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Presidents Cup 2022: Rules, Format and Points System Primer for Golf Tournament

Joe TanseySeptember 20, 2022

Warren Little/Getty Images

The United States will attempt to keep up its dominance in the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

The U.S. comes into North Carolina with an eight-cup winning streak over the International team that features players from outside Europe.

The Presidents Cup is typically held on the off year of the Ryder Cup. It gives the international players from outside Europe to compete in a match-play event.

The United States have the best roster on paper to produce the team's ninth straight win in the event, with Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas among the selections.

The International team will come in as a huge underdog because some of its best golfers ended up as ineligible for the competition. Cameron Smith was going to be the top name on the team, but he became inelligible when he joined the LIV Golf Series.

Joaquin Niemann and Anirban Lahiri are the other significant misses because of their LIV Golf participation. Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau are among the Americans not eligible for the same reason, but the United States team has more depth to overcome those absences.


Presidents Cup Format

Thirty match-play contests will determine the Presidents Cup winner.

The United States and International teams will play a mixture of foursomes and four ball matches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Singles matches dominate the Sunday slate.

United States captain Davis Love III chose foursomes, or alternate shot, to open the event on Thursday, which will see the two members of each team taking turns on their shots.

The four balls format has every golfer take their own shot. The lowest score from the United States and International pairings will be used on the scorecard.

Sunday's individual matches are straight match play between the two golfers.

All of the matches carry one point. If a match is tied after 18 holes, a half-point will go to each team.


Preview

The United States either lost or tied the Presidents Cup twice since the event debuted in 1994 but has won the last eight Presidents Cups dating back to 2005. The Americans captured the last title by a 16-14 score in Melbourne, Australia, two years ago.

Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele had the most success against the International team in 2019. Thomas earned 3.5 points, while Cantlay and Schauffele had three points each. Tiger Woods, who was the 2019 team captain, also came through with three points for the Americans.

The Cantlay-Schauffele pairing went 2-2 in 2019, and it was close to earning points in the two matches that were lost. The duo also won two matches at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

United States captain Davis Love III could opt to use that as his top pairing and figure out the rest of the lineup from there. Thomas and Scottie Scheffler should feature heavily in his plans. Scheffler was 2-0-1 in the last Ryder Cup.

Hideki Matsuyama and Sungjae Im will be the anchors of the International team. They had the two top point totals in the standings to get on to the squad.

Im tied with Abraham Ancer for the most points earned by an International team member in 2019 with 3.5. Matsuyama went 2-1-1 to earn 2.5 points.

Some of the best golfers on the 2019 International team are ineligible for the Presidents Cup because of their LIV Golf Series membership. Louis Oosthuizen, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann and Ancer could not be called upon for the 2022 event.

That left International captain Trevor Immelman to choose from an inexperienced group of golfers, and there are eight Presidents Cup rookies on the International squad. The United States has six rookies, but two of them are major winners in Scheffler and Collin Morikawa.

The United States should win the event based on the quality of golfers within each squad. The Americans scored 18.5 points or more in five of their last eight wins. They could get to that total again against a weaker International squad.

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