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Monday
Oct022017

Singles First! Presidents Cup Needs Just A Little Gamesmanship To Thrive In 2019

The proposed fixes are flying and some of the assessments are downright bleak (Gray/GolfChannel.com), but as we discussed today on Morning Drive, drastic changes to make the Presidents Cup more winnable for the Internationals could be demeaning to them and discounts the closeness of the 2015 matches.

The talk also downplays a sensational Team USA performance for the week, but particularly in key moments of matches that were often tight through nine or so holes.

As we are prone to do with post-Cup assessments, the suggestions for change and forming of task forces lose sight of the role these events play as exhibitions. The Internationals may have been routed last week, but they were still apart of a valuable experience that will help their games and exposed them to the media capital of the world. The Presidents Cup was beemed all over the world and viewers saw moments of great passion along with historic visits from Presidents past and pressent.

Jaime Diaz urges patience at Golf World because this was mostly about poor play from the Internationals. Just look at the Golfweek report cards and you're reminded that the International stars did not deliver. Jason Day had no idea where the ball was going--with his coach not there to help, eh em--while Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott could not muster up play close to their best.

There is also the lesson to learn from golf team event history.

As Joel Beall noted early last week, two other notable cup competitions--Ryder and Walker--saw major imbalances in their early years. But the Presidents Cup works with slight variations to the format by extending to a fourth day, though as we saw last week, the four-ball portion of the proceedings seemed bland and in need of some spice. However, that may have been more of a Liberty National and state of the game matter.

While I love Karen Crouse's idea for a mixed team event, I don't think blowing up the Presidents Cup is the place to do it.

Indeed, the 2019 Presidents Cup needs a little sizzle when it returns to Royal Melbourne. The incredible venue is a star already. Els is in and while Phil Mickelson seems determined to keep playing (Ahern/Golfweek), Tiger Woods should ascend the Task Force latter and become the next logical USA captain since he appears to enjoy the job, loves the Sandbelt and will be a Ryder Cup captain whenever he wants the job. In other words, the 2019 event will have plenty of intrigue.

Still, the concerns about competitiveness can be addressed in a clever way that carries a little bit of risk taking for the Internationals.

I'm very much on board with Brandel Chamblee's suggestion that the Internationals, as hosts, propose a home-field change to the order of play. Given their recent success in singles, Chamblee suggested presumed-captain Ernie Els propose opening with singles to prevent a huge early points deficit.

It's also a gamesmanship play. The Presidents Cup has generally lacked the chippiness that makes the Ryder Cup so compelling. By using the home field advantage, the risk and potential reward could be enough to turn the tide for the Internationals.

So would better play.

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Reader Comments (10)

Honest mistake, but a big difference between "apart" and "a part" ;)
10.2.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilly
I don't see what the big deal is. The score at Liberty National was 19-11. The score at Hazeltine was 17-11. At least at Liberty National, we didn't have to put up with yobs and chavs from some shitty sink estate vomiting out soccer chants. And at least the PGA Tour can pay for this event on its own, without help from anyone else. AND put it on a first-class venue. Unlike some other tours we know.
10.2.2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott Perez
Royal Melbourne -"the home field advantage" for the Aussies but no one else on the team.

Good to see the mixed idea out there. As posted before, get the Ryder and Solheim Cups into the same year and play the mixed event the next year- zero scheduling problems, it would have a very different atmosphere.

I watch a lot of golf on TV but never watch when the result is a foregone conclusion. Despite being Aussie, I didn't watch any PC.

The Presidents Cup is a dead Parrot. For those who don't know Monty Python watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218
The best tweak is to get rid of this thing. This is clearly nothing more than a money grab on the part of the tour. The only reason countries are involved is because that is the best way to get people to spend money. You can bet that if research were to show that a righties vs lefties format would bring in more money, the team composition would magically change.

Plus you have top Americans who are basically forced into playing every year. Sure no one puts a gun to their head, but go ahead and sit out because you're tired, want a break, and watch the reaction. This idea there is a duty to the country is foolish in this context.

Only reason I care is that instead of being able to watch the British Masters, Golf Channel had 700 hours of live from.....
10.3.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
Playing the singles on the first day just seems weird. My "fixes"

1. Supposedly Ernie wants to move to a blind draw as far as pairings. Easy Fix: Do it.
2. For the number of matches, I'm inclined to leave it as is, but I would get rid of the mandatory number of sessions each guy has to play, that doesn't exist in the RC, and it would help out weaker overall teams to give them more flexibility.
3. Let the Internationals form some sort of committee to provide input into Captains selections, number of picks, points list and so forth. The perception is that those things are being dictated to them by the PGA Tour (which they are). So give them a say so.
4. It seems their main complaint is that they have no event in the off year, so the US has an edge thanks to the Ryder Cup in terms of continuity. So the PGA Tour is going to have to step up with some sort of RC Year competition for the International team. I'll suggest it is the team of their choosing vs. a team of Eurotour or even Euro+USA "volunteers". Hold the event around January, and always do it in the Southern Hemisphere. You won't get the top top guys to play, but a bunch of second Tier guys would do it - maybe provide RC or PC points from our end. Let the Internationals dictate the event, format, courses and so forth.
10.3.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Maybe they could play the next 6 guys off of the points lists from both USA and Europe - call it the Prime Minister's Cup or something. Make it permanent in Australia in December, they could integrate it into their summer golf calendar.
10.3.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Not sure why everything needs to be "fixed". Are all golf events inherently broken?
10.3.2017 | Unregistered Commentercmoore
Duly noted that a "committee" and a "Task Force" was suggested for the International team.

Yeah, that will fix things.
10.3.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLateral Hazard
better chance? - Tiger plays in next President's Cup or simply ascends the Task Force ladder... probably the latter
10.3.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C
As Scott so rightly points out we won 18.5-9.5 at both the K Club and Oakland Hills and the Ryder Cup didn't die. And all this despite mashed potato. babba boooey and get in the hole from 400 yards. Gosh we must have been good back then!
10.4.2017 | Unregistered Commenterchico

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