The Internationals have not had the success against American golfers that can be claimed by the gang that competes against the U.S. in the Ryder Cup competition, and the upcoming Presidents Cup, on paper, looks like another tough slog for the Internationals.
The U.S. side’s 12-man assembly features every member being ranked inside the top-30 in the world, including fading Phil Mickelson (30th), who was a sentimental captain’s pick by Steve Stricker.
That group includes the four players that won three of the four majors this year. Only Sergio Garcia’s win at the Masters back in April prevented the Yanks from running the table.
For the Internationals, the task of winning the Presidents Cup for the second time in 13 tries features eight players who won nothing in 2017.
That includes Jason Day, who could not buy a putt when he needed one and he is the only of three for the Internationals ranked inside the top 20 in the world. Day did not win one tournament this season just past.
The Internationals do have Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama, who won four tournaments in 2017, the same number as the rest of the squad combined. Those four include two by Marc Leishman, so the remaining 10 Internationals have only two trophies for the season.
The USA will also have home ground. The event is being played in New Jersey, which despite the claims of many Yanks, is actually a part of the United States.
Even Day was philosophical about his side’s prospects. “On paper, we are not the best team. The Americans are. I don’t know what the last guy is in the World Ranking on the American side, but they are very accomplished,” Day said. “I don’t think we’ve got a lot of pressure because I think a lot of people are kind of writing us off already, and we’re all solid players. On our weeks, we can beat anyone, and that goes throughout the whole team here.”
The final Aussie on the squad is Adam Scott, who after giving notice in early 2016 the switching from an anchored putting stroke to the conventional stroke mandated by a PGA rule change was zero hindrance to him, has fallen off precipitously.