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Akshay Bhatia

2019 Presidents Cup Preview

Summary

 

The 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club will be held from December 9th to December 15th – Monday through Sunday.

Tiger Woods has been elected the United States Presidents Cup Captain, and Ernie Els is the International Captain. The odds at sites like 5Dimes have team USA favored to win. And not just slight favorites, either. USA is listed at -250 or 2/5 to hoist the cup in Melbourne, which implies a 71.4 percent probability. 

The Presidents Cup is an arena for the world’s best golfers to go head to head in a team setting. Like the promos say, it’s a chance for them to lay it all on the line. But how do they decide who gets the honors? 

The 2019 Presidents Cup is made up of the top eight FedEx Cup point holders since the culmination of the 2017 BMW Championship though the 2019 BMW Championship on August 18th for the US team. The International team consists of the top eight holding the most Official World Golf Rankings points accrued from the Dell Technologies Championship in August of 2018 until the BMW Championship in 2019.

The number of captains has changed this year. Previously there were two captains per side, but that has been adjusted to four per team.

Let’s look at the teams.

United States Presidents Cup Team

Tiger Woods, Captain – Assistants: Fred Couples Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker

1. Brooks Koepka 8,310

2. Justin Thomas 6,949

3. Dustin Johnson 6,643

4. Patrick Cantlay 5,898

5. Xander Schauffele 5,753

6. Webb Simpson 5,532

7. Matt Kuchar             5,520

8. Bryson DeChambeau 5,341

International Presidents Cup Team

Ernie Els, Captian – Assistants: K.J. Choi, Geoff Ogilvy, Trevor Immelman, Mike Weir

1. Marc Leishman 192.94

2. Hideki Matsuyama 187.11

3. Louis Oosthuizen 184.68

4. Adam Scott 180.30

5. Abraham Ancer 160.39

6. Li Haotong 128.63

7. Pan Cheng-tsung 125.77

8. Cameron Smith 124.17

It’s important to note that the captains and their assistants do not play. In addition to the eight automatic, points-based qualifiers, the captains choose four additional players to round each team out to 12 members. If you are familiar with the Ryder Cup, the match-play format is similar. The captains will choose the pairings for the doubles events and alternate shot/ best ball.  

If you are wondering why the United States team is so heavily favored, it’s because they’ve won six straight events. The USA has dominated since 2005. In 2003, when the event was held in South Africa, we saw a tie between Jack Nicklaus’  and Gary Player’s teams. And the only time Team INternationa has won, was back in 1998, 21 years ago at the very same venue where the Presidents Cup will be held this year: Melbourne. So, the United States has a stranglehold on the Presidents Cup, winning 11 of the 13 events and tieing in one. But if there was ever a venue where the International team has a great shot, it’s where they’ve won before. With the exception of Melbourne in 2011 and Incheon, South Korea in 2015, all of those US wins have been in North America. They lost in Oz and tied in South Africa. So, we should expect a highly competitive event in 2019, even if Bubba can’t play due to his injured left knee.

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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