The 13th edition of the Presidents Cup features two dozen of the world's best golfers gathering at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. The United States and International teams begin the four-day event on Thursday morning in Australia—Wednesday evening in the U.S. thanks to the 16-hour time difference between there and the East Coast. Since the Cup's inception in 1994, the U.S. has been a dominant force, going 10-1-1 overall. Nevertheless, the only time the International squad emerged victorious was at Royal Melbourne in 1998, giving the home side hope for another upset. The U.S. has won seven in a row, including a dominant 19-11 performance in 2017. As we prepare for another playing of the biennial event, here are all of the answers to some frequently asked questions about the 2019 Presidents Cup.
What is the Presidents Cup?
That's reasonable opening question considering the matches takes place every two years and a billion things have happened in golf since 2017. It's also easy to get it mixed up with the Ryder Cup, another global competition that you don't have to worry about right now since we're in an odd year. In short, the Presidents Cup is a series of matches between the United States and an International team that represents the rest of the world excluding Europe. It was created by the PGA Tour, which saw an opportunity for golfers not involved in the Ryder Cup to compete in a team event. The competition alternates between venues in the U.S. and overseas. The previous three competitions took place in New Jersey (Liberty National), South Korea, and Ohio (Muirfield Village).
What is the format of the Presidents Cup?
Unlike the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup is a four-day event with 30 total matches. On Thursday and Friday in Australia (Wednesday in the U.S.), there is a single five-match session each day, four-ball (best ball) on Day 1, foursomes (alternate shot) on Day 2. On Saturday, there are two four-match sessions, with four-ball in the morning and foursomes in the afternoon. Finally, on Sunday, there will be 12 singles matches. The team that earns the most points after four days wins the Cup.
Has this always been the Presidents Cup format?
Over the years, there have been constant small changes made to the construction of the event. The final day has always been made up of 12 singles matches, however, the change from three days to four back in 2015 allowed for some leeway in setup. The points total has shifted over the decades too, but the current number of 30 has stayed the same since 2015.
When is the 2019 Presidents Cup and where is it being played?
This year's contest will take place from Dec. 12-15 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria. The 16-hour time difference will mean that the events will start in the afternoon/early evening on the east coast in the U.S. Royal Melbourne is a 36-hole club that consists of two of the top-ranked courses in Australia, designed by Alister MacKenzie. Holes from each course comprise the composite Championship course that's recognized as the best course in the Southern Hemisphere.
Which team won the 2017 Presidents Cup?
As mentioned previously, the U.S. is on a hot streak winning the last seven Presidents Cups. In 2017, America won by a decisive 19-11 score at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. Dustin Johnson led the team to victory going 4-0-1 and picking up 4½ points.
How are the Presidents Cup teams selected?
Each team consists of 12 players, eight of whom earn their spots through their ranking on season-long points list. The other four are selected by the team's repsective captains. The U.S. uses the FedEx Cup points to help determine its automatic eight, with points doubling for the 2019 season. The cut off date this time was the 2019 BMW Championship. The International team uses the Official Golf World Ranking points system and picks the top eight players from the table.
Who are the players on the 2019 Presidents Cup teams?
The 2019 American team is as follows:
Automatic qualifiers, in order of qualifying: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau
Captain's picks: Tiger Woods, Tony Finau, Gary Woodland, Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed
*Brooks Koepka made the U.S. team but had to drop out due to a knee injury. Woods replaced him with Fowler.
The 2019 International Team is as follows:
Automatic qualifiers, in order of qualifying: Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer, Haotong Li, C.T. Pan, Cameron Smith
Captain's picks: Sungjae Im, An Byeong-Hun An, Adam Hadwin, Joaquín Niemann
*Jason Day was originally a captain's pick for the International team but had to withdraw due to a back injury. Els replaced him with An.
Who are the vice-captains for each team?
The American vice-captains are Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker. The International vice-captains are K.J. Choi, Geoff Ogilvy, Trevor Immelman, and Mike Weir.
Which team has won the most Presidents Cups?
Of the 12 matches, the U.S. has won 10 and the International team has won once. There was a tie in 2003 in South Africa.
What is the largest margin of victory in the Presidents Cup?
In 2000, the U.S. team captained by Ken Venturi at the Robert Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia won by 11 points with a score of 21½-10½. It was the Presidents Cup directly after losing to the International team for the first time in 1998.
What if the Presidents Cup ends in a 15-15 tie?
Unlike in the Ryder Cup, if the two teams split the points evenly, they will share the trophy.
How many times have the teams tied in Presidents Cup history?
It has only happened once back in 2003. At first, the tie led to a sudden-death playoff between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, representing their respective sides. After three holes, the two were still deadlocked and with the sun having set, it was decided that the Cup would be shared.
Who has appeared in the most Presidents Cups?
This will be the first time that Phil Mickelson will not be playing in the Presidents Cup since its start in 1994. Lefty has been on 12 teams garnering the most total Cup points with 32½.
Are there any other events in golf similar to the Presidents Cup?
There are many other golf events similar to the Presidents Cup, most notably the Ryder Cup (which we've mentioned maybe once or twice already). The Ryder Cup occurs every other year during non-Presidents Cup years and is between the United States and a team made up of European players. There's also the Solheim Cup, which is the women's professional equivalent of the Ryder Cup; the Walker Cup, which is between amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland; and the Curtis Cup, which is the women's equivalent to the Walker Cup. There are also junior versions of the Presidents, Ryder and Solheim Cups.
What are the future hosts of the Presidents Cup?
The future host sites of the Presidents Cup in the United States have been announced through 2025 with overseas course in 2023 still to be determined.
2021: Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.
2025: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco
Who broadcasts the Presidents Cup?
NBC has the American broadcast television rights for the competition and will be sharing the coverage with the Golf Channel. Here is a breakdown of the TV schedule as it will appear in the U.S. (all times Eastern):
Wednesday, Dec. 11
Day 1 Four-ball: 5:30 p.m.-Midnight
Thursday, Dec. 12
Day 2 Foursomes: 7 p.m.-Midnight
Friday, Dec. 13
Day 3 Four-ball/Foursomes: 3 p.m.-2 a.m.
Encore on NBC: 2:30-6 p.m. Saturday
Saturday, Dec. 14
Day 3 Encore broadcast on NBC: 2:30-6 p.m.
Day 4 Singles: 6 p.m.-Midnight
Sunday, Dec. 15 Day 4 Encore broadcast on NBC: 1-6 p.m.