Presidents Cup 2011: Tiger Woods' Struggles Won't Keep Americans from Victory

Michael DixonAnalyst IIINovember 18, 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 18:  Tiger Woods of the U.S. Team chats to team captain Fred Couples on the sixth hole during the Day Two Four-Ball Matches of the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on November 18, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has struggled at the 2011 Presidents Cup, coming away from the opening two sessions without recording a single point. 

While Tiger is the only American without a single half point, Dustin Johnson, who's probably the American's best player, has only recorded a half point. 

Despite all of that, the Americans sit with a 7-5 lead after two sessions. Three sessions, totaling 22 more matches are still to be played, so the two-point deficit is certainly not insurmountable for the International squad, but I can't say that it looks very good. 

In the history of the Presidents Cup the team leading after the first two sessions is 6-1-1. While it's not perfectly symmetrical the American record in the Presidents Cup is also 6-1-1.

So, from both of those angles, this doesn't look good for the Internationals.

What happens if Tiger heats up and shows some of the form that he showed at last week's Australian Open? I would say that it's highly likely that Woods will come through with a positive record over the final three sessions.

Two points doesn't seem like a lot, but what it obviously indicates is that the Internationals need to be the ones making progress. Fred Couples and the American team can put their best teams out there and if they go so much as .500, they will win.

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Conversely, the best International teams have to be perfect.

If the Internationals can't make any progress on Saturday (in Australia), then Sunday will be little more than a ceremonial day.  

What the American squad has in this situation is a lot of experience. They do this every year. Next year, they will be playing in the Ryder Cup. The year after that, it will be a Presidents Cup, and so on. 

Granted, that hasn't translated to a lot of success at the Ryder Cup in recent years, but it's hard to come back against a team that gets this experience every year. 

Saturday is a vital day. My guess is that if Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson can't manage at least a halve against Adam Scott and K.J. Choi in the morning session, that at least Tiger will be held out of the afternoon session. 

If his struggles continue they can be masked. 

The International team is in a really tight spot right now. As the event gets older, the American team will theoretically become more accustomed to the course that the International team should have the advantage on.

So, if this is the best they could do with a full home course advantage, how can they be expected to do any better as that dissipates? 

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