On Thursday and through this weekend, one of the biggest golf team tournaments, the Presidents Cup, takes place at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. This event, played every two years, features Team USA against Team International (made up of golfers from the rest of the world, excluding Europe).
This is the 13th edition of the Presidents Cup and it includes 12 players on each team competing over four days in the fourball, foursome and singles formats.
First played in 1994, the Presidents Cup has been a one-side affair with Team USA winning 10 of the 12 times the event has been held.
Team International were victorious at the 1998 event which was held at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club – perhaps the International players can find that 1998 magical. The 2003 edition, held at The Links at Fancourt in George, South Africa, ended all square after each team posted 17 points each.
A sudden death playoff was staged, involving Woods vs Els and after three playoff holes, the Captains then, Gary Player for the international team and Jack Nicklaus for Team USA, agreed to declare a tie and share the trophy in a show of great sportsmanship.
This week, Team USA is led by playing Captain Tiger Woods, Vice Captains Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker and the following players - Justine Thomas, Ricky Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Bryson Dechambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar.
The Internationals are led by Captain Ernie Els, South Africa, Vice Captains KJ Choi, South Korea, Geoff Ogilvy, Australia, Trevor Immelman, South Africa and Mike Weir, Canada.
The Team International players include - Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, Adam Scott, Australia, Abraham Ancer, Mexico, Joaquin Niemann, Chile, Sungjae Im, South Korea, Cameron Smith, Australia, Haotong Li, China, Byeong Hun An, South Korea, Adam Hadwin, Canada, Hideki Matsuyama, Japan, Chengtsung Pan, Taiwan and Marc Leishman, Australia.
The international team includes seven rookies – Ancer, Haotong, Pan, Smith, Sungjae, Byeong-hun and Niemann. Hadwin will be playing the Cup for the second time, Ooshuizen, Matsuyama and Leishman will be making their fourth appearances whilst Scott will be making his ninth appearance.
Team USA has five rookies – Cantlay, Schauffele, DeChambeau, Finau and Woodland. Thomas will be making his second appearance, Fowler, Reed and Simpson have been to the Presidents Cup twice before, Johnson will be making his fourth appearance and Kuchar will be making his fifth appearance. Woods has played in eight previous Cups.
Yesterday, the Fourball matches were held and the pair of Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas were up against Niemann and Leishman whilst Reed and Simpson faced Pan and Matsuyama.
Today five Foursome matches will be held and tomorrow the Fourball matches will be played. On the final day on Sunday, 12 singles matches will be staged and it will be interesting to see who Captain Woods will pair himself against.
Enjoy the weekend golf.