Josh Culp

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Presidents Cup Preview

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


International Team


Hideki Matsuyama

Experience: 3-4-2 (2013, 2015)

He's won four times since his last appearance at the Presidents Cup. He's successfully evolved into a superstar and will now get a chance to potentially anchor the International team. One of the best tee-to-green talents in the world, and possibly the best around-the-greens, but the flat stick is what holds him back. If they're looking for 'opposites attract' type of chemistry, he might really click with the smooth-strokin' Adam Hadwin. Or they could let him take another Asian star under his wing (Si Woo Kim) and try to unleash his full potential.


Jason Day

Experience: 4-8-3 (2011, 2013, 2015)


The 10-time TOUR winner has picked up 5.5 points in 15 matches at this event (36.7%). Not what you'd expect from one of the best golfers on the planet. In the team format, his three points have come with Graham DeLaet (x2) and Aaron Baddeley. Neither of them made the team this year. The natural move is to pair him with fellow Aussies, Adam Scott or Marc Leishman, but there is merit to spreading out the talent and pairing him with one of the rookies. He's probably tired of losing at this event by now, but will he be able to change that? We will have to wait and see.


Adam Scott

Experience: 13-17-5 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)


The odd thing about Scott and the Presidents Cup, at least for me, is the fact he's been paired up with Jason Day just once. Scott has played 28 team matches, and is just 0-0-1 with Day. Perhaps, that is due to lack of team depth on past teams? Or maybe they just don't want to play together. I don't think team depth is a major concern this year, so maybe we see two of the Aussie superstars finally team up and pick up some points.


Louis Oosthuizen

Experience: 5-3-2 (2013, 2015)


He's been the workhorse in the past two editions, playing a total of 10 matches when you include singles. It was a poor debut in 2013, but him and Branden Grace ripped through the competition in 2015. Most impressive was the fact that two of his points came against Captain America, Patrick Reed, and then he later halved his singles match against Reed. Oosthuizen may be the kryptonite that the Europeans don't have access to.


Marc Leishman

Experience: 3-4-1 (2013, 2015)


He's been tossed around like a rag doll in the team format here. He's played in seven matches with SIX DIFFERENT PARTNERS. Those partners include Richard Sterne, Angel Cabrera (x2), Danny Lee, Steven Bowditch, Adam Scott, and Jason Day. All that turnover has resulted in a 1-3-3 record in the team format. Perhaps, he'll finally find a partner he can mesh with (Schwartzel or Matsuyama, perhaps). Singles have been no problem for the Aussie who is 2-0-0 in Presidents Cup singles.


Charl Schwartzel

Experience: 6-7-1 (2011, 2013, 2015)


In the past he's been paired up with another South African in seven (of 11) team matches. With Oosthuizen and Grace now established as a standout pairing, that leaves Schwartzel as the odd man out. Luckily, pairings aren't restricted by country, so we should see Schwartzel use his experience to show one of the rookies the ropes. Or maybe they load him up with one of the stars, that's yet to be determined. What we do know is that Schwartzel will be a tough out in Sunday Singles. Over his career, worldwide, he is 17-13-1 in head-to-head competition.


Branden Grace

Experience: 5-4-0 (2013, 2015)


Went 0-3-0 in his 2013 debut but a teammate switch-up (or maybe just added experience) made all the difference in 2015. Playing with fellow South African, Louis Oosthuizen, the duo went 4-0-0 as a team in South Korea. Grace would put a cherry on top when he took out Matt Kuchar in Sunday Singles (2-and-1). I'd expect Nick Price to go right back to that well this week and see if there is any water left.


Si Woo Kim

Experience: Rookie


One of the best around-the-green talents on TOUR, but very streaky in all other aspects of the game. Which golfer will show up this week? The one that won THE 2017 PLAYERS by five strokes? The one that won the 2016 Wyndham Championship by three? Or the one that has withdrawn seven times in the middle of an event? The 22-year-old already announced himself to the world with that runaway victory at TPC Sawgrass, but he could really cement himself as an up-and-coming star if he shines this week.


Jhonattan Vegas

Experience: Rookie


Could be considered the International's equivalent version of Charley Hoffman. He is an elite driver of the golf ball, but very spotty with the flat stick. Has no experience in team competition, or at the course, making him a bit of a wildcard.


Adam Hadwin

Experience: Rookie


Was an underperformer for years before it all clicked in 2017. He is now a PGA TOUR winner and also a member of the '59 Club.' That ability to take it deep will be very valuable in this week's format, making him a very nice sleeper to shine.


Emiliano Grillo

Experience: Rookie


Making his debut at the event, as well as the course. Last season's Rookie of the Year certainly has a bag full of talent, but he lacks any experience at this type of event. As for his record in singles, he is just 1-4-1 at the WGC-Match Play, in two attempts.


Anirban Lahiri

Experience: 0-3-0 (2015)


Always hard to pair up these golfers that often struggle with the flat stick. Do missed 4-footers hurt worse when you miss it for yourself in a regular tournament or when you miss it for your team? Probably the latter. Went 0-3-0 in his 2015 debut but that was before he transplanted to the United States and established himself full-time as a PGA TOUR golfer. Should have a bit more comfort (and confidence) this time around.


Total Team Experience at the Presidents Cup:
39-50-14
Singles: 11-9-2
Team Matches: 28-41-12


Now onto my predictions...


continue story »
Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp



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