For the second September in a row, the golf world is getting treated to a team event on American soil. After the USA ran away with the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin last year, the national team will attempt to do the same thing in North Carolina at the Presidents Cup.
KSR Golf is making its long-awaited return to provide some winners for the event. We’re here to help you get to the window as some fun team golf serves as a side dish to a jam-packed football weekend. Count me as a big fan of this double-dip.
Let’s give some background to the event and find some winners for this weekend.
Established in 1994, the Presidents Cup became the other team event in golf after the Ryder Cup had so much success. Only in this event, Team USA will face off against an international team that does not include players from Europe.
Australia, Japan, South Africa, and Latin American countries are often well represented on the International Team. The event rotates between American soil and international courses for the event featuring 24 of the best golfers in the world. Occurring every two years in the fall, this has been a very one-sided event.
America enters the weekend with an 11-1-1 overall record that includes eight consecutive wins. The International squad has not won this event since 2008. Team USA is a perfect 8-0 on U.S. soil. With many of the top international players making the move to LIV Golf — Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, and Abraham Ancer — the American team is a much bigger favorite than usual this year.
Let’s take a quick look at both teams. As the Official World Golf Ranking shows, the USA has nearly all of the star power this weekend.
- Scottie Scheffler (No. 1 overall)
- Patrick Cantlay (No. 4 overall)
- Xander Schauffele (No. 5 overall)
- Justin Thomas (No. 7 overall)
- Collin Morikawa (No. 9 overall)
- Sam Burns (No. 12 overall)
- Jordan Spieth (No. 13 overall)
- Tony Finau (No. 14 overall)
- Billy Horschel (No. 15 overall)
- Max Homa (No. 16 overall)
- Cameron Young (No. 18 overall)
- Kevins Kisner (No. 25 overall)
The entire American team has a home in the top 25 of the OWGR. Only three players on the International squad fall in that category.
- Hideki Matsuyama (No. 17 overall)
- Sungjae Im (No. 19 overall)
- Joo-Hyung Kim (No. 22 overall)
- Corey Conners (No. 26 overall)
- Adam Scott (No. 30 overall)
- K.H. Lee (No. 43 overall)
- Mito Periera (No. 49 overall)
- Sebastian Munoz (No. 63 overall)
- Cameron Davis (No. 66 overall)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout (No. 67 overall)
- Si Woo Kim (No. 76 overall)
- Taylor Pendrith (No. 109 overall0
Team USA has a massive on-paper advantage.
Over the next four days, there will be golf on your television set with stakes. That usually leads to some very entertaining action. Let’s dive into the schedule before explaining the format.
— Thursday (12:30-6:00 p.m., Golf Channel): Foursomes
— Friday (11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Golf Channel): Fourball
— Saturday (7:00-8:00 a.m., Golf Channel and 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., NBC): Foursomes and fourball
— Sunday (12:00-6:00 p.m., NBC): Singles
— Foursomes: Two players on each team play alternate shot. Each player will hit off the tee nine times if the match goes 18 holes.
— Fourball: Two-man teams and everybody plays their own ball. The lowest score is recorded by each team.
—Singles: A one-on-one match where each player plays his own ball. The best score gets a point for the hole.
Quail Hollow Club (Charlotte, North Carolina) is the home of this year’s Presidents Cup. The yearly stop on the PGA Tour circuit is known for its length and consistently being one of the toughest tournaments at the Wells Fargo Championship.
The course runs nearly 7,600 yards and is a Par 71 layout. It is known for its long Par 3s and Par 4s. The Green Mile (holes 13-15) will feature a pair of Par 4s that stretch nearly 500 yards around a long Par 3 with a tricky water hazard. This stretch could determine the winner of many matchups this week.
Quail Hollow is no stranger to big events having hosted the 2017 PGA Championship won by Justin Thomas. The course will again host the PGA Championship in 2025.
It will be essential for players to get off the tee this week.
With any course that stretches this long, Par 5 scoring will be important. However, things are somewhat different in a team setting. There is a fresh start for every hole as only one point can be earned at each. Players don’t have to worry about falling behind on multiple shots at any one specific hole.
Due to the length and very large greens, the players who get from tee to green with efficiency will have the best shot at scoring wins. KSR Golf will be locked on this metric for our plays this week.
Four players are playing this weekend that ranked inside the top 10 of strokes gained tee-to-green last year — Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau, and Sungjae Im. Once again, the USA team has a heavy advantage.
For this to not turn into blowout city early in the tournament, the International squad must win some foursome matchups on day one. Both Sungjae Im and Corey Conners ranked inside the top-15 in strokes gained tee-to-green last year. At +140 per Draft Kings, they should have more than a puncher’s chance against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on Thursday.
Speaking of Im, he fits our metric to a tee this week. Let’s roll with the No. 19 player in the world as the top International Team point scorer (+550). Over on the USA side, Cameron Young is making his team debut and played well at most of the key tournaments this year. The Wake Forest product hammers the ball off the tee and ranked No. 15 last year in strokes gained approach. Let’s lock him in (+900) as the top rookie scorer.
With all that said, the USA is the heavy favorite (-700) to win for a reason. Laying some money won’t get you much, but it should have you re-visiting the window come Sunday evening.