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2019 golf preview | The Presidents Cup rosters are finalized

Royal Melbourne golf club

OK, so the Ryder Cup gets all the glory. But the Presidents Cup follows an almost identical format and is just as fun. This year, Las Vegas has Team USA set as a moderate favorite (-250) – so if you are thinking about getting into the action, check your options.

Despite American dominance in this event over the years, the International side has played well in Australia. In a lot of ways, it’s kind of unfair. Most of the Presidents Cup venues have been inside of the contiguous United States, giving Team USA a massive advantage. But Royal Melbourne is an ‘international’ site and one where the Internationals have done quite well. In fact, they won there in 1998 and played a close one in 2011. Now they have an opportunity to try and make it two out of three at Royal Melbourne.

The only problem … Team USA is loaded this year.

Team USA Looks Strong

The American roster is headed up by the Team Captain, Tiger Woods. Although the Captains can’t play, there is a unique opportunity for Tiger to get on the fairways in this one. The top eight players in FedEx Cup points automatically qualify for the squad, but there have been a couple of setbacks with injury. Bruce Koepka’s absence will be sorely felt, but Rickie Fowler will be replacing him. But because another top eight is out with injury, Tiger Woods was able to choose himself as one of the Captains’ picks. So the twelve-man American team will be represented by:

  • Justin Thomas
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Xander Schauffele
  • Webb Simpson
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Gary Woodland
  • Patrick Reed
  • Tony Finau
  • Rickie Fowler
  • Tiger Woods

International Team

Unfortunately for the international side, Jason Day just had to pull out of the event. The Australian native would have been a significant asset to the team. In his stead, Byeong Hun An joins the group. The Korean getting the nod just days ago.

The finalized International Team roster is:

  • Hideki Matsuyama
  • Adam Scott
  • Louis Oosthuizen
  • Marc Leishman
  • Abraham Ancer
  • Haotong Li
  • Cameron Smith
  • C.T. Pan
  • Joaquin Neimann
  • Adam Hadwin
  • Sungjae Im
  • Byeong Hun An


Jason Day Clubs Bag on The Presidents Golf Cup
Jason Day Clubs Bag on The Presidents Golf Cup

Both teams are solid but it looks like the Americans have a distinct advantage when it comes to overall stroke play, especially without Jason Day to lead the charge for the Internationals. Here is the main issue with the lopsidedness of talent. Each one of the American Team’s four Captain’s Picks is ranked higher than the entire squad of International players. Woods finished 13th in FedEx points but is No. 7 in the OWGR. Tony Finau is No. 14, Patrick Reed is No. 15, and  Gary Woodland is No. 16.

So as much as we’d like to say that it won’t be another smashing and that the Internationals can win in Royal Melbourne … it’s going to be extremely hard for them to do so. There is just too much talent on the American side and it looks like Team USA is going to go with eight consecutive Presidents Cup wins.

Let’s peek at the rest of the team.

Dustin Johnson is the No. 3 ranked golfer in the world, Justin Thomas is No. 4. Patrick Cantlay is sitting at No. 6 and Xander Schaufele is a top ten player at No. 9. Bryson DeChambeau is tenth in the world, and Web Simpson is 11th. The only player who is outranked by any International team player is Matt Kuchar at No. 22. He is outranked by just two, Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott.

So, we have a feeling that it won’t be a close tournament. We may see another landslide victory by the USA side and the odds that have fallen down to -250, actually look pretty favorable considering the fact that Jason Day is out.

This is a great course and will still be incredibly fun to watch, but don’t get your hopes up too high if you are rooting against the North Americans.