The PGA Tour may have ended with Xander Schauffele’s win at the Tour Championship but the golf is not quite over in America. That’s because the Presidents Cup takes place this week at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.
The Presidents Cup is a tough sell in Europe but it is a big tournament for those taking part. The American team need no excuse to whoop, holler and create a strong team spirit. The disparate nature of the Internationals makes the job more much more difficult for their captain, Nick Price, but he does at least have masses of talent to work with.
One of the biggest problems that the Presidents Cup has faced in terms of being sold to a wider audience is that the USA have been so dominant. The Internationals have only ever won one of the 11 previous editions of the tournament with the USA winning each of the last six renewals. That said, the International team did push their opponents all the way in 2015 and with players of the quality of Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama and Louis Oosthuizen, some feel this year’s tournament could be just as tight.
Pressure the Big Hurdle for Team USA
While the International Team have to work hard to forge a sense of unity, it could not be easier for Team USA. Not only do many of the players have shared memories of playing together in the Ryder Cup but they will be playing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty this week. The USA will also have the support of the home crowd but there is a chance all of these advantages could simply ratchet up the pressure to unmanageable levels.
Each of the members of Team USA have fought against pressure to secure some big results as individuals but doing it for your team, for your country, is a different matter altogether. The USA are as short as 3/10 with some bookies to get the win at Liberty National and while they should oblige, it could well be closer than those odds suggest. So, take the 8/1 that BetVictor are quoting on the USA winning by 15.5 points to 14.5.
Mickelson to Outperform His Stellar Cast of Teammates
When you look through the list of players competing for Team USA it is no surprise that they are so well fancied to win the Presidents Cup once again. If the players in the team maintain their levels for next year they should also be considered the favourites for the Ryder Cup but they may have to do it without the inspirational Phil Mickelson at Le Golf National.
Results have not gone the way that Mickelson would want this season and there is no doubt that he is entering the back nine of his career, to put it politely. The 47-year-old has played in every single Presidents Cup and his aggressive style of play remains an inspiration to his teammates. Mickelson will be desperate to prove his worth and he may well do as he is a member at Liberty National. He knows the 7,458, par 71 layout better than anybody else in the tournament and therefore looks a good outside bet to be the top American at 16/1 with Coral.