Golf: 5 Things to Watch at Presidents Cup from Royal Melbourne

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Golf: 5 Things to Watch at Presidents Cup from Royal Melbourne
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Fred Couples & Greg Norman both want the Presidents Cup

The 2011 Presidents Cup opens play from one of the world's most challenging golf courses, Royal Melbourne.

The U.S. team won the 2009 Presidents Cup held at Harding Park in San Francisco, California.

Each side consists of 10 members who qualified to earn their spot on the team. The captains picked an additional two members to round out the 12-member teams.

In eight previous Presidents Cup competitions, the International Team has won outright only once, and that was at Royal Melbourne in 1998. The teams tied in the 2003 matches from South Africa with the American team retaining the Presidents Cup.

International Team captain, Greg Norman, was a member of that winning team in 1998.

Melbourne is 16 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so the matches can be broadcast live in prime time in the States.

The team matches begin on Thursday (Wednesday evening in the U.S.) on the Golf Channel with six Foursome matches (alternate shot).

Six four-ball (best ball) matches will be held on Friday. Team matches continue on Saturday, with a double-session of five foursome matches in the morning session and five four-ball matches in the afternoon. This gives the captains a chance to let some of the players sit out and rest. 

The matches conclude on Sunday with 12 singles matches. 

A point is awarded for each win and a half point is awarded for each tie. No points are earned for a loss. A total of 34 points are available and it will take 17½ points to win the Cup outright.

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