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/, 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.