The new PGA Tour season takes a break this week so the leading American players can take on the star international golfers in the 2022 version of The Presidents Cup, an event in which the players who aren’t here are making as much news as the ones who are.
There is a good chance this will be the final time we see this tournament, at least in this format, so hopefully the two teams can put on a bit of a show. The Americans are defending the title and are warm order to keep hold of it.
2019 – USA
2017 – USA
2015 – USA
2013 – USA
2011 – USA
2009 – USA
2007 – USA
2005 – USA
2003 – Tied
2000 – USA
30 points are up for grabs this week so the team who gets to 15.5 will win the Cup. If it ends 15-15 there will be the second tie in the history of the tournament. Each team has 12 players in it and unlike the early runnings of this event not everyone plays on the opening two days so strategy comes into play a little more in keeping with the Ryder Cup.
The tournament begins with five foursomes matches on Thursday before five fourballs matches on Friday. There are two rounds on Saturday. They begin with four foursomes and are followed by four fourballs and then the tournament will be decided over the course of 12 singles matches on Sunday. Each match is worth a point to the winner or 0.5 for both sides if it ends all square after 18 holes.
The course will be familiar to the players because Quail Hollow is the host this week and it is a track which is used each season on the PGA Tour when it comes to taking part in the Wells Fargo Championship. The track is a par 71 which at its full length can play as long as 7,576 yards so it can certainly be a bit of a brute, although with this being match play the home captain might decide to shorten it a little.
This tournament will see the course set up in a different order. The famous holes on this course at ‘The Green Mile’ which in the Wells Fargo will be the closing three holes but to ensure those relevant holes are in use more often than not they will be holes 13-15 this week. This is generally a course for the big drivers of the golf ball and a course where on no hole is par a bad score even in four balls. Dry weather should allow the course to play firm and fast.
We are going to hear a lot about the three Americans who aren’t here this week in Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, all part of the victorious Ryder Cup team last season but the 12 who have been selected for battle are still incredibly strong. They are led by the world number one Scottie Scheffler with the five other automatic qualifiers coming in the form of Sam Burns, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau. Will Zalatoris would have been here but for injury which means the six players picked by Davis Love III are Cameron Young, Billy Horschel, Max Homa, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa and Kevin Kisner.
It is this team who have been impacted the most by the LIV Tour. Regulars such as Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace were unavailable to captain Trevor Immelman while the likes of Cameron Smith, Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann would have been certainties for this team. It leaves the six automatic qualifiers as Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, Joohyung Kim, Corey Conners, Adam Scott and Mito Pereira. Immelman then got six picks and his choices were K-H Lee, Sebastian Munoz, Christan Bezuidenhout, Taylor Pendrith, Si-woo Kim and Cameron Davis.
It is hard to see anything but a USA destruction job in this tournament. While there are five changes from the Ryder Cup team from last season, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau didn’t really offer too much overall and neither did Daniel Berger and Harris English. Dustin Johnson is the one they will miss but then you look at this American side and from a year ago Scottie Scheffler is twice the player he was while Billy Horschel and Max Homa probably offer more than English and Berger would do. Cameron Young and Sam Burns are more than capable too.
That USA team last year demolished a good European side and this Internationals team doesn’t look nearly as strong as that Europe did and they are not suited to Quail Hollow at all with very few long drivers in their team. This could be something of a massacre for the visiting side not least because I just don’t see them winning many more than three points in singles. If they do only win three points in singles then the Internationals would need to win the four pairs sessions overall to stay closer than six points in the overall score so USA -5.5 looks a great bet. I actually think the winning margin might be double the six and at the prices 21-9 USA at 18/1 feels like it has every chance to me.
Back USA (-5.5pts) for a 6/10 stake at 1.80 with BetVictor
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Back USA to win 21-9 for a 1/10 stake at 19.00 with Boylesports
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