Sports Events and Previews

2017 Presidents Cup – International Competition Returns to the USA

2017 Presidents Cup

Post by: Mike Philipps

With the PGA Tour season over, international team play takes center stage as the 2017 Presidents Cup returns to American Soil. Liberty National Golf Club (Par 71, 7,353 yards) in Jersey City, New Jersey serves as the host of the four-day event between the United States and all other non-European countries. A total of 30 points will be up for grabs – the first team to collect 15 ½ points wins the Cup.

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Here is the 2017 schedule:

  • Day 1: Five foursomes (each team plays one ball, alternating shots)
  • Day 2: Five fourballs (each player plays their own ball, with the team taking the best score)
  • Day 3: AM – four foursomes
  • Day 3: PM – four fourballs
  • Day 4: 12 singles

The United States has won six Presidents Cups in a row and nine of the 11 times it has been played. Last year was the closest result since the teams tied in 2003. Bill Haas – a captain’s pick by his father, Jay Haas – was slotted in the anchor singles match, and held off a hard-charging Sang Moon Bae to win the decisive point.

2017 Presidents Cup Betting Odds

Betting on the Presidents Cup looks a bit different than it does compared to regular golf tournaments due to the team-play nature of the event. Some betting sites are only taking wagers on the winning team while others are offering odds on a variety of markets.

Below is a look at what our favourite golf bookmakers are paying for outrights and the top points scorer for each team.

Now, let’s take a look at each team, preview their chances and work our way through each team’s full roster.

American Team Preview and Players

Captain: Steve Stricker (First International Captaincy)

Six players will be making their first Presidents Cup appearance for the rookie captain. Only two players have more than two career appearances (Mickelson and Kuchar), but what the American team lacks in experience, it makes up for in talent. All 12 of the American players are ranked in the top 30 of the current World Golf Rankings, with four in the top 10.

* – denotes player was a Captain’s pick

Dustin Johnson

  • World Golf Ranking: 1
  • Appearances: 2 (2011, 2015)
  • Record: 4-4-1
  • Singles Record: 1-1 (def. Danny Lee 2&1; lost to Charl Schwartzel 2&1)
  • Liberty National: T15, 2009; MC, 2013
  • What to Know: Johnson is the top point-getter for this year’s Presidents Cup and last year’s Ryder Cup teams. He won his singles match in last year’s Ryder Cup against Chris Wood, but lost his last Presidents Cup match to Danny Lee. Johnson, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, won four times on the PGA Tour this year, including the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play event. He won all seven of his matches that week, holding off Jon Rahm in the finals. Johnson led the PGA Tour in three ball striking Strokes Gained categories: Total, Off-the-Tee and Tee-to-Green.

Jordan Spieth

  • World Golf Ranking: 2
  • Appearances: 2 (2013-15)
  • Record: 5-4-0
  • Singles Record: 0-2 (lost to Marc Leishman 1 up, Graham DeLaet 1 up)
  • Liberty National: T19, 2013
  • What to Know: Spieth is winless in four singles matches in international team play, but he’s 5-2-0 in foursomes and four balls at the Presidents Cup. He was 2-2-1 overall in last year’s Ryder Cup. Spieth finished the PGA Tour season with a bang, placing in the top seven of all four Playoff events. For the season he had three victories and six more top-fives. He led the PGA Tour in Scoring Average and in Birdie Average.

Justin Thomas

  • World Golf Ranking: 4
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Thomas all but locked up the 2016-17 PGA Tour Player of the Year by winning the FedEx Cup after his solo second at the TOUR Championship last week. The 24-year-old won five times on Tour this year, including his first major at the PGA Championship. His 13 top-10s were tied for the most on the PGA Tour. An incredibly explosive player, Thomas ranks eighth on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance and second in both Birdie and Eagle Average. This will be his first team experience as a professional, but certainly not his last.

