Can the USA win the Presidents Cup for eighth time in a row?
Presidents Cup 2019 Preview, Teams And TV Times
The USA seeks to regain the Presidents Cup this week at Royal Melbourne Golf Club having won the last seven editions.
Tiger Woods acts as Playing Captain for this 13th edition, a role that has only been seen once in the history of the event – Hale Irwin in 1994 – after Woods picked himself as the final Captain’s Pick.
“As captain, I’m going to choose Tiger Woods as the last player on the team,” Woods said.
“He’s made, what, nine Cups and he’s played in Australia twice in the Presidents Cup, so this will be his third appearance as a player.”
Woods is up against Ernie Els with the pair sharing history in the event after the duo went out and played three playoff holes at Fancourt in 2003 before the match was deemed a half.
Royal Melbourne hosts for the third time after 1998 and 2011, and it was in 1998 where the Internationals won their only Presidents Cup.
Peter Thompson’s International team beat Jack Nicklaus’ USA side 20.5-11.5.
Overall though, the USA leads 10-1-1 after 12 Presidents Cups.
Royal Melbourne’s stunning West and East courses are combined for the Composite Course, which was born in 1959 at the World Cup of Golf.
It features 12 holes from the higher-ranked West and six from the East.
The Presidents Cup takes place over four days, unlike three in the Ryder Cup, with play beginning on Thursday.
Presidents Cup Order of Play –
Thursday: Five fourball matches
Friday: Five foursomes matches
Sat morning: Four fourball matches
Sat afternoon: Four foursomes matches
Sunday: 12 Singles matches
Presidents Cup Day One Matches – Fourballs
10.32pm: Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas vs Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann
10.47pm: Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay vs Adam Hadwin/Sungjae Im
11.02pm: Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau vs Adam Scott/Ben An
11.17pm: Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed vs Hideki Matsuyama/CT Pan
11.32pm: Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland vs Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen
In total, there are 30 matches and 30 points to be won, unlike 28 in the Ryder Cup.
Each team is made up of 12 players, with the USA missing World No.1 Brooks Koepka who withdrew with a knee injury and was replaced by Rickie Fowler.
The Internationals lost former World No.1 Jason Day to a back injury, with Ben An coming in as a replacement.
Ernie Els’ side features a record nine different nationalities and four brand new nationalities for the Presidents Cup as Joaquin Niemann (Chile), CT Pan (Chinese Taipei), Abraham Ancer (Mexico) and Haotong Li (China) all make the first appearance for the respective nations in the competition.
The International side also has seven rookies whilst the USA, which is missing its most experienced player in Phil Mickelson, has five.
Mickelson has failed to make the side, which is the first time he hasn’t been on a US Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup team since 1993.
Lefty holds the record for most Presidents Cup points won with 32.5 as well as most foursomes (14) and fourball (13) points.
Tiger Woods holds the record for most singles points won with six.
The Internationals’ most experienced player is Adam Scott, with the Aussie making his ninth appearance – he has never been on the winning side.
The big story heading into this week is Patrick Reed after the American received a two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge for improving his lie in a waste area.
Reed has faced criticism from the golfing world including from International player Cameron Smith who said he has “no sympathy for cheats.”
Smith also said that he hopes the crowd “give it” to Reed as well as the entire USA team, whilst Mark Leishman said that the crowd has “ammo” on the Texan.
Reed said that Smith’s comments have made it “personal.”
Whilst the USA are big favourites, the side only travelled to Australia on Saturday via a 26-hour flight so the jet-lag could have an affect.
Meanwhile, a number of the Internationals were in Australia last week playing in the Australian Open.
The Americans are also without World No.1 Brooks Koepka and the Patrick Reed controversy may have unsettled the team dynamic.
Still, it will be a huge task for Ernie Els’ side to win the Presidents Cup for the first time in 21 years, especially after losing Jason Day to injury.
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Presidents Cup Teams –
Tiger Woods (Playing Captain) – 9th appearance – Captain’s Pick
Justin Thomas – 2nd Appearance
Dustin Johnson – 4th Appearance
Patrick Cantlay – Rookie
Xander Schauffele – Rookie
Webb Simpson – 3rd Appearance
Patrick Reed – 3rd Appearance
Bryson DeChambeau – Rookie
Matt Kuchar – 5th Appearance
Tony Finau – Rookie – Captain’s Pick
Gary Woodland – Rookie – Captain’s Pick
Rickie Fowler – 3rd Appearance – Captain’s Pick
Adam Scott – 9th Appearance
Hideki Matsuyama – 4th Appearance
Louis Oosthuizen – 4th Appearance
Haotong Li – Rookie
Marc Leishman – 4th Appearance
CT Pan – Rookie
Abraham Ancer – Rookie
Cameron Smith – Rookie
Ben An – Rookie – Replacement for Jason Day (Captain’s Pick)
Sungjae Im – Rookie – Captain’s Pick
Adam Hadwin – 2nd Appearance – Captain’s Pick
Joaquin Niemann – Rookie – Captain’s Pick
Presidents Cup UK TV Times –
Wednesday 11th December – Sky Sports Golf (21:30), Sky Sports Main Event (22:00)
Friday 13th December – Sky Sports Golf (00:00), Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Main Event (23:00)
Saturday 14th December – Sky Sports Golf (22:00), Sky Sports Main Event (23:00)
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