See below as we run through the main golf tournament of the week – with the Presidents Cup taking centre stage.
The biennially held tournament is based on the Ryder Cup, but instead of Europe an International squad (not including any European players) taking on Team USA.
Tiger Woods captain’s the American side, whilst Ernie Els takes on the role for the International side – but Woods’s role is as a rare playing skipper.
“Putting things in boxes has always been something I’ve been good at,” Woods said. “Because when I’m out there playing, I’ve got to get into my little world and take care of that. When I’m off the course, I’ve got a lot of other responsibilities.
“The only difference is next week it will be I’m responsible for 11 other guys. I won’t be able to see them play practice rounds because I’ll be playing a practice round. So that will be a little bit different and I’m going to have to rely on what my guys say and what my vice-captains say and get a feel for what’s going on.”
Els is relishing taking on Woods and the prospect of taking him down.
“It’s been a long ride. I’ve known Tiger since the early ’90s when he was still a junior player, and we’ve shared a lot of moments together. A lot of tournaments come through my mind now where I’ve come close and lost to him, but there was a couple where I got him here and there.
“But it’s been a real privilege to play in his era. Where the game of golf has gone in the last 24 years is just remarkable, and it could not be where it is today if it it wasn’t for Tiger Woods.
“So with all that being said and done … we’d like to kick their asses this week here.”
This week’s match takes place Royal Melbourne Golf Club – the scene of the one and only International Team victory which came in 1998. USA have won the last seven matches in succession.
Presidents Cup Class of 2019 🏆 pic.twitter.com/w44bKa6EnP
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) December 10, 2019
- Royal Melbourne Golf Club
- First staged in 1991
- Defending Champion: Team USA
Thursday – 5 Four-Ball matches
Friday – 5 Foursomes matches
Saturday morning – 4 Four-Ball matches
Saturday afternoon – 4 Foursomes matches
Sunday – 12 Singles matches
Marc Leishman – Australia
Hideki Matsuyama – Japan
Louis Oosthuizen – South Africa
Adam Scott – Australia
Abraham Ancer – Mexico
Li Haotong – China
Pan Cheng-tsung – Chinese Taipei
Cameron Smith – Australia
Im Sung-jae – South Korea
An Byeong-hun – South Korea
Adam Hadwin – Canada
Joaquín Niemann – Chile
The Bookies point of view…
32Red’s Sponsorship manager Jack Milner delivers his verdict
The United States are odds-on to successfully defend The Presidents Cup this week down under, with Tiger Woods’s led-side unopposable to maintain their stranglehold on the competition.
Woods, performing under the player/coach role at Royal Melbourne, should lead his side to glory however, there is little value backing USA at around 1/3 with 32Red.
Woods has attracted support to be top points scorer for the stars and stripes (9/1 from 12s) after a terrific week in the Bahamas at The Hero Challenge but has a poor record all things considered in the format and can definitely be overlooked. Justin Thomas is priced evenly enough as the 5/1 market leader and preference lies instead with both Xander Schaufele and Rickie Fowler at 6/1 and 10/1 respectively. The latter impressed with a final round 66 last Sunday, whilst Xander remains progressively one of the best players on tour.
For the internationals, it’s difficult to overlook Hideki Matsuyama at 4/1. Local boy Adam Scott represents zero value as the 7/2 market leader given last week’s missed cut however, I could see Cameron Smith out-running his price of 8/1 should his outstanding putting game rear it’s head on home soil.