Reigning Major champions Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas lead a powerful USA lineup in the Presidents Cup with high expectations of a ninth straight victory over the internationals.
The Americans hold an 11-1-1 lead in the all-time rivalry and have never lost at home before the 14th edition of the team golf showdown, which begins Thursday at Quail Hollow.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that are excited and ready to go,” US captain Davis Love said. “We’re very happy with the 12 we have.”
The United States inflicted a record 19-9 victory over Europe in last year’s Ryder Cup and seven members of that team will compete this week against a non-European global lineup.
“A strong, stacked American team,” Internationals captain Trevor Immelman said. “They are coming here with a lot of confidence.”
The Americans have 10 players ranked in the top 16 in the world to none at internationals.
The six US players with Presidents Cup experience include two-time Grand Slam winner Thomas, who won his first PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2017 and his second in May at Southern Hills, and Olympic champion of Tokyo Xander Schauffele.
“Having a team like this with great camaraderie and a lot of deep talent, it’s a lot of fun,” Thomas said.
Last year’s PGA playoff champion Patrick Cantlay won two of his eight PGA titles this year, teaming with Schauffele to capture the PGA pairs event in New Orleans. They seem to be a Cup duo as well.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Jordan Spieth, making a team-high fourth Presidents Cup appearance, won his 13th PGA title in April at Heritage.
“Once you’ve played a couple of them, you’ve seen a lot of things,” Spieth said. “We have some guys on the team with that level of experience.”
Tony Finau won back-to-back weeks in late July at the PGA 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Kevin Kisner, the oldest American player at 38, won twice and halved twice in his only previous Presidents Cup appearance in 2017.
Among the six rookies in the Presidents Cup is top-ranked Masters champion Scheffler, who has won four times this year and was voted PGA Player of the Year by his peers. Scheffler made his Ryder Cup debut last year with two wins and a draw.
“We’ve got a good team again this year and a lot of guys that are playing good golf right now,” Scheffler said.
Newcomers from the US also include two-time Grand Slam champion Collin Morikawa, winner of the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2021 British Open.
– Feels ‘surreal’ for Homa –
Another newcomer is Max Homa, who won his first PGA title at Quail Hollow in 2019 and his most recent last Sunday. He expressed his desire to be part of the team.
“It’s been fun having this to chase,” said Homa. “Finally being here feels a bit surreal.”
Cameron Young was runner-up at this year’s British Open and third on the PGA.
Sam Burns has won twice this season and four times in the last 16 months.
Billy Horschel won this year’s Memorial for his seventh PGA title and the 35-year-old was second in the PGA pairs event to Burns in a likely Cup combo. Horschel is seen as an emotional spark for the team.
“Everyone encourages me to be this cheerleader, like this cheerleader-type player,” Horschel said. “I can be like that. But I want you to understand, it might not happen because we might not need it.”
That said, overconfidence is not a concern for Horschel.
“We know how to deal with it. This is nothing new for us,” he said. “We haven’t had any conversations about that because I think we all know what we have to do.”