2013 Presidents Cup Preview + Predictions #InternationalsWin #UnderdogLock

Ah, the Presidents Cup.  Steeped in tradition, player passion and memories galore…..errrr, damnit, it’s not a Ryder Cup year so we’re stuck with this phony exhibition.  Anyway, since it’s the focus of the golfing world at the moment, let’s pretend that this is a big deal, for at least just a moment.

Undoubtedly, the Americans have the home course advantage at Muirifeld Village this week.  Tiger has won at Jack’s place a handful of times (although no Tiger, remember that you didn’t win there this year…), Kuchar won there this year, Stricker won there a couple years back, captain Fred Couples is a past champion and others have had some success there as well.  It’s a very Americanized course designed by the all-timer himself, Jack Nicklaus.  When you have the Golden Bear on your side, it’s obviously a major leg up on your competition.

But, just like any other sport, it’s not necessarily the host venue or the full season’s body of work, it just simply boils down to current form and who outplays the other side that week.  So, let’s jump into the American team for a minute:

Americans:

Tiger Woods– Injured (that’s what years of HGH usage will do to one’s body), not playing well, in a perma-pissy mood during the fall, horrendous team player (see pathetic 13-14-2 Ryder Cup record, sorry his 5-0 in the Prez Cup from ’09 was an aberration, take that out and he’s a paltry 15-14-1 in this phony exhibition), completely mailed it in during the Tour Championship, doesn’t want to be here and just plain HATES the Presidents Cup (in fact I predicted he’d skip this week’s event all together– rest assured that Finchem highly pressured him into being here this week).  2-3 at best this week.

Phil Mickelson– Has completely packed it in for the season, his mind 100% focused on which NFL games he’s going to lay multiple dimes on this weekend.  18-14-10 career Presidents Cup record is weak for a player of his caliber.  Phil is one of the most ADD-ish players on Tour, and when he’s not fully committed those Callaway HX’s start flying violently offline.

Jason Dufner– Other than photobombing Matt Kuchar’s Google+ hangout and being on the flipside of some Dufnering recently, the Dufster has been mighty quiet with his game since his breakthrough PGA Championship victory (#Wanamakering).  Sorry, his backdoored t-9th at the Tour Championship doesn’t count for much other than a spare extra couple hundred G’s.

Steve Stricker– One of the few Americans who actually wants to be here this week, playing well (finished 3rd in the FedEx Cup Final Standings) and a past champion here.

Hunter Mahan– A bit of a snoozy FedEx Cup Playoffs with only one top 10 finish for the Sean Foley disciple.  Went 4-1 in these matches two years ago, a good rebound from his infamous Ryder Cup gaffe from the year before.  Expecting some solid play out of Hunter this week.

Webb Simpson– A down year for the Webbster with his highest finish of the season coming in the final event- The Tour Championship (solo 4th).  Expecting some continued volatility from Dowd’s husband this week.

Brandt Snedeker– Brandt might have the best commercial in all of golf (Sneeeeeedeker– btw, love how captain Couples announced his name that way in the opening ceremony!), but has been struggling mightily of late, likely due to that lingering rib injury.  Not expecting much other than 6 foot comebackers for par all week long for Sneds.

Matt Kuchar– This year’s Memorial champ obviously houses some great vibes at this venue (when isn’t Matty exuding some great vibes?!), I see him being Mr steady eddy all week and could possibly lead the Americans in points.

Keegan Bradley– Keegan was born for match play and seriously seems to have electricity pumping through his veins when under pressure- which can be both a good and a bad thing.  It’ll be feast or famine all week long for Keegs.

Bill Haas– A surprisingly quiet latter half of the season for the former FedEx Cup champ, hasn’t posted a top 10 since the limited field at Firestone.  Could be a long week for Billy boy.

Zach Johnson– Had a very solid playoff run, been fighting a stomach bug this week, but appears to be mostly recovered.  Expecting a solid week from him.

Jordan Spieth– The American player who all golf fans are most excited to watch, and also the player who might be the most excited to be here playing this week.  Hopefully he can shake the visions of his 82 that he posted at Muirfield Village during the third round of this year’s Memorial.  Here’s betting that he can, expecting big things from the young stud this week.

So there you have it, a total mishmash of I-don’t-want-to-be-here, I-could-care-less, I’m-stoked-to-be-here and I’ve-never-even-been-here-before.  Hell, I’m not even going to break down the International team, I’m frankly just not feeling it from this American crew this year.

Prediction?  Internationals win 18 1/2 – 15 1/2.

+300 on the Internationals? Yes please!

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

 

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