CHARLOTTE, NC – The International Presidents Cup team has the next four days to change the narrative, but if history is any guide, its fate will likely be decided on Thursday during the opening session of the foursomes.
Throughout the history of the matches, which spans 13 meetings, the US team has dominated the alternate shots format with an 83½-49½ advantage, and the international team has managed to win only five foursome sessions, including a clean sweep in 1998.
The correlation is clear: that ’98 team was the only international team to win the Presidents Cup.
In 2019 at Royal Melbourne, the international team achieved a 2½-2½ split during the Day 2 foursomes session, and that match came down to an American surge during Sunday’s singles for a two-point USA win. . By contrast, Team USA went through Day 1 of the 2017 matches and posted a resounding 19-11 victory.
Certainly, a team could bounce back from a poor showing on Day 1 of alternate shooting, but it’s not likely. It is a reality that the international team has spent the last three years working in workshops.
“It’s hard to pin down, it really is. I think we have a solution. I think we have a strategy in place. You’ll see,” said Mike Weir, vice-captain of this year’s international team.
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At least part of the Immelman quartet’s strategy appears to be familiarity, with the likes of Corey Conners and Sungjae Im earmarked for a Day 1 fight with American hosts Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, while Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama, the more veterans from the rest of the world. players, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay will play. Im, Scott and Matsuyama are the only international players to return in 2019.
Immelman also leaned into his team’s relative inexperience in alternate shooting, sending rookies Cam Davis and Si Woo Kim against the American team of Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in an attempt to break the cycle.
“It is certainly not a format that we are very used to. I’ve only played kind of an alternate shot foursomes format a couple of times, and I think our team is young, we’re all very hungry,” Conners said. “We haven’t been part of those teams that have struggled, and I certainly like our opportunities.”