Team USA look to continue their dominant Presidents Cup record against the International Team this week, but how much has the contest been impacted by the launch of the LIV Golf Invitational Series?
The Americans hold a 100 per cent record on home soil since the competition launched in 1994, winning all seven contests held in the United States, while Team USA are chasing a record ninth consecutive victory in the biennial contest.
Captains Davis Love III and Trevor Immelman have seen their potential line-ups disrupted by the PGA Tour “suspending indefinitely” any player joining the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf circuit, with the ban also preventing them from competing in the Presidents Cup.
Team USA will field their youngest roster in Presidents Cup history as a result, offering an average age of 29.6-years-old, while the International Team only have four players with any previous Presidents Cup experience in their 12-man line-up.
Ahead of the contest at Quail Hollow from September 22-25, live on Sky Sports, we take a closer look at the two teams, the potential players missing and whether the International Team can produce an historic upset on American soil…
Who misses out for Team USA?
Three of the team who completed a record-breaking Ryder Cup victory at Whistling Straits last year are ineligible to compete, with Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson – who became the first American in the modern era to win all five sessions – all unable to feature.
Johnson has played in four of the last five Presidents Cup teams and has only missed one Ryder Cup since 2010, while Koepka has been involved in the last three Ryder Cups and DeChambeau the last two as well as the 2019 Presidents Cup victory.
Patrick Reed, dubbed ‘Captain America’ for his past performances for Team USA, played in three Ryder Cups and has been part of the last three winning Presidents Cup teams, with Ryder Cup legend Phil Mickelson and fellow former Masters champion Bubba Watson also out of consideration.
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Jason Kokrak – a two-time winner last season – could have been a possibility had he not elected to join LIV Golf, with Talor Gooch, Matthew Wolff and Harold Varner III all American players who have seen hopes of representing Team USA ended by moving away from the PGA Tour.
Who could not play for the International Team?
Cameron Smith was the biggest loss to Immelman’s side, with The Players champion and Champion Golfer of the Year ending months of speculation about his golfing future when he defected to LIV Golf at the end of the PGA Tour season.
Joaquin Niemann was the other automatic qualifier to give up his place by leaving LIV Golf, with Anirban Lahiri switching at the end of the FedExCup campaign and ending any chance of a captain’s pick.
Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman will be missing from the International Team for the first time since making their debuts in 2013, while Abraham Ancer was likely to feature after finishing joint-top scorer in 2019 and winning the WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational last August.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and fellow South African Branden Grace – the first two winners of the LIV Golf season – also miss out, having made four and three Presidents Cup appearances respectively and both been part of the heavy defeat in the 2017 contest.
Will the same rules apply for the Ryder Cup?
The qualification campaign for Europe’s Ryder Cup team began at the BMW PGA Championship earlier this month, with Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter among the European hopefuls able to collect points.
Suspensions and fines for DP World Tour members playing LIV Golf events are ‘temporarily stayed’ until a hearing next February, with no decision yet made on whether members of the rival circuit will be eligible to represent Team Europe at Marco Simone GC next September.
The PGA Tour suspended indefinitely its members who switched to LIV Golf, which would currently mean they would be unable to be a part of Zach Johnson’s line-up in Italy.
How were the two teams picked?
The International Team’s qualification campaign ran from The 149th Open at Royal St George’s last July through to last month’s BMW Championship, with the top eight players on the points list automatically qualifying.
Immelman was due to only have four captain’s picks but was handed two extra selections when two of the automatic qualifiers – Smith and Niemann – joined LIV Golf, while Team USA had six automatic qualifiers and announced their wildcard picks at the end of the FedExCup season.
Who will play for Team USA?
Scottie Scheffler topped the automatic qualification standings after winning four times on the PGA Tour last season, including a maiden major at The Masters, with Justin Thomas returning after featuring in the last two editions of both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.
Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau all retain their places from the 2019 victory in Australia, having also been part of the historic Ryder Cup win last September, while Sam Burns completed the automatic qualifiers and earned his Presidents Cup debut.
Jordan Spieth will make his fourth Presidents Cup appearance – having failed to feature in 2019 – and Kevin Kisner returns after going undefeated on his 2017 debut, with Collin Morikawa joining Max Homa, Billy Horschel and Cameron Young as Presidents Cup rookies.
Which players will represent the International Team?
Former Masters champions Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott were among the automatic qualifiers, along with Chile’s Mito Pereira, South Korean duo Sungjae Im and Joohyung (Tom) Kim and Canada’s Corey Conners.
Si Woo Kim returns to make his second Presidents Cup appearance, having featured in the 2017 loss, with compatriot KH Lee selected to make his debut after successfully defending his AT&T Byron Nelson title earlier this season.
South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Australia’s Cam Davis, Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith were the other four players picked, meaning eight of Immelman’s 12-man line-up will be making their debuts.
What is the format?
Players compete in sessions of fourballs, foursomes and singles – just like Team USA does when they face Europe in the Ryder Cup – although the Presidents Cup has more matches in the opening two sessions and spreads the contest out across four days rather than three.
Foursomes sees two golfers from Team USA compete against a pair from the International Team, with team members alternating between shots and each team using one ball. Fourballs sees each player use his own ball, with the lowest score from each pair counting for the score for their side.
Five matches of one format take place on Thursday and five matches of the other on Friday, with four more matches of both fourballs and foursomes then being played across two sessions on Saturday.
Sunday sees all 24 players compete in singles matches, where every member from the USA Team plays against an International Team opponent in a head-to-head contest. A total of 30 points are available across the four days, with the team with the most points then claiming the trophy.
Will Team USA dominate on home soil?
Three of the last four contests have had a winning margin of three points or less, although a tie in the 2003 edition and a lone victory in 1998 are the only occasions to date where the International Team has avoided defeat.
A final-day fightback helped Team USA to a 16-14 victory in Melbourne in 2019 and extended their winning streak stretching back to 2005, with 11 of the 13 previous editions being won by the United States.
Tiger Woods does not hold an on-site role within Team USA’s backroom staff, three years on from serving as a playing-captain, with three-time Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples, next year’s Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson and Webb Simpson joining Steve Stricker as vice-captains.
How can I watch the Presidents Cup on Sky Sports?
Sky Sports will show coverage from all five sessions in North Carolina, with 28 hours of live action across the four tournament days alongside dedicated daily highlights and specific Presidents Cup programming.
Live coverage begins at 5.30pm on Thursday and Friday, with Saturday’s double session getting under way at midday and covering both the fourballs and foursomes. The final-day singles are live from 5pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Golf and will follow the tournament to its conclusion.
Key TV times
Thursday – 1730-2300 on Sky Sports Golf and 1930-2300 on Sky Sports Main Event
Friday – 1730-2300 on Sky Sports Golf and 1930-2300 on Sky Sports Main Event
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Saturday – 1200-2300 on Sky Sports Golf and 2100-2300 on Sky Sports Main Event
Sunday – 1700-2300 on Sky Sports Golf
Who will win the Presidents Cup? Watch the 2022 contest from September 22-25 live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday September 22 from 5.30pm on Sky Sports Golf.