So many occasions over three days it appeared as if the Presidents Cup, the primary occasion through which Tiger Woods had served as a captain, was headed for an embarrassing, blowout defeat. As a substitute, every time, the Individuals discovered a technique to inch nearer, to remain inside attain. And so a surprisingly shut, drama-filled Presidents Cup comes right down to 12 singles matches. Can the Worldwide aspect pull the upset? Will the U.S. rally round Woods and sneak off with a victory?
This is a take a look at every of the matches that can resolve this Presidents Cup:
SCOREBOARD: Worldwide 10, United States 8
The marquee match of the singles is the very first one off on the ultimate day. Woods needed to exit early, hoping to each set a tone for the day and get performed enjoying and return to being a captain as the remainder of the matches end. Woods sat all of Day 3, so the 43-year-old ought to really feel rested. Ancer, the Presidents Cup rookie with a 3-0-1 document this week, mentioned just a few weeks in the past he needed to face Woods. Effectively, he received his want. Others have requested for a bit of Woods and it hasn’t ended properly for them. For each groups, this can be a assertion match.
Prediction: Woods wins 2 and 1.
On the conclusion of Day 3, Matt Kuchar had a warning for the Worldwide aspect: You do not wish to play Tony Finau. He may not but have a win to point out for it this week — Finau is 0-1-2 — however he carried a struggling Kuchar to a pair of ties on consecutive days. Matsuyama has two wins up to now within the competitors, however each got here in matches in opposition to Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, the pair who by far have had the worst week. Whereas Woods/Ancer is the headliner, this may be the next-best matchup of the 12 singles.
Patrick Reed vs. C.T. Pan
If Reed thought the crowds in Australia had been heckling him over the primary three days, simply wait till he heads to the primary tee for this one. Reed is coming off a guidelines problem on the Hero World Problem, through which the phrase “dishonest” was introduced up greater than as soon as. He is performed poorly on this Presidents Cup, going 0-Three alongside Simpson. He egged the followers on as soon as, motioning that he could not hear them after which making a digging movement, referencing his violation within the sand the week earlier than. Then, on Day 3, his caddie, Kessler Karain, received into an altercation with a fan and was taken off Reed’s bag for singles by the PGA Tour. So, no, it will not be quiet round this match.
Prediction: Pan wins Three and a pair of.
Late in Day Three it seems Johnson lastly shook off all of the rust. He had been out of motion since knee surgical procedure in September. Li, in the meantime, has been hidden by Worldwide captain Ernie Els. Li sat the primary two days — he was the one participant to do this — and performed simply as soon as on Day 3, and that was a shaky efficiency in a loss alongside Marc Leishman.
Prediction: Johnson wins four and three
DeChambeau, like Li on the Worldwide aspect, hasn’t participated a lot this week. He performed within the first session of the occasion and has not been seen on the course since. He wandered into the stands earlier than the primary tee and cheered and sang together with some followers throughout Day 3’s second session, however that has been his solely contribution since his Day 1 loss. Hadwin, in the meantime, handled an sickness that brought about him to overlook Day Three altogether. So if you happen to’re in search of the least predictable match of the session, that is it.
Woodland, the reigning U.S. Open champion, hit one of many greatest pictures of the week, an ideal strategy into the 17th gap in Day 3’s alternate-shot session to assist he and Johnson maintain off a late cost by Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen. Im has been regular in his first Presidents Cup look, posting a 2-1-1 document up to now.
Prediction: Woodland wins 2 and 1.
For 3 days, Niemann, the youngest participant within the discipline, seemed out of types. He began 0-2 and seemed headed for one more loss in Day’s alternate-shot session with Byeong Hun An. However two birdies on the 14th and 15th helped the pair salvage a tie and maybe lastly allowed Niemann, 21, to shake off the nerves. Cantay is without doubt one of the Individuals who has performed each match — he was with Xander Schauffele for all 4 classes. This match, greater than maybe a few of the others, will likely be determined by who has the warmer putter.
Prediction: Cantlay wins 1 up.
Xander Schauffele vs. Adam Scott
In singles, clearly, Cantlay and Shauffele could not be paired collectively. However Woods made certain the 2, who’ve been aspect by aspect this complete week, weren’t far aside. So that they’ll nonetheless be capable of regulate one another. Scott is the largest fan favourite within the occasion, the Australian with essentially the most expertise on the Worldwide aspect; Schauffele is a Presidents Cup rookie.
Prediction: Scott wins Three and a pair of.
Webb Simpson vs. Byeong Hun An
Simpson must be thrilled to be far, far-off from the Reed circus. He was front-and-center with Reed for 3 classes, all losses through which the pair wasn’t all that aggressive. Going at it alone in singles will really feel like a pleasant break. An has been in shut matches all week — he has two ties, a 1-up loss and a 2 and 1 win to make up his 1-1-2 document. The query is right here whether or not fatigue will set in; he’s in his first Presidents Cup.
Prediction: An wins 1 up
Woods needed expertise on the again finish of his lineup, pondering the Cup may come right down to the ultimate few gamers lined up for singles. Enter Thomas, who had been the U.S. aspect’s most dominant participant till a surprising collapse late in his match with Rickie Fowler on the finish of Day 3. Thomas was not comfortable he and Fowler gave away a match through which they led 5 up with eight holes to play in opposition to Leishman and Ancer. They settled for a tie and half level. It wasn’t like Thomas wanted added gas, however that meltdown on Day Three will probably function just a little further motivation. Smith has been performed solidly, simply not usually. Els has solely put him within the lineup twice so far.
Prediction: Thomas wins four and three.
Matt Kuchar vs. Louis Oosthuizen
Maybe the jeers have not been as loud as they’ve been for Reed, however Kuchar has heard from the gang this week. The flap through which he shortchanged a caddie at an occasion in Mexico is not one thing a partisan crowd at a world competitors goes to neglect. Oosthuizen, like Kuchar, is not new to workforce occasions; that is his fourth time on the Worldwide aspect. Clearly, Woods and Els needed expertise on the again finish of their lineup.
Rickie Fowler vs. Marc Leishman
Given the best way this week has gone — with momentum swings on the finish of almost each session — it is smart to assume the entire thing may come right down to the final match on the golf course. Fowler should cope with the reminiscence of the Day Three collapse and being matched up within the remaining group of the competitors in opposition to a hometown favourite. Leishman grew up about three hours from Royal Melbourne. With each groups watching this match, can Leishman assist the Worldwide aspect shut out an enormous upset on his house soil.
Prediction: Leishman wins 1 up.