It won’t quite be the top-ranked Alabama football team playing Akron on its home field, but the USA figures to be an overwhelming favorite to beat the International team for the ninth straight time in the Presidents Cup in two weeks.
US team captain Davis Love III filled its remaining roster spots Wednesday with six of the top 26 players in the Official World Golf Ranking: Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth, Billy Horschel, Cameron Young, Max Human and Kevin Kisner.
It will be the youngest American team in Presidents Cup history, with an average age of 29.6 years. The Presidents Cup is scheduled for September 22-25 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Although a stacked U.S. team will be the favorite, Love said it will have to play well under pressure.
“It’s still going to be that stadium, that first tee, American flags and ‘Go USA,'” Love said. “This is their 12-man team that has never played together before. They want to win for this team. I don’t think we’re going to have to do too much messaging or motivation. Certainly, you don’t want to be on a losing team at any point. “
The most advanced players of the International team are Japan Hideki Matsuyama and South Korea Sunjae Im, which are 16th and 18th, respectively. Two of the anticipated stars of the International team, that of Australia Cameron Smith and Chilean Joachim Niemannare ineligible for the team after defecting to the LIV Golf circuit.
“We understand exactly the mountain we have in front of us: Maybe the best American team ever assembled if you look at them on paper with their achievements and what their world rankings are,” International team manager. Trevor Immelman said Tuesday.
The average world ranking of the US team is 11.8; the international team is 48.8. The US team includes five of the top 10 players in the world and 11 of the top 20. The International team has no players in the top 10 and two in the top 20.
“Trevor will have a team that has a chip on their shoulder that is motivated and wants to prove they can still be competitive,” Love said. “We have to be careful. Surely, these guys won’t take it lying down.”
Love basically followed a script in making his captain’s choices, after losing Will Zalatoris, who was seventh in the Presidents Cup standings, to a back injury that caused him to miss the season-ending Tour Championship. Spieth, Morikawa, Homa, Horschel and Young were eighth through 12th in the standings, and Kisner, a veteran and match specialist, was 15th.
Kisner, 38, won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in 2019 and was runner-up in 2018 and this season, when he lost to Scheffler in the final. Kisner went 2-0-2 and scored three points in his only previous Presidents Cup appearance, at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey in 2017. He is regarded as one of the best putters in the world and finished seventh at the 2017 PGA Championship. held at Quail Hollow.
Scheffler, Morikawa, Burns, Horschel, Young and Homa are Presidents Cup first-timers. Scheffler and Morikawa competed on the US team that blasted Europe 19-9 in the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
While the United States has traditionally struggled in the Ryder Cup, it has won 11 of the past 13 Presidents Cups, losing only once, 20 ½-11 ½ in Melbourne, Australia, in 1998. The teams tied 17-17 in George, South Africa. , in 2003.
Behind captain Tiger Woodsthe US team won 16-14 in Melbourne in the last Presidents Cup in 2019.
“What we do in the Presidents Cup better than the Ryder Cup is we don’t have this fear of losing or this doubt in our head,” Love said. “We’re just going in with a lot of confidence and we’ve got to keep that momentum going. It was a bit closer than we wanted last time in Australia.”