The best of the United States get ready to take on the International team for this year's Presidents Cup. The teams will go head to head over four days of match play at Liberty National in New York City.
Over the history of the biennial competition, the U.S. has won nine of the eleven contests with the International winning one and the other ending in a tie. In 2015, the U.S. narrowly defeated the internationals 15 1/2 to 14 1/2.
The Presidents Cup is similar to the Ryder Cup, but with more golf. It kicks off on Thursday afternoon with 5 foursomes (alternate shot) matches, followed by five fourball (best ball) matches on Friday. The weekend is jammed with 4 foursomes and fourball matches on Saturday and 12 singles matches on Sunday. In order to win the Presidents Cup, either team needs to earn 15 1/2 points.
The host of this year's Presidents Cup is former toxic superfund site, Liberty National. The course cost former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman an astounding $250 million to build. Liberty National is a lesson that money doesn't buy everything. For Fireman $250 million didn't buy a good golf course.
The course features tight hazard lined fairways and undulated greens. Liberty National's greatest asset is its spectacular panoramic views of the New York City skyline. When Liberty National hosted the 2009 Barclays, it came under fire from many players. Most notably, Tiger Woods who criticized the Bob Cupp-Tom Kite designed greens. Thankfully for viewers, the match play format should generate plenty of viewing interest on its own.
Former U.S. Open champion, golf course architect and International Team Assistant Captain Geoff Ogilvy wrote an excellent article that details two of the more interesting holes at Liberty National.
A preview podcast
SB Nation's Brendan Porath and the PGA Tour's Sean Martin joined the pod to review the 2016-2017 season and preview the Presidents Cup. Topics included Xander Schauffele, the young era of stars and what to expect at Liberty National. Listen on our website, iTunes or Stitcher.
Last call for cards
The Web.com Tour Finals rolls into Jacksonville for the finale of the 4 week series and players last chance to earn a spot on the PGA Tour for '17-'18. So far, 14 of the 25 PGA Tour cards have been locked up through the first three events. A look at the standings.
The field will take on Atlantic Beach C.C. which underwent an extensive renovation in 2015 by Erik Larsen. The course now features wall to wall bunkering, interesting green complexes and distinct strategic bunkering. Larsen did a fantastic job making a small, flat piece of land fun and interesting to play. I expect to see to low scores if conditions are calm. Wind could make things interesting given ABCC's close proximity to the beach.
Names to watch
Adam Svensson - 17th in the Finals standings
The 23 year old Canadian likely needs a made cut to secure his card. Svensson won the 2015 Web.com Tour Qualifying School and is one of the most talented young players in the game.
Sam Saunders - 24th in the Finals standings
Grandson of famed golf legend Arnold Palmer finds himself squarely on the bubble. Saunders had a disappointing campaign on the PGA Tour in 2016-2017, but a good showing at ABCC will send him back.
Zac Blair - 26th in the Finals standings
ZB's trending up after a t11th finish at last week's DAP Championship. ABCC should fit Blair's steady tee-to-green game perfectly. A strong showing at ABCC would send the 3-year PGA Tour vet back up to the Tour after finishing 126th on the money list.
Hunter Mahan - 33rd in the Finals standings
Once a fixture in the OWGR top 10, Mahan now finds himself in need a strong performance to play next year on Tour. Mahan's slide has been well documented but his game has shown signs of life recently.
Last week I went up to Roscommon, Michigan to check out The Loop at Forest Dunes. The Loop is a unique golf course because it is reversible. There are 18 greens and the course can be played clockwise and counter-clockwise. It gives Forest Dunes the benefit of having two distinctly different courses for basically the cost of one. I put together this video which explains how The Loop works as a reversible course.
Welcome to the Hall
The World Golf Hall of Fame announced its class of 2017 on Tuesday, welcoming five new members to its decorated roster. The class of new inductees included Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa, Ian Woosnam and Henry Longhurst. The World Golf Hall of Fame put together some great tribute videos on their Youtube Page.
End of an era, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Titleist is retiring
The Clubpro Guy's goals were eerily similar to Justin Thomas' this year.