A one-point win two years ago gave the United States its slimmest margin of victory since earning a tie with the International team in the 2003 Presidents Cup. This year, the Americans might have their best team ever to take the event for the seventh consecutive time.
A squad led by some of the world’s best players, including FedEx Cup winner Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed, has the United States looking to improve to 10-1-1 in the Presidents Cup as the heavy chalk.
The lone loss for the Americans took place in 1998 at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Melbourne, Australia, where Jack Nicklaus was the team captain.
This year, Steve Stricker leads Team USA while Nick Price is his International counterpart for the third time in a row. The three-day event is being held at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. This is the second time in four years it’s being held on American soil.
In 2015, the Americans edged the Internationals 15.5-14.5 in South Korea.
On the first day, there will be five four-ball matches, with each golfer playing his own ball and taking the best score between teammates. The following day, there will be four foursome matchups in the morning and four four-ball matches in the afternoon before wrapping up Sunday with 12 singles matches that will likely determine the winner of the competition.
The biggest concern for the Americans heading into the event could be fatigue from the long PGA TOUR season that just ended last week, considering the country’s best players just battled it out for the FedEx Cup and will have virtually no rest.
Fortunately, the U.S. does have a lot of depth and experience, with golfers such as Reed, Kuchar and Mickelson providing leadership.
The International team will be leaning on a trio of Australians in Jason Day, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman along with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who has faded over the past month since tying for fifth at the PGA Championship.