Rickie Fowler

  • World Golf Ranking: 8
  • Appearances: 1 (2015)
  • Record: 1-3-0
  • Singles Record: 0-1 (lost to Adam Scott 6&5)
  • Liberty National: T9, 2013
  • What to Know: Fowler ranked second on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting and in Scoring Average, helping him rack up 11 top-10s for the season. Fowler has struggled in four career team competitions, amassing a 3-7-5 record, though he did put together a winning record at last year’s Ryder Cup (2-1-0). Despite a tremendous season, Fowler’s season ending in rough fashion, struggling at the TOUR Championship, finishing T-26 in the 30-man field.

Daniel Berger

  • World Golf Ranking: 25
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Berger, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, is another of the Americans that is making his debut in international team play. For the season, he earned five top-five finishes with a second-straight win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He made it all the way to the TOUR Championship for the third time in three years on Tour, though he struggled down the stretch this year.

Brooks Koepka

  • World Golf Ranking: 11
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: After a slow start to the season, Koepka was consistently excellent over the last seven months. He made the cut in his last 15 starts, highlighted by his first major win at the U.S. Open. The big-hitting Koepka ranked seventh on the PGA Tour in Driving Distance, helping him rank fifth in Birdie Average. Koepka was impressive in his team debut at last year’s Ryder Cup. He compiled a 3-1-0 record, dominating Masters champ Danny Willett in singles.

Kevin Kisner

  • World Golf Ranking: 24
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Kisner earned his way onto his first international team by collecting a win and seven more top-10 finishes during the 2016-17 season. The former Georgia Bulldog struggled since losing the 54-hole lead at the PGA Championship – he didn’t crack the top 40 in his next four starts – but he bounced back with a T-3 at last week’s TOUR Championship to finish 12th on the final FedEx Cup Points Standings.

Patrick Reed

  • World Golf Ranking: 20
  • Appearances: 1 (2015)
  • Record: 1-2-1
  • Singles Record: 0-0-1 (halved with Louis Oosthuizen)
  • Liberty National: MC, 2013
  • What to Know: Reed earned the nickname ‘Captain America’ after his remarkable performance in last year’s Ryder Cup. He finished with a 3-1-1 record – bringing his career Ryder Cup record to 6-1-2 – including a win over Rory McIlroy in singles. Reed’s 2016-17 PGA Tour season was underwhelming, but he finished strong. He earned a T-2 at the PGA Championship and a T-6 at the Dell Technologies Championship.

Matt Kuchar

  • World Golf Ranking: 12
  • Appearances: 3 (2011-15)
  • Record: 4-7-2
  • Singles Record: 0-3 (lost to Branden Grace 2&1, Marc Leishman 1 up, Retief Goosen 1 up)
  • Liberty National: T28, 2009; T19, 2013
  • What to Know: Kuchar is the second-most tenured player on the American team with three Presidents Cup appearances. He has played in each of the last seven international team competitions, compiling a 10-14-4 record in the process. Since missing the cut at the Shell Houston Open in April, he’s played the weekend in each of his last 16 starts, finishing in the top 10 in eight of them. He placed in the top 16 in all four majors this year. He ranks third on the PGA Tour this year in Scrambling, converting over 65 percent of the time.

Kevin Chappell

  • World Golf Ranking: 26
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: T15, 2013
  • What to Know: Chappell earned the first PGA Tour victory of his career with a win at the Valero Texas Open back in May. It was his first start after a T-7 result at the Masters, and those were two of his five top-10s in the last five months of the 2016-17 season. This will be Chappell’s first time playing in an international team event as a professional.

Charley Hoffman*

  • World Golf Ranking: 23
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: T31, 2009; 70, 2013
  • What to Know: Hoffman just missed making the team on merit, ranking 11th in the Presidents Cup points standings. He set a career-high in cuts made this season with 23, and his six top-five finishes in 2016-17 were two better than his previous high. He will be making his debut in international team play at the age of 40.

Phil Mickelson*

  • World Golf Ranking: 30
  • Appearances: 11 (1994-2015)
  • Record: 23-17-12
  • Singles Record: 3-5-3 (def. Charl Schwartzel 5&4, Retief Goosen 2&1, Vijay Singh 5&4; lost to Angel Cabrera 1 up, Adam Scott 2&1, Retief Goosen 2&1, Mike Weir 4&3, Ernie Els 3&2; halved with Angel Cabrera, Carlos Franco, Fulton Allen)
  • Liberty National: T52, 2009; 2013
  • What to Know: Mickelson has played on every Presidents Cup since the event’s inception, so his experience was as big a reason why he was selected as a Captain’s Pick despite his recent play. He was co-leader in points earned on the 2015 Presidents Cup team with 3 ½. He has lost just one of his previous eight international team matches, including an incredible halve with Sergio Garcia in last year’s Ryder Cup singles match. Mickelson made it to the quarterfinals of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play after winning his first four matches.

International Team Preview and Players

Captain: Nick Price (3rd straight Presidents Cup captaincy, 0-2)

Four players will be making their President’s Cup debut for the International team, while seven players have at least two prior appearances. Half of the 12 International players are ranked higher than 35th in the World Golf Rankings, and just two are the top 10. Two players on the roster have ascended to the No. 1 ranking in their career – Day and Scott. Three South African players (Grace, Oosthuizen, and Schwartzel) anchor the team for the South African, Price.

* – denotes player was a Captain’s pick

Hideki Matsuyama, Japan

  • World Golf Ranking: 3
  • Appearances: 2 (2013-15)
  • Record: 3-4-2
  • Singles Record: 1-1 (def. J.B. Holmes 1 up; lost to Hunter Mahan 3&2)
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Matsuyama is the highest-ranked player on the International team. He won six times worldwide in the last 12 months, three times on the PGA Tour. He put together a winning record at the 2015 Presidents Cup after defeating J.B. Holmes in singles. The 25-year-old Matsuyama entered the FedEx Cup Playoffs as the top-ranked player, but struggled in the Playoffs. He failed to finish inside the top 20 in any of the four Playoff events.

Jason Day, Australia

  • World Golf Ranking: 7
  • Appearances: 3 (2011-15)
  • Record: 4-8-3
  • Singles Record: 1-2 (def. Brandt Snedeker 6&4; lost to Zach Johnson 3&2, Hunter Mahan 5&3)
  • Liberty National: T25, 2013
  • What to Know: Day was ranked as the No. 1 player in the world for nearly an entire year from March 2015 to February 2016. Since 2015, he has won eight times worldwide, including the 2015 PGA Championship. While he has underperformed in the Presidents Cup, he has an excellent overall record in Match Play. His 21 wins in the WGC Match Play events is tied for the most in the Presidents Cup field, winning the event in 2014 and 2016. After struggling through a very inconsistent start to the 2016-17 season, Day has gotten his game together over the past six weeks. He has collected three top-10s in his last five starts, giving him five for the year.

Adam Scott, Australia

  • World Golf Ranking: 22
  • Appearances: 7 (2003-15)
  • Record: 13-17-5
  • Singles Record: 4-3-0 (def. Rickie Fowler 6&5, Bill Haas 2&1, Phil Mickelson 2&1, Zach Johnson 2&1; lost to Stewart Cink 4&3, Jim Furyk 3&2, Charles Howell III 5&4)
  • Liberty National: T58, 2009; Win, 2013
  • What to Know: Scott is easily the International team’s most experienced player, and he has four of the 11 total singles match wins this roster owns. He routed Rickie Fowler in the last Presidents Cup, winning 6&5 to extend his personal singles match winning streak to three. Scott is the only player on either roster with a win at Liberty National, winning the 2013 Barclays there.

Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa

  • World Golf Ranking: 21
  • Appearances: 2 (2013-15)
  • Record: 5-3-2
  • Singles Record: 0-0-2 (Halved with Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson)
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Oosthuizen has 17 career match play victories, earning six in the 2016 WGC Dell Match Play event and finishing runner-up to Jason Day. Four of Oosthuizen’s five career wins in the Presidents Cup came in 2015 when he went 4-0-1. The winner of the 2010 British Open, Oosthuizen famously completed the Grand Slam runner-up this year with a T-2 at the PGA Championship. He has finished second in all four major championships during his career.

