should they partner each other all week. Spieth has a terrible singles record in these team events so singles could be the separator. At 10/1 Thomas feels overpriced to me.
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Top International Scorer
Unlike with the American market where you would imagine a minimum of four points will be needed to win, it might be that anyone that gets more than a couple of points for the International team lands the odds in their market. There is a great divide in this Internationals side in terms of quality. They have three or four top class players, four competent ones and then their four weakest players in terms of the world rankings are way below the rest.
The problem the Internationals have early doors in this competition is their four strongest or most experienced players are out against the two strongest American pairs which might count against Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im and Corey Conners. Matsuyama has fitness issues to overcome anyway. That leads me to the potential next superstar within this side in Joohyung (Tom) Kim. He showed in Scotland all the class he has and then won the Wyndham Championship just down the road from here so he’ll have good memories from this part of the world. He is a youngster so there is no reason why he can’t play five matches but doesn’t yet have the profile within the side that he’ll run into the elite US pairings initially. At 8/1 he looks a big price despite his lack of Quail Hollow experience.
Top International Wildcard
There are six wildcards in both teams and while I’ve no interest in working out who will play where for the USA and then come out of it with a two or three way tie, the International group looks more accessible in terms of a bet, not least because Trevoe Immelman has left two of them out of his opening foursome selections. Those two are Sebastian Munoz whose form doesn’t cut the mustard here so he is unlikely to play either foursomes session and Christiaan Bezuidenhout who isn’t long enough for this track and it is hard to see where he plays.
That leaves us with Cameron Davis, K-H Lee, Taylor Pendrith and Si Woo Kim and while the latter is the most experienced of the four, I think Davis is the one to be with. He’ll be out alongside Kim in the opening foursomes but you’ve got to think a natural pairing at some point would be Davis and Adam Scott and the Australian has the length to be a danger in singles play as well. While his form here is nothing spectacular, he was T26 in the Wells Fargo earlier this year and was much better than that until a final round struggle. 7/2 on the Aussie who should get good pairings all week makes sense to me.
Back J.Thomas Top Overall Scorer (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 with Betfair (1/4 1-4)
Back T.Kim Top International Scorer (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 with BetVictor (1/4 1-3)
Back him here:
Back C.Davis Top International Wildcard for a 2/10 stake at 4.75 with Bet365