CHARLOTTE | This is certainly not an open secret. The Americans are overwhelmingly favored to win the Presidents Cup. After their landslide Ryder Cup victory a year ago, internationals weren't given a lot of skin this year. Even if the face of the team has changed slightly, the machine is still just as dangerous on the starting line.
The majority of statistics favor the United States in this competition, which takes its flight Thursday afternoon in Quail Hollow, North Carolina.
More experience, more golfers in the world top 20, more power, better players with the irons, better irons rights. Best in all aspects of the game. On paper.
Now the Americans have to prove they are the best. And they have the chance to knock out the internationals as soon as hostilities begin at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. In the match-play formula and in the foursome (alternative shot) game format, they outrageously dominate the record books of this event founded in 1994.
They recorded 73 victories, 39 losses and 21 draws. In points, they lead 83.5 to 49.5. Nothing less.
The last time the internationals won was by tying the score in 2005. Otherwise, you have to go back to 1998 to find a victory in this chapter.
The United States has six rookies in its ranks, but that's not quite the truth. Because Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler tasted the Ryder Cup last year, rising to the stars of the big competition. They experimented with different game formats.
The one in alternate shots rises among the most complicated, since it is necessary to take into account the personalities, the strengths and weaknesses of each one, the strategies and the equipment. More united since they evolve on the same continent, the Americans are thus more efficient.
“There are so many factors to consider for everything to line up properly. Equipment is a big hurdle to pairing up in this formula,” explained Xander Schauffele, who hadn’t really played it before breaking into the American roster.
Young and hungry
In the international camp, golfers are well aware of the historical shortcomings in this type of game.
“We are not really used to it , warned Canadian Corey Conners, trying not to look too much at the past. Our team is young and hungry. We were not members of these formations which had difficulties.
“We learned to become a more united group,” continued the 30-year-old Ontarian. We are not afraid of disappointing our partner if we execute a bad shot.
“But we know it will be a big challenge. With the configuration of the course, everything is possible to pick up the pace. »
Surprising news, however, on Wednesday, when the opening matches of the tournament were announced. Captain Trevor Immelman did not reunite the two Canadians. Still, Conners knows Taylor Pendrith like the back of his hand. Long-time friends, they complement each other wonderfully.
Pendrith stuns the ball by propelling it impressive distances, while Conners is among the best athletes with an iron in hand.
The mission of the internationals will be more complicated, because the American team wants to be one of the most powerful ever created. Its strong core wobbled the Europeans in Whistling Straits, Wis., 12 months ago.
The group piloted by a positive captain and organized in Immelman will seek to sign a page of history. The only international victory dates back to 1998 on his course at Royal Melbourne, Australia.
Thursday afternoon duels (Quatuor)
MATCH 1 | 1:05 p.m.
- Patrick Cantley
- Adam Scott
- Xander Schaule
- Hideki Matsuyama
MATCH 2 | 1:17 p.m.
- Jordan Spieth
- Corey Conners  ;
- Justin Thomas
- Sungjae Im
MATCH 3 | 1:29 PM
- Collin Morikawa
- Tom Kim
- Cameron Young
- K.H. Lee
MATCH 4 | 1:41 p.m.
- Scottie Scheffler
- Cameron Davis
- Sam Burns
- Si Woo Kim
MATCH 5 | 1pm 53
- Tony Finau
- Taylor Pendrith
- Max Homa
- < strong>Mito Pereira
14e PRESENTATION OF THE EVENT
- Route: Quail Hollow
- Architect: George Cobb (1961)
- Reigning Champions: Americans
› Best singles comeback in history: USA in 2019 erasing a 2-point deficit
› Youngest teams: USA: 29.6 (2022)/Int. : 28.8 years old (2022)
› Active player with the most appearances: Adam Scott (10th) and 44 games played
› Percentage of matches that never reached 17epennant in history: 23.3%
› Top golfer in international team history: Ernie Els with 21 points in his 8 appearances
› Largest gap in victory: 11 points by the Americans in a 21.5-10 victory .5 in 2000
› Winningest Golfer: Tiger Woods (27)
14: number of golfers among the two teams who experience their baptism of fire in this tournament. They are eight on the international side and six on the American side.
8: number of American golfers who have finished in the top 15 of the Tour de la Tour PGA by virtue of total shots won on the board in the 2022 season. Internationals have only one: Sungjae Im.
Quail Hollow Express
THE FUTURE OF THE TEAM
Not so long ago, Jordan Spieth walked into the American locker room in shorts and a t-shirt without taking himself seriously. It was October 2013 in Muirfield Village, Ohio. President Barack Obama was then the honorary president of the competition. Davis Love III acted as captain. He recounted the colorful comeback of the 20-year-old at the time.
“I will never forget that. He popped into the locker room and started throwing ping pong balls around. My wife then asked me: “but who is this young man?” I then replied: “He is the future of this team.” And that's what he became,” he happily recounted.
That year, Spieth won two of his four matches, which he played with Steve Stricker at three of them.
Four years later, he had called to order his teammates who were taking it a little too softly on the eve of the start of the competition. Since then, he has been seen as one of the leaders among the Americans.
Returning to the presidential team after his absence in 2019 due to his setbacks on the course, the Texan is determined to stand out in all aspects of the term. Especially since he finds his faithful companion, Justin Thomas.
THE BIG WEAKNESS
The international team can surprise in several ways if they succeed in executing their game plan to the letter. She's skilful and powerful from the tees…to the greens. But once on the surface, on paper, that's where it gets tough. According to this season's data, Trevor Immelman's men have struggled to stand out with their putter. Apart from Christiaan Bezuidenhoutwho finished sixth in the hits gained column on the board (0.653), more than two-thirds of the team members appear beyond the 70th rung. While power and accuracy are important on Quail Hollow's long course, the magic must work on the greens to finish off the enemy. All asked which golfer they would favor in each aspect of the game, they all stuttered when it came to choosing their putting star!
Interestingly, when meeting team at Quail Hollow a few weeks ago, it was K.H. Lee who stood out by winning the majority of internal competitions.
SCOTT PREFERS HIS LEGACY TO MONEY
At 42 years old and seeing some fellow Australians deserting, Adam Scott could have been tempted by the money from LIV Golf towards his retirement. But the international team veteran prefers to leave his legacy on the PGA Tour, despite growing up idolizing Greg Norman, now LIV commissioner who would like to bring him to his league.
“ I stay on the PGA, because that's what makes my business. It's as simple as that,” asserted the likeable Aussie who has kept an open mind since the start of this back alley battle in the world of professional golf.
to leave my entire professional career behind. I'm not ready to do this.
In his mission, Scott hopes to one day win the Presidents Cup. It would be a consecration, because he has been biting the dust since his first appearance in 2003. That year, the internationals finished tied with the Americans (17-17).