Presidents Cup Betting Preview
The return of team golf happens this week, as Tiger Woods and Team USA host the Internationals, led by 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott.
2013 Presidents Cup Fact Sheet
- Course: Muirfield Village
- Location: Dublin, Ohio
- Yardage: 7,354 yards, par 72
- Defending Champion: Team USA 19-15
- Thursday – 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Friday – 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM ET (Golf Channel)
- Saturday – 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM ET (NBC)
- Sunday – 12:00 P to 6:00 PM ET (NBC)
Key Storyline This Week
Every two years, the Americans and the Internationals get together to play in the Presidents Cup, and let’s just say that it usually hasn’t gone well for the Internationals. Since the inception of the event in 1994, nine matches have been held with the US holding a 7-1-1 record, outscoring the International side 163-135 in the process. So, how does it work? It’s very similar to the Ryder Cup, with the exception that everyone has to play on the first two days of competition. The full format is listed below, courtesy of the official Presidents Cup website:
The Presidents Cup competition consists of 34 matches:
Thursday – 6 Four-ball matches
Friday – 6 Foursome matches
Saturday morning – 5 Four-ball matches
Saturday afternoon – 5 Foursome matches
Sunday – 12 Singles matches
All matches are worth one point each, for a total of 34 points. There are no playoffs for Foursomes or Four-ball, with each side receiving a half point if the match is tied after 18 holes. Singles matches tied after 18 holes will go to extra holes until a team winner is determined. In a change inspired by the events of The Presidents Cup 2003, if the match is deadlocked at the end of Singles play, the competition will be deemed a tie and the teams will share The Presidents Cup.
So, based on history and the rosters, which we’ll get to in a minute, you’d think that the International side has no chance this week, especially on American soil, but I don’t think that’s the case. The talent gap between the best players in the world is smaller now than its ever been, and even though the Americans have more name-brand value on their side, the Internationals still boast an impressive roster, even if it’s a little top-heavy. Full rosters are listed below, and you can also check out full match play records from tons of events by clicking here.
|Team USA||Team International|
|Tiger Woods (USA)||Adam Scott (Australia)|
|Brandt Snedeker (USA)||Jason Day (Australia)|
|Phil Mickelson (USA)||Charl Schwartzel (South Africa)|
|Matt Kuchar (USA)||Ernie Els (South Africa)|
|Jason Dufner (USA)||Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)|
|Keegan Bradley (USA)||Hideki Matsuyama (Japan)|
|Steve Stricker (USA)||Branden Grace (South Africa)|
|Bill Haas (USA)||Graeme DeLaet (Canada)|
|Hunter Mahan (USA)||Richard Sterne (South Africa)|
|Zach Johnson (USA)||Angel Cabrera (Argentina)|
|Jordan Spieth (USA) *Captain’s Pick*||Marc Leishman (Australia) *Captain’s Pick*|
|Webb Simpson (USA) *Captain’s Pick*||Brendon de Jonge (Zimbabwe) *Captain’s Pick*|
Muirfield Village was the vision and construction of Jack Nicklaus, first opening for play in 1974 and since that opening, Nicklaus has constantly tweaked the design to keep it relevant with changes in technology. The course was a beast in the mid-70′s too, playing at just over 7,000 yards, with Roger Maltbie coming away victorious in the inaugural event in 1976 after beating Hale Irwin in a playoff. Maltbie’s winning score of even par, which was 32 strokes better than last place finisher Leonard Thompson, made it obvious to the players that they had to be at their best the week of the Memorial to have any chance. The course has consistently ranked inside the top-25 in America as ranked by Golf Digest, and is currently sitting at number 14 in the rankings released earlier this year.
If the matches get to the end of the course, it will be quite tough. The final three holes are known as one of the most difficult closing stretches on the PGA Tour, especially after the much talked about re-design that Nicklaus performed on the 16th two years ago, which has now made the 215 yard par-3 the hardest hole on the course in each of the last two Memorial Tournament’s. 17 and 18, two medium length par-4′s, were always two of the more difficult on the layout, but the additions to the 16th have given this course some real trouble at the end.
At the Memorial this year, Matt Kuchar came away victorious with a final score of 12-under par.
Since we don’t know the team pairings and the individual matchups yet, all we can really look at are some preliminary bets. Here are three of the most available options:
Outright Winner: Team International (+275), Team USA (-350), Draw (+1400)
If I had to pick one here, I’d lean slightly to the International side because there’s simply no value at -350 with the U.S., but the difference in talent is a little too much for me to have much confidence in the Internationals. I don’t think it’s going to be the blowout that many in the media think it’ll be, but I just don’t see the Americans losing, especially with the vast difference in course experience that they bring to Muirfield Village.
Top American Point Earner: Hunter Mahan 12-1
Mahan is currently listed as the seventh option at many sites, which suits me just fine based on a couple of factors. In his professional match play career, he’s 28-13-2 and he’s enjoyed some success at Muirfield Village, finishing inside the top-20 four times. He’s also been playing pretty well as of late, finishing inside the top-25 in each of his last four stroke play events, making it all the way to the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Full team odds, minus Mahan, are listed below.
- Tiger Woods (5-1)
- Phil Mickelson (7-1)
- Steve Stricker (8-1)
- Matt Kuchar (9-1)
- Keegan Bradley (10-1)
- Brandt Snedeker (11-1)
- Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson & Zach Johnson (12-1)
- Jordan Spieth (14-1)
- Bill Haas (20-1)
Top International Point Earner: Angel Cabrera and Graham DeLaet (12-1), Branden Grace (14-1)
For the Internationals, I like the above three guys for two reasons: First, they’re at the right price comparatively to the rest of the team, and they are all guys who have gamebreaking, go low ability. I honestly think Cabrera and DeLaet are the guys here that can be the real difference makers this week because if they’re hot, they can play with and against anyone on the American side. Full team odds, outside of these three, are listed below.
- Adam Scott (4-1)
- Jason Day (6-1)
- Charl Schwartzel (7-1)
- Ernie Els (10-1)
- Louis Oosthuizen (11-1)
- Hideki Matsuyama (12-1)
- Richard Sterne (14-1)
- Brendon de Jonge and Marc Leishman (20-1)