Made the introduction of how the company was born and grew Presidents Cup, It’s time to get into the 2022 edition that begins this Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina, and that you can follow on the screen of Golf Channel Latin America.
On this first day of play there will be 5 matches in the form of alternate shots. This means that one player from each pair hits the first shot on hole 1, the next hit is hit by his partner. and so they alternate until completing the hole. In the next chapter, and regardless of who has hit the last shot on the previous hole, whoever did not hit the initial shot on 1 does so on 2. This means that one always hits the first shot on the even holes and the another does it always in the odd ones. This is the most difficult modality in golf because the player never gets into a rhythm, and perhaps he does not have to hit a long putt until the 5. What is the strategy here to build pairs? For years we played this format, it is still played, in the South American Amateur Team Championship, and I always thought that for this form of game you have to do it with someone you get along with very well. Being friends with your game partner makes this “torture” much more bearable and I think it is more important that one’s game is similar to the other’s. There is something that must be very clear in this format: if you miss a shot or a short putt, you should never ask for forgiveness. It goes without saying that no one errs on purpose and the mere fact of asking for forgiveness makes the burden even heavier for those who made the mistake.
Explained the format we get into who they will be the stars of this 14th edition of the Presidents Cup. Both teams have lost players who surely would have been this week to the LIV Series. The conflict that has professional golf on edge has taken many players by force of offering them incredible contracts, and the PGA Tour, organizer of the Presidents Cup, has decided that “deserters” cannot be part of the teams. I think that the International Team was more affected by these missing names, since the locals have more replacements. The Mexican Abraham Ancer, the Chilean Joaquín Niemann, the Australian Cameron Smith and the South African Louis Oosthuizen were number one to be part of the team. All of them top 20 in the world, with Smith ranked second in the world rankings after his victory at St.Andrews two months ago. On the United States side, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed will be missing. These 7 players were in Australia 3 years ago and would have been on the Quail Hollow pitch this week.
Speaking of the scene, this is one of the best clubs in America. In 2003 it received a PGA Tour tournament for the first time and since that year the Wells Fargo Championship has been played every season. Only in 2017, because it hosted the PGA Championship that year, and in this 2022 for the Presidents, the tournament was not played on this course. A wooded layout, not excessively long (7,250 yards), but for this time of year it has a very different characteristic than when the tour is played in May. In the United States, summer is ending and for this time of year it is played on bermudagrass around the greens and on the greens of Quail Hollowe. This makes recovery shots in the immediate vicinity of the greens much more difficult, and also makes the greens much firmer than with grass that is reseeded for winter. The weather forecast is very good for the whole week, and that will make us see very firm and extremely fast greens, especially when facing a downhill putt and with the “hair” lying in favor.
If you want to know who is going to win, there is no doubt that the locals are wide favourites. Their best player is number 1 in the world ranking, while their worst player is number 25 in that ranking. On the international side, the best is in 17th place and the worst in 109. The average world ranking of the Americans is 11 and that of the internationals is 49. Reading these numbers, someone might wonder what they play for if there does not seem to be chances of an adverse result for the locals, but there are other numbers in golf that also count. To understand how even world golf is, just look at this number: Scottie Scheffler (USA) is number 1 in the world, and obviously the best ranked player this week. Australian Cameron Davis (AUS) is the 109th in the world and the lowest ranked player this week. Scheffler’s average score in 2022 was 69.29 strokes per round played while Davis’s was 70.50. This is a difference of just over one shot, which when playing four-round tournaments ends up being a lot, but in these matches with only 18 holes, everything is evenly matched. That said, the hosts are favorites and a lot of the final result will depend on what happens on the first day.
In the history of the Presidents Cup, the Americans have a huge advantage over the internationals in the game of alternate shots in the first thirteen editions (83.5 to 54 and the half point is given when the match ends even after the 18th hole). If the internationals manage to emerge victorious on Thursday or narrowly lose, then we can see some good competition. If, on the other hand, the locals maintain their superiority and take a big advantage on the first day, the beating forecast that many anticipate may come to pass.
Adam Scott/Hideki Matsuyama vs Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay
Sunjae Im/Corey Conners vs Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas
Tom Kim/K.H. Lee vs Cameron Young/Colin Morikawa