Presidents Cup: Are Europe better than USA & Internationals?

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We preview the Presidents Cup – with an added European twist

We thought it would be fun to look at how Europe compare statistically when put up against the American and International teams in Seoul for the Presidents Cup.

We chose the top 12 European golfers in the world ranking and compared them to the two teams to be sent out by Presidents Cup captains Jay Haas and Nick Price.

We tallied up the world rankings, Major wins, season wins and season top 10s to see who would emerge victorious in a dystopian future where three-way team golf was a legitimate thing…

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EUROPE

Rory McIlroy 
WR: 3 
Majors: 4 
Season Wins: 2 
Season Top 10s: 7

Henrik Stenson 
WR: 6 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 8



Justin Rose 
WR: 7 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 8



Sergio Garcia 
WR: 11 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 5



Martin Kaymer 
WR: 20 
Majors: 2 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 5



Shane Lowry 
WR: 21 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 4



Paul Casey 
WR: 23 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 8



Danny Willett 
WR: 25 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 7



Bernd Wiesberger 
WR: 30 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 6



David Lingmerth 
WR: 41 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 4



Ian Poulter 
WR: 42 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 4



Lee Westwood 
WR: 43 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 3

AVERAGE RANKING: 23  MAJORS: 7  MAJOR WINNERS: 3  SEASON WINS: 7

If Europe were playing the Ryder Cup tomorrow with this team, they’d be in serious trouble. Team talisman Rory McIlroy is out of form although he should be at his peak in Hazeltine next year, while Poulter, Westwood and Kaymer have had poor seasons by their high standards. In fact, neither Poulter nor Westwood are likely to be involved next year unless their form picks up, despite their immense Ryder Cup records.

There are reasons to be optimistic, however; Lowry, Willett and Lingmerth have had strong seasons and all look capable of winning any event they play in bar the Majors. There have also been recent returns to form for Stenson and Casey, who could be crucial players for Europe next year. 


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USA


Jordan Spieth 
WR: 1 
Majors: 2 
Season Wins: 5 
Season Top 10s: 15


Bubba Watson 
WR: 4 
Majors: 2 
Season Wins: 2 
Season Top 10s: 10


Jimmy Walker 
WR: 16 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 2 
Season Top 10s: 6


Zach Johnson 
WR: 10 
Majors: 2 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 10


Jim Furyk 
WR: 9 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 7


Rickie Fowler 
WR: 5 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 3 
Season Top 10s: 8


Dustin Johnson 
WR: 8 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 11


Patrick Reed 
WR: 19 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 4


Matt Kuchar 
WR: 15 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 8


Chris Kirk 
WR: 27 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 3


Bill Haas 
WR: 28 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 5


Phil Mickelson 
WR: 24 
Majors: 5 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 3


AVERAGE RANKING: 14  MAJORS: 12  MAJOR WINNERS: 5  SEASON WINS: 18


On paper, as is usually the case, the USA should be favourites to win the Presidents Cup next week with vastly superior stats to the International Team. America can boast 5 players within the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking and no player with a higher ranking than 28. They also have the highest number of majors and major winners plus a great mixture of youth (Spieth, Reed and Fowler) and experience (Watson, both Johnsons, Kuchar, Mickelson). Kirk and Haas could prove to be weak links but have earned their spots in the team with Mickelson being the most questionable wildcard pick: he has no wins and only 3 top 10s this season.


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INTERNATIONAL


Jason Day 
WR: 2 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 5 
Season Top 10s: 11


Louis Oosthuizen 
WR: 12 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 6


Adam Scott 
WR: 13 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 3


Hideki Matsuyama 
WR: 14 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 9


Branden Grace 
WR: 22 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 2 
Season Top 10s: 5


Marc Leishman 
WR: 37 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 4


Anirban Lahiri 
WR: 39 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 2 
Season Top 10s: 4


Charl Schwartzel 
WR: 47 
Majors: 1 
Season Wins: 0 
Season Top 10s: 5


Thongchai Jaidee 
WR: 32 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 5


Danny Lee 
WR: 36 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Wins: 8


Steven Bowditch 
WR: 58 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 2


Sangmoon Bae 
WR: 85 
Majors: 0 
Season Wins: 1 
Season Top 10s: 5


AVERAGE RANKING: 33  MAJORS: 4  MAJOR WINNERS: 4  SEASON WINS: 13



Trailing behind Teams USA and Europe in both Average world ranking and Majors won should mean this International Team stand little chance of an upset next week. However, they have arguably the most in-form golfer on the planet in Jason Day plus a string of young Presidents Cup rookies who have had great seasons this year. These include Anirban Lahiri, whose T-5th finish in the US PGA Championship announced his arrival on the world stage, Danny Lee, who finished 9th in the FedEx Cup standings this season and Sangmoon Bae, whose surprise inclusion may pay dividends if he can harness the support of his home crowd in South Korea. Nevertheless, they do have a worrying number of players out of form in their ranks: Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel have had their worst seasons on Tour for years, while Louis Oosthuizen has been quiet since losing out in a playoff at The Open. In addition, Bowditch and Jaidee look weak in comparison to the American squad and could struggle.

Verdict: You can only conclude that the USA are the strongest team on paper.The emergence of Jordan Spieth to become World No 1 and strong seasons for the likes of Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson gives them the most in-form line-up.
For Europe, meanwhile, not one of last year’s Ryder Cup team will look back on 2015 and say it was one of their best seasons.
Indeed, of last year’s Ryder Cup team, Stenson, Kaymer, Garcia, Westwood, Poulter, McDowell, Dubuisson, Donaldson, Bjorn and Gallacher have failed to win an event between them.
That leaves McIlroy and Rose, the former’s season badly affected by injury and even Rose failing to build on a brilliant Masters when only Spieth denied him a Green Jacket.
The International team lacks the strength in depth of the two. But you wouldn’t bet against their star names, the likes of Day, Scott, Oosthuizen and Matsuyama, too often.

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