2019 Presidents Cup Preview

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The 13th edition of the Presidents Cup tees off on Thursday as Royal Melbourne Golf Club plays hosts to an exciting field of homegrown and international talent.

Australian golfing fans have arrived in droves to watch 2019 Masters champion Tiger Woods captain Team USA whilst also hoping to catch a glimpse of US Open winner Gary Woodland and world No. 5 Dustin Johnson.

Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith make up the Aussie contingent in this year’s International team alongside Hideki Matsuyama and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

The odds might suggest the tournament is a foregone conclusion in favour of Team USA, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found elsewhere.

We’ve previewed both teams and found some strong plays in our 2019 Presidents Cup Preview below.

Team USA

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

This is by far the most exciting Team USA roster to grace our shores since the Presidents Cup first began back in 1994.

Tiger Woods will don the captaincy for the first time in his 23-year career hoping to do his home colours proud. The United States has won the last seven Presidents Cup, with the International Team having won only once before back in 1998.

After claiming his fifth green jacket at Augusta back in April, Woods’ form has been questionable at best. The worrying sign for the international team though is Woods is coming into Melbourne fresh from an outright fourth at the Hero World Challenge only a week ago.

Aside from what goes on between holes, watching Woods captain a team made up of three of the world’s Top 10 golfers will be fascinating for a number of reasons. Woods should play at least four rounds, but in case you haven’t heard, Tiger’s leadership skills are largely unknown.

Whether or not a round the world trip fits in with Tiger’s Christmas plans remains to be seen, but aside from his own personal challenges, he’ll also be in charge of managing five Presidents Cup rookies.

Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Bryson Dechambeau and Tony Finau will all make their debut this weekend for Team USA. There are still plenty of experienced heads to fall back on, but if the likes of Woods and Johnson fail to fire, there could be some pressure put on the young guys.

Johnson is of particular interest this week as he makes his return following a long layoff. Golf bettors grew accustomed to seeing Johnson favoured in most major markets this year, but it was largely a disappointing season on Tour for the American that ended in knee surgery.

Elsewhere, pay close attention to world No. 4 Justin Thomas. The 26-year-old is coming off a career-best year with a win at the BMW Championship and The CJ Cup, making Thomas the favourite to lead Team USA in points.  

At an unbackable price head-to-head, it would take a catastrophic meltdown – and a once in a lifetime performance from the Internationals – for Team USA to lose. That said, this is the most unsure we’ve felt about Team USA’s roster in quite some time, so don’t count out an upset.

Internationals

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

Despite his poor run of luck at the Australian Open last weekend, Adam Scott is still the headline act among the internationals.

Thursday will mark Scott’s ninth Presidents Cup appearance – teeing off as the most experienced member of the international squad. The 39-year-old was apart of the 2011 team that played at Royal Melbourne and, although last week didn’t go according to plan, Scott’s putting could keep his team competitive.

Louis Oosthuizen could also keep things interesting after finishing outright second at the Australian Open. The South African shot a brilliant 66 on the final day and has been in sparkling form over the last few months.

The odds might suggest otherwise, but there is a strong crop of talent on the international roster. It would take something special for the USA to lose, but keep in mind, the last time the Internationals caused an upset was on this very course.

Top Asian Points Scorer

Hideki Matsuyama returns for his fourth Presidents Cup this weekend after taking part in the previous three, and we think you’ll find his form more than stacks up.

Matsuyama debuted at this event as a 21-year-old in 2013 and has flourished in worldwide starts ever since. He’s only finished outside the Top 15 once in international tournaments, while he also finished T6 in Australia during the 2018 World Cup of Golf last year.  

Tip: Back Hideki Matsuyama @ $2.40

Top Australian Points Scorer

Backing the favourite is always a little boring, but if the International team is to cause a boilover, you have to think it’s because Adam Scott enjoyed a big weekend.

The Aussie is no stranger to Royal Melbourne or the Presidents Cup, returning for a record-breaking ninth time as an international player. Scott won the Australian Masters at this course, so look for last week’s shortcomings to motivate him with the world watching.

Tip: Back Adam Scott @ $2.10

Top International Points Scorer

It’s going to take a big team effort if the Internationals are to win, so don’t sleep on a young guy – or a young roughie – like Abraham Ancer from causing a stir.

The Mexican struggled last week in Sydney finishing T33, but there were still some encouraging signs to takeaway from Ancer’s second round performance. The 28-year-old shot -5 under thanks to five clutch birdie putts and also hit on over 83% of greens in regulation.

Ancer has form downunder having won the 2018 Australian Open before helping Mexico to a T2 in the World Cup of Golf the same year. At his current price, Ancer looks well over the odds.

Tip: Back Abraham Ancer @ $21.00

Top USA Points Scorer

Hardcore golf fans will remember Patrick Reed’s infamous blowup following the 2018 Ryder Cup where he called out Jordan Spieth. Reed has been painted as the villain in the USA locker room ever since, while his rules infringement last week at the Hero World Challenge hasn’t earned him any admirers.

Reed finished third in the Bahamas – his second Top 10 finish in his last four events. He doesn’t have much experience in Australia, but with a point to prove, you can expect to see the best of Reed’s short game this week.

Tip: Back Patrick Reed @ $10.00

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.