Sport

2022 Presidents Cup Teams: Breaking Down How the New Look of the United States Could Rise to Power Internationally

ADVERTISEMENT

The 2022 Presidents Cup has finally returned after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last seen at Australia’s Royal Melbourne in the winter of 2019, a highly contentious battle between an underdog international group and a favored side from the United States played out in dramatic fashion.

With the international team taking a two-point lead in Sunday’s singles, all the results were still on the table. The American team, led by captain Tiger Woods, made the comeback down under, winning Sunday’s session 8-4 and the overall game 16-14. It improved its record to 11-1-1 in Presidents Cup history, it said. it was believed that the US had finally caught on in terms of skill, analytical ability and strategy in this competition.

Fast forward to the present and not only new faces are present, the appearance around the event has also changed. The fledgling international side is no longer a nasty underdog, but rather a team holding on to the threads after LIV Golf poached key cornerstones Abraham Ancer, Louis Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann.

In their place is a group of young, hungry players hoping to prove captain Trevor Immelman right and the wider golfing public wrong. The international team is tasked with beating a stacked U.S. roster that includes Max Homa, last week’s Fortinet Championship winner, a string of big-time champions and a slew of firepower.

Will the experience of Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott lead the international team in this match between David and Goliath? How will young rookies Cameron Young and Sam Burns fare at their first US gig? Is there a competitive match anyway? The answers to these questions rest on the shoulders of 24 men, and based on their game, the answers can vary.

READ  MLB Star Power Index: Joey Gallo Doesn't Need Fake Muscles; Cardinals Win Baseball's Big Ten Championship

2022 United States Presidents Cup Team

Scottie Scheffler

1

2-0-1

2nd

Patrick Cantlay

4

6-2-1

3rd

T33

Xander Schauffele

5

6-3-0

3rd

T14

Justin Thomas

7

12-4-3

5th

1st

Collin Morikawa

9

3-0-1

2nd

Sam Burns

12

0-0-0

1st

T55

Jordan Spieth

13

16-12-4

8th

T28

Tony Finau

14

3-4-3

4th

T16

Billy Horschel

15

0-0-0

1st

T33

Max Homa

16

0-0-0

1st

1st

Cameron Young

18

0-0-0

1st

Kevin Kisner

25

2-0-2

2nd

T6

After Homa’s win in Napa and Kevin Kisner’s slight rise, all 12 American players are in the top 25 of the Official World Golf Rankings. With an average of 11.6, it is a solid front that will certainly give the internationals everything they can handle. Despite this great talent, it is a relatively young group in terms of experience.

With neither Woods nor Dustin Johnson at the helm, it is Jordan Spieth who has become the main man in the locker room. The two take on this leadership role alongside his good friend Justin Thomas and have had 13 gigs together in the US before turning 30.

This equals the number of appearances by Homa, Kisner, Young, Burns, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay. Thomas should have fond memories of Quail Hollow Club when he took his first PGA Championship win here in 2017. Homa also took his first PGA Tour win in Charlotte, but beyond them and Kisner, the other nine have yet to achieve a top 10 result.

So while this American team should roll to a convincing victory on paper, there are certainly cracks in its armor that the international could expose. With just five new additions since the 2021 Ryder Cup, current form, continuity and home field advantage are all in the hands of the USA, but so are high expectations.

2022 International Presidents Cup Team

Hideki Matsuyama

17

6-7-4

5th

T5

Sungjae Ima

19

3-1-0

2nd

T31

Tom Kim

22

0-0-0

1st

Corey Conners

26

0-0-0

1st

T42

Adam Scott

30

16-22-6

10th

3rd

KH Lee

43

0-0-0

1st

T58

Mito Pereira

49

0-0-0

1st

MC

Sebastian Munoz

63

0-0-0

1st

T38

Cameron Davis

66

0-0-0

1st

T26

Christian Bezuidenhout

67

0-0-0

1st

Si Woo Kim

76

1-2-0

2nd

MC

Taylor Pendrith

109

0-0-0

1st

The 2019 turnover is striking as Matsuyama, Scott and Sungjae Im are the only players to have participated in Royal Melbourne. Factor in Si Woo Kim’s entry into Liberty National in 2017, and the South Korean completes the short list of players who have been members of previous international teams.

Scott is playing in his 10th Presidents Cup as he has been a mainstay in the league since the early 2000s. The Australian is making his way into the Tour Championship from outside the top 70, is in good form and is still looking for his first-team victory when he debuted in the 2003 17-17 draw.

With little team experience in their pocket and an average world ranking of 48.9, I wouldn’t say the internationals are quite ready as they faced a similar task in 2019. Half won the past two seasons on the PGA Tour with Tom Kim’s win at the 2022 Wyndham Championship being the most recent. His compatriot, Im, ran fast in the Tour Championship, nearly stole the FedEx Cup from Rory McIlroy and will have to serve as a catalyst if they are to make the unlikely happen.

Im, Matsuyama and Scott will most likely play in every session, as will Conners, despite being a first timer. Captain Immelman will have to rely on what little experience he has and combine it with the scoring skills of the likes of Munoz, Lee and Davis. If you are able to do this effectively, there is a path to victory – albeit a narrow one.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT