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Overview of Presidents Cup
The two teams competing in the 10th Presidents Cup are ready for the start of the competition on Thursday. The biennial competition, which is held in the off years of the Ryder Cup - which features 12-man squads from the U.S. and Europe, pits an American team versus a group of Internationals (non-Europeans).
After their 19-15 victory two years ago at Royal Melbourne in Australia, the Americans hold a commanding 7-1-1 lead as they head into this year's event at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio.
The first day of competition involves six four-ball (better-ball) matches, with Friday having six foursome (alternate shot) matches. Saturday will see five four-balls in the morning followed by five foursomes, with Sunday concluding the Presidents Cup with 12 singles matches.
The American team will be led for the third consecutive Presidents Cup - all victories - by captain Fred Couples. The automatic qualifiers for the U.S. are Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson. Couples selected 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson as his two captain's picks.
The International contingent's top-10 players are Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet, Richard Sterne and Angel Cabrera. International captain Nick Price chose Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge and Australian Marc Leishman as his captain's picks.
The only victory for the Internationals - by a whopping score of 20½ to 11½, a margin that is the second-biggest in the history of the Presidents Cup - came in 1998, also at Royal Melbourne. Els is the only current International member who's been on a winning team.
Price hopes this week will be the second victory for his squad. "It's not a question of beating the Americans. It's a question of winning the Cup. And I think that's something that's really important to the International team," said Price, who took over the captaincy from Greg Norman, who led the team the previous two events. "We've had a tough time. So what I'm trying to figure out is how do we turn the tide?"
The Americans enter the competition as heavy favorites. See Tony Dear's appraisal of this year's matches at http://www.cybergolf.com/golf_news/what_chance_an_international_victory.
Snedeker, for one, is not taking anything for granted. "On paper, everything seems great," the Nashville native told reporters earlier this week. "But it's not played on paper. Those guys are going to be very well-coached. They're very, very good players with a track record at Muirfield. They probably have a better record, taking Tiger out of it."
Scott, who in April became the first Australian to win the Masters at Augusta National in the tournament's 77 years, believes that a victory by his team this week will validate not only his season, but provide a new thrill by being on a winning squad.
"I feel it's important for the Internationals to win and, just for myself, for my own satisfaction of being on a winning team, which I haven't done," Scott said. "I want to experience that kind of elation with a bunch of other guys around me."
The 2013 Presidents Cup will be broadcast all four days of the event. Here's the schedule:
Thursday: Golf Channel (12-6 p.m.)
Friday: Golf Channel (1-6 p.m.)
Saturday: NBC (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Sunday: NBC (12-6 p.m.)
For more information and live scoring at the Presidents Cup, visit http://www.presidentscup.com.