Another Presidents Cup, another US victory. Is it time we just accepted it isn’t working and call it a day? It’s this week’s Alternate Shot…
Yes, writes Alex Perry
I find it very hard to get up for the Presidents Cup – and it’s nothing to do with my nationality. This year is the most I’ve been excited about it.
What a team. Hideki Matsuyama has had one of the best years of any golfer on tour; Marc Leishman has been on fire recently; Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel are major champions; Si-woo Kim is the Players champion; Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Hadwin have PGA Tour wins to their name this season.
The problem seems to be the ability to gel as a team. The Ryder Cup works because the Americans are all pals with cultural similarities, similarly with the European team. The International team this year was made up of three Australians and three South Africans, with everyone else from completely different corners of the globe.
I can’t imagine Matsuyama and Hadwin going on Spring Break together.
I don’t believe world rankings play any part when it comes to a team match play event, but if you do, then here are the stats: More than half the US team are inside the top 20. The entire team is inside the top 30 – the lowest of which is some bloke called Phil Mickelson.
Only six of the Internationals are higher in the rankings than ol’ Lefty. The two captain’s picks, Emiliano Grillo and Anirban Lahiri, wouldn’t even qualify for the majors based on their world rankings – yet here they are taking on the best in the world.
Unless the Internationals get more team events, I can’t see anything other than a continuation of US dominance and a snoozefest for the fans.
No, writes Mark Townsend
When Phil Mickelson launched his stinging attack on Tom Watson at Gleneagles everyone had become a little bored of the Ryder Cup. This was Europe’s third win on the bounce, sixth in the last seven, eight of the last 10.
Fast forward almost three years to the day the Americans are now, supposedly, unbeatable, the best ever. Things change and, for the Internationals, they have to and fast.
They are now 1-10-1 in the Presidents Cup so the easy suggestion is that the competition is done. The Americans have led, incredibly, after the past 31 sessions.
Which, given that it might have been decided a day early, is fair enough.
But, again, things change. It was only two years ago that these matches went down to the final match.
Obviously, though, there are problems. Nick Price’s side contained eight different nationalities.
They, as Adam Scott alluded to, are more ‘invested’ in the process of winning.
They also need a bit of a leg up. Before 2015 they got a rule passed that reduced the number of matches from 34 to 30. There is also talk of getting it down to three days so that number might go down again.
And they need some more practice. The Americans have the Ryder Cup so play a team event every year, the Internationals don’t.
Back to Scott. “We need more practice of team play. When you are playing every year, they are getting good at it now, and they are breeding. They found a system these last few years and they are winning.”
Which side of the Alternate Shot debate are you on?
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