Presidents Cup 2017 Preview

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Presidents Cup
JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 29: An International team golf bag during the second day fourball matches for the 2017 Presidents Cup at the Liberty National Golf Club on September 29, 2017 in Jersey City, New Jersey. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The Course

The Presidents Cup will be held at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey. This is the first time the New York metropolitan area has hosted a Presidents Cup. The last team tournament to be held in the New York area was the 1935 Ryder Cup at Ridgewood Country Club. Liberty National has been reconfigured for the Presidents Cup. Statistically only 10 out of 98 matches played at the Presidents Cup have not made it to the 15th-18th holes. Liberty National has been reconfigured to add to the excitement.

Presidents Cup 2017 Preview

Two of the final four holes, including the 18th, are par 3s. This is very unusual to say the least, especially for a Presidents Cup, but piles on the pressure immensely. Ending on a par 3 means that whoever is able to hold their nerve and nail an iron shot on the last hole, will inevitably be the winner. Watching many Ryder and Presidents Cups, this unusual set up is sure to distinguish the bold and the brave.

The U.S. Team

This year’s Presidents Cup is shaping up to be an extremely thrilling tournament. Both teams look extremely strong and contain some interesting captain’s picks. The U.S. Team is unusually young. They feature a host of players under the age of 30. This includes Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger. The latter of the four are both Presidents Cup rookies. However, they are bringing in the sort of form that would usually make the lack of experience redundant.

There is also plenty of experience present in the team in the form of Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson. Over the years they have played countless Presidents Cups. The amicable Steve Stricker, who is sure to have a cunning strategy up his sleeve, is leading the American team. His vice captains include the considerably more competitive Tiger Woods, who will do everything to impart his vast experience onto the young American team.

The International Team

The International team is also not only extremely strong, but also has some players in form coming into this week. They are tired of losing and will be motivated to finally break the American monopoly on the Cup. Marc Leishman is coming off the back of his second PGA Tour victory at the BMW Championship and Si Woo Kim became that youngest player to win the Players Championship. That is undoubtedly some serious talent. Danger men Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day have also had great seasons, Matsuyama in particular, and will be crucial factors in any pairing they are in.

The Internationals also have experience on their side, with Presidents Cup veteran Adam Scott in the team. Should he find some form he will be a spark for the team as well. The legendary Nick Price, who has played countless Cups over his long career, leads the International team. He is ably supported by vice captains such as Ernie Els who will surely offer up words of wisdom.

Possible Pairings:

After the incredible achievements of Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth at the Ryder Cup last year, expect those two to play together, possibly on the first day in the foursomes. Due to how close the group of Daniel Berger, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are, expect pairs to form from that group over the course of the tournament. Kuchar and Johnson are perfect fits for each other, having played together at a previous Ryder Cup, so expect that pairing.

The Internationals are trickier as there is no obvious chemistry as there is with the American team. A pair can be formed from the three Australians due to the natural chemistry between them. I can say the same of the three South African players. Si Woo Kim and Hideki Matsuyama is also a possible pair.

Regardless of the pairings, however, it is sure to be a gripping contest over the next few days. Although the Internationals are arguably stronger than they have ever been, I still see no other outcome except a win for team USA.

 

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