September 29, 2022, 20:27

Presidents Cup: Why inexperience doesn’t prevent optimism for International Team against Team USA

Presidents Cup: Why inexperience doesn’t prevent optimism for International Team against Team USA

Can a depleted International Team cause a Presidents Cup upset on American soil? Chris Cox looks at the growth of international players on the PGA Tour and how the contest has become a key event in the golfing calendar; Watch live from September 22-25 on Sky Sports Golf

To measure the scope of the Presidents Cup, a suggestion is to travel back in time – 28 years, to be exact – when this international team golf tournament was introduced.

It was the brainchild of Tim Finchem, back when he was a deputy for PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman. But when Beman handed the reins over to Finchem early in the summer of 1994, going full throttle on the debut of the Presidents Cup consumed him.

The naysayers were lined up, but Finchem was steadfast in his belief that great players from beyond the borders of America and Europe deserved to compete on a global stage in an international team match. Should you point to the lopsided results – the Americans are 11-1-1 and have won eight in a row – you would be terrible point-misser.

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The Presidents Cup was about bringing the game a little closer together because global golf, Finchem insisted, was here to stay. He knew it would be a somewhat awkward fit at first, but he begged for patience and offered a vision that a lot of folks struggled with.

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A look back at the best of the action from the fourth and final day of the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

“We’re still talking about 18 holes of match play, and we’ve got to remember anything can happen in an 18-hole match,” Adam Scott told reporters earlier this summer. “Momentum plays a big deal in these things. We saw that at the last one. We kind of got up early and we nearly hung on (to win).”

Veteran that he is, Scott would tell you that even as he and his mates have become more comfortable in the United States thanks to a full complement of PGA Tour tournaments, another aspect of this biennial affair continues to make matters difficult. That is, an American team that is constantly deep and consistently young.

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Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood say they are unsure of their Ryder Cup playing status however they haven’t received any correspondence on the contrary

True, the Americans have bigger numbers, combining for 18 victories this season, but Finchem’s vision has played out as he predicted. International players have established global stature thanks to a high level of play on the PGA Tour and that will be prominently displayed in this year’s Presidents Cup.

Focus on the individuals who’ll make up the two line-ups – not the past results – and you’ll likely find 15 of the world’s top 20 names. As promised more than 20 years ago, the Presidents Cup has reached a level of premier quality.

Pairings

Match 1 – 5.05pm BST

Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) and Adam Scott (Australia) vs Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele

Match 2 – 5.17pm BST

Corey Conners (Canada) and Im Sung-jae (South Korea) vs Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas

Match 3 – 5.29pm BST

Tom Kim (South Korea) and K.H. Lee (South Korea) vs Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young

Match 4 – 5.41pm BST

Cam Davis (Australia) and Kim Si-woo (South Korea) vs Sam Burns and Scottie Scheffler

Match 5 – 5.53pm BST

Sourse: skysports.com

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