It’s a trend across the sports world that the hottest team -or one with the most momentum – heading into the playoffs usually goes far or ends up winning a title. Golf is no exception to that rule of thumb.
The United States heads into this tournament with perhaps one of the deepest rosters they have had in recent memory. Now both rosters feature past major champions, but the most recent champions reside on the U.S. team.
Just got updated Presidents Cup odds:
— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) September 6, 2017
- Dustin Johnson (2016 U.S. Open)
- Jordan Spieth (3-time Major Champion)
- Justin Thomas (2017 PGA Championship)
- Rickie Fowler
- Daniel Berger
- Brooks Koepka (2017 U.S. Open)
- Kevin Kisner
- Patrick Reed
- Matt Kuchar
- Kevin Chappell
- Charley Hoffman
- Phil Mickelson (5-time Major Champion)
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, and Brooks Koepka have won four of the last seven major championships played. Not only that but Johnson, Spieth, and Thomas have been staples thus far in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
If that wasn’t enough all three of those guys mentioned above, including Rickie Fowler, are in the Offical World Golf rankings Top-10 – Johnson and Speith are No. 1 and 2.
The European team only has two players in the OWGR Top-10, Hideki Matsuyama (No.3) and Jason Day (No.9). Team Europe is also without Rory McIlroy (OWGR No. 6), who would have been a fierce game-changer as he thrives in the Presidents and Ryder Cup environment.
This is certainly not saying that the U.S. is a lock to win the President’s Cup. But the U.S. team, even with its youth, comes in with an abundance of experience from its top players. Spieth in his two Presidents Cup appearances (2013, 2015) has a 5-4-0 record (W-L-T). Johnson who also played in two Presidents Cups (2011, 2015), has a record of 4-4-1 with his strong suit being the foursome round (or best ball). Fowler played in the 2015 event with Johnson and finished with a 1-3-0 record.
The guy who has the most experience of the bunch was captain’s pick, Phil Mickelson. Lefty has played in every Presidents Cup since the event started in 1994 and boasts a 23-14-12 record. Like Johnson, Mickelson’s best numbers come when he is playing in the foursome event.
Thanks for the good luck, Phil. pic.twitter.com/cl0sWwxvwT
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 10, 2015
Mickelson’s value is not only on the course but in the locker room as well. There is no doubt that he will have plenty of wisdom to impart to this already experienced group…since he’s been in this event for almost two decades.
Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup golf is not the same as normal PGA Tour tournaments. Usually, you are focused on playing for your own game and beating the course. The stakes become higher as those two factors are still present but perhaps you have a playing partner, or you have to focus on scoring more to overcome a deficit.
It won’t be just Mickelson who can assist with that. Coach Steve Stricker and assistant coach Tiger Woods have plenty of knowledge to dish out from their Presidents cup experiences. Woods has a career 24-15-1 record while Stricker is 14-10-0.
As Justin Thomas has found out, being close to Tiger Woods can do a lot for your golf game. pic.twitter.com/1VH6seM9ws
— GOLF.com (@golf_com) August 30, 2017
Stricker even said that about eight months ago Woods was calling him up with ideas for pairings at the Presidents Cup.
The odds, experience, and youth favor the U.S. team heavily heading into the 12th edition of the President’s Cup.