Presidents Cup 2013 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Sunday

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 6, 2013

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 05:  Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during the Day Three Foursome Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 5, 2013  in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2013 Presidents Cup has been plagued by rainfall and a lot of inconsistency in the schedule, but Sunday's highly anticipated 12 singles matches have been scheduled at last.

It will take a monumental comeback from the International team to capture the Cup, as Nick Price's lot of elite players trail Team USA 14-8, with the U.S. needing only 3.5 additional points to win the hardware on home soil.

History is working against the Internationals, who have never won away from home in this competition and have triumphed just once in nine previous attempts.

Here is an overview of the 12 matches that will close out the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, followed by predictions as to how the action will unfold.


International Team Makes Early Push

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 05:  Jason Day of Australia and the International Team plays a bunker shot on the 12th hole during the Day Three Foursome Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 5, 2013  in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Im
David Cannon/Getty Images

The visitors have an opportunity to make up at least part of the big hole they're in early in the singles matches.

Twenty-one-year-old Japanese prodigy Hideki Matsuyama clashes with Hunter Mahan in the opener. Mahan was rested in the foursomes and may take awhile to get into the flow of the match.

Ernie Els made a putt on the par-four 18th hole to end the foursome session with a 1-up victory over Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar, which was the American duo's first loss of the Presidents Cup.

That gives the South African some momentum, along with his partner Brendon de Jonge, who has had the most birdies on the PGA Tour since 2009.

De Jonge will face off against Jason Dufner and could pull an upset over the reigning PGA Championship winner. That will be an entertaining match to watch, because both players are capable of making birdies in bunches with magnificent iron play.

In the third match, Jason Day, who is a member at Muirfield, faces Brandt Snedeker, who has not played up to his high standards this week, per Golf Digest's Stephen Hennessey:

It is worth noting that Snedeker did close out the foursome 1-up win alongside Webb Simpson with a clutch par putt at the last to beat Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Granted, a lot has to go the International team's way, but there is at least some hope that the team could mount a rally in the first four singles matches.


Graham DeLaet vs. Jordan Spieth Will Be Most Entertaining Match

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 05:  Jordan Spieth of the U.S. Team watches his tee shot on the eighth hole during the Day Three Four-ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 5, 2013  in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

It's hard to question USA captain Fred Couples' strategy thus far, but sitting out Spieth in the foursomes was a bit of a disappointment.

He brought an increased hype to this tournament after finishing eighth in the FedEx Cup playoffs and being chosen as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Then again, that only makes his inevitable appearance in singles burn with more anticipation.

It's a tall task for Spieth coming off a brief Presidents Cup rest to face DeLaet, a marvelous ball-striker whose short game saved him and Day, allowing them to halve a match early Sunday with Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson.

This chip-in from DeLaet threatened to break an all-square tie, before Bradley drained a birdie putt on top of the Canadian:

There shouldn't be a shortage of quality shots in this showdown. Both Spieth and DeLaet have improved their putting throughout the course of the season, so it will be exciting to see how they do one-on-one in favorable scoring conditions.


USA Wins Presidents Cup

DUBLIN, OH - OCTOBER 05:  Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar of the U.S. Team celebrate on the 18th green after defeating the team of Scott/ Matsuyama 1up during the Day Three Four-ball Matches at the Muirfield Village Golf Club on October 5, 2013  in Dublin, Oh
David Cannon/Getty Images

Couples' squad only needs 3.5 points to retain the Cup for a fifth consecutive time, and everything indicates that it will happen.

Randall Mell of Golf Channel points out how a team leading in points entering singles matches has never lost:

This isn't the boldest of predictions to make, but it is the likeliest outcome.

The International side has significant help in the form of Muirfield being Day's home course, Adam Scott having an innate advantage in his match and Graham DeLaet riding high off a chip-in at the last hole he played.

It is just too little, too late for the underdogs to overcome the massive deficit against the talent of their opponents and the home crowd working in the Americans' favor.