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.
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.
|Time (EDT)||International Player||USA Player|
|9:30 a.m.||Hideki Matsuyama||Hunter Mahan|
|9:41 a.m.||Jason Day||Brandt Snedeker|
|9:52 a.m.||Graham DeLaet||Jordan Spieth|
|10:03 a.m.||Ernie Els||Steve Stricker|
|10:14 a.m.||Brendon de Jonge||Jason Dufner|
|10:25 a.m.||Adam Scott||Bill Haas|
|10:36 a.m.||Branden Grace||Zach Johnson|
|10:47 a.m.||Marc Leishman||Matt Kuchar|
|10:58 a.m.||Richard Sterne||Tiger Woods|
|11:09 a.m.||Charl Schwartzel||Keegan Bradley|
|11:20 a.m.||Louis Oosthuizen||Webb Simpson|
|11:31 a.m.||Angel Cabrera||Phil Mickelson|
International Team Makes Early Push
What will be the result of the Presidents Cup?
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:
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
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:
USA Wins Presidents Cup
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.
No team leading going into singles has ever lost a Presidents Cup. Sunday not starting well for Internationals,— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) October 6, 2013
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.