Marc Leishman, Australia

  • World Golf Ranking: 16
  • Appearances: 2 (2013-15)
  • Record: 3-4-1
  • Singles Record: 2-0 (def. Jordan Spieth 1 up, Matt Kuchar 1 up)
  • Liberty National: MC, 2009; 71, 2013
  • What to Know: Leishman has enjoyed a career year in 2016-17, winning twice in a season for the first time. He has been especially good during the FedEx Cup Playoffs, winning the BMW Championship and finishing third at the Dell Technologies Championship. He is one of only three members of the International team with more than one singles win in Presidents Cup play, and his seven career match play wins ties him for fourth among the International team.

Charl Schwartzel, South Africa

  • World Golf Ranking: 27
  • Appearances: 3 (2011-15)
  • Record: 6-7-1
  • Singles Record: 2-1 (def. Keegan Bradley 2&1, Dustin Johnson 2&1; lost to Phil Mickelson 5&4)
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: The 2011 Masters Champ is one of only three players on the International team with a winning record in singles in the Presidents Cup, and he’s proven to be tough to beat in match play. He amassed 13 victories in his career in the WGC Match Play events. Since a 3-1-1 record in his Presidents Cup debut, he’s gone 3-6-0 the last two years. For the 2016-17 season, Schwartzel has placed in the top-six five times, but his last one came in June. He hasn’t placed in the top 10 in his eight starts since.

Branden Grace, South Africa

  • World Golf Ranking: 42
  • Appearances: 2 (2013-15)
  • Record: 5-4
  • Singles Record: 1-1 (def. Matt Kuchar 2&1; lost to Zach Johnson 4&2)
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Grace was the star of the International Team in the last Presidents Cup, winning all five of his matches after going winless in his debut. He has five worldwide victories since 2014, and his record in the majors during that span is equally as impressive. Grace has five top-six finishes (all in the last three seasons), including a T-6 at this year’s British Open after he fired a major championship record 62 in the third round.

Si Woo Kim, South Korea

  • World Golf Ranking: 39
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Kim has a win in each of his first two seasons on the PGA Tour, including an impressive victory at this year’s PLAYERS Championship. Since winning golf’s “fifth major,” he has finished better than 40th just one time in 11 starts. Kim finished second in his group in his WGC Match Play event debut, defeating Daniel Berger and halving with J.B. Holmes.

Jhonattan Vegas, Venezuela

  • World Golf Ranking: 38
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Vegas is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, winning the RBC Canadian Open the last two years. His latest victory came after a stretch of seven missed cuts in nine starts. He made it to the TOUR Championship for the second-straight season last week, thanks in large part to his T-3 at The Northern Trust. Vegas is the first Venezuelan to play in the Presidents Cup.

Adam Hadwin, Canada

  • World Golf Ranking: 47
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Hadwin has no professional match-play experience, as he only broke into the top 100 of the World Golf Rankings in 2017. He earned his first career PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship in March. He followed that performance up with a sixth-place finish the next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He also earned a T-5 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, giving him five top-10s for the season. He made his first-ever TOUR Championship last week, finishing in 23rd

Emiliano Grillo*, Argentina

  • World Golf Ranking: 60
  • Appearances: 0
  • Record: N/A
  • Singles Record: N/A
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Grillo has just one win in six career singles matches in the WGC Match Play event, defeating J.B. Holmes 3&2 in 2016. He earned the victory in his first event as a full PGA Tour member, winning the Open in 2015, just two weeks after the 2015 Tour Championship. He made the TOUR Championship in his rookie season, but had just two top-10s in 2016-17.

Anirban Lahiri*, India

  • World Golf Ranking: 68
  • Appearances: 1 (2015)
  • Record: 0-3-0
  • Singles Record: 0-1-0 (lost to Chris Kirk, 1 up)
  • Liberty National: N/A
  • What to Know: Lahiri failed to earn a point in his Presidents Cup debut in 2015, and has never played in the WGC Match Play event. Lahiri spent the majority of his time playing the PGA Tour this season, earning a T-9 in his last event, the BMW Championship. He earned his best finish (T-2) at the Memorial Tournament. Lahiri has spent the last 176 weeks ranked in the top 100 of the World Golf Rankings, currently sitting at No. 68.

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