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2007 Presidents Cup Staff Predictions

Sep. 27, 2007     By     Comments (4)

The Sand Trap Caucuses are complete, all votes are in, and no hanging chads! Read on to see if we are indeed bellweather journalists.

Thrash TalkThe seventh edition of the Presidents Cup match play event begins today at Royal Montreal. Unlike their performance in recent years' Ryder Cup matches, the U.S. has had a pretty successful run in these international matches since the inaugural event in 1994. Will it continue? Read on to hear our soothsayings.

Final Score

Erik J. Barzeski
I think the U.S. comes into these matches with fewer players in a slide and wins 18½ to 15½.

Jack Waddell
Internationals win 17½ to 16½. But the question is, will I really care? Like other events manufactured by the PGA Tour (The Players, the FedExCup) to emulate major championships or playoffs in other sports, I find the Presidents Cup a poor copy of the Ryder Cup. It's nice the Internationals get a chance to play, but I think the yearly grind of such matches for the best U.S. players takes it toll on them. In the end, I think it costs late season events appearances by some of these players. Every time the Presidents Cup is played all I can think of is Finchem's selfish arrogance.

Alan Olson
We've won everything else this year so why not add The Presidents Cup to the mantle. U.S. 19, Internationals 15.

Dave Koster
U.S. 19, Internationals 15. Every time the Presidents Cup is played, we think that the International team is much more talented and should win given the U.S.'s performance in recent Ryder Cups. Well, I think the U.S. will be led by the hottest player in the world (Tiger) and the player with one of the best records in the Presidents Cup (Furyk) to victory.

George Promenschenkel
The U.S. will overcome its road jinx. The top players of the International Team just haven't been playing well of late. With the exceptions of Rory and K.J., the International players have been pretty uninspiring in recent weeks. Riding the hot hands of Woods, Austin, and Stricker, the Americans will put it away with a strong showing in the Sunday singles. U.S.: 18½ Internationals: 15½.

JP Bouffard
I honestly think you can flip a coin with this one…it will be close and the teams are pretty evenly matched. I like the International Team on the classic-style course off U.S. soil. Internationals 18-16.

Biggest Point-Scorer, U.S. Team

Erik J. Barzeski
It's always tough to bet against Tiger Woods, and I'm not doing so here. He comes into the event playing some of the best golf he's ever played, and nothing will please him more than finishing off the week by putting a beating on Mike Weir in Canada (if Jack Nicklaus gets his way).

Jack Waddell
Woody Austin is playing the best golf of his life right now and I think his emotional craziness is perfect for match play. Of course it remains to be seen whether he can play his best golf wearing a shirt that isn't butt ugly.

Alan Olson
Tiger Woods goes undefeated. Doesn't have the greatest record to date but is playing at another level right now.

Dave Koster
Tiger. He's en fuego right now and I can't see him losing more than one match and halving a couple.

George Promenschenkel
Steve Stricker has been playing very good golf of late. Watch for him to continue that streak in Montreal. His short game and putting will make him hard to beat. He'll edge out Tiger for most points.

JP Bouffard
Jim Furyk. His steady, grinding game wears down any type of player, and if he is paired with Tiger - a winning formula in the Ryder Cup - his chances for piling up points only increases. Tiger of course could easily be the high man for the U.S., but he's yet to show much more than a lukewarm effort in team events.

Biggest Point-Scorer, International Team

Erik J. Barzeski
Ernie Els. He has something to prove and has quietly been playing "good" but not "great" golf this year. It was another winless year for the Big Easy, so he can salvage something with a solid Presidents Cup.

Jack Waddell
If Rory Sabbatini could avoid playing Tiger Woods, I'd pick him. An obnoxious little twirp is a perfect personality for match play. But since there's no guarantee he won't be whupped up on by Woods, I'll pick Angel Cabrera. He is one tough dude as he proved in the U.S. Open.

Alan Olson
Ernie Els looks to back to his old form and is playing as well as anyone not named Tiger.

Dave Koster
Rory Sabbatini. I hate picking him, but his attitude is perfect for match play. Plus, Ben Crane won't be playing with him all week.

George Promenschenkel
How cool would it be if Mike Weir were the top point-getter for the Internationals? I don't think he'll do it (but it would be cool!). No, the Internationals will get their best showings from Adam Scott and Nick O'Hern. Why Scott? Simply because he's due to start playing well in the "important" events. He definitely has the talent. Why O'Hern? Just a feeling, that's all.

JP Bouffard
Rory Sabbatini. Hates to lose, has a gigantic ego that makes him want to pummel his opponent. Although his performance tailed off some at the end of the PGA Tour season, he's easily the most motivated of all the International players. Els will probably do well, but I like Rory to be the International's star.

Biggest Disappointment, U.S. Team

Erik J. Barzeski
Charles Howell III. Nicklaus joked with him earlier in the week that he needed a lesson given his tail-off after an early-season win. Then again, is it unfair to pick the sliding U.S. player as the biggest disappointment? How many times can Chucky disappoint and still be up for the role?

Jack Waddell
Phil Mickelson has no doubt begun hibernation and will clearly not be roused to greatness by this event. Too bad, too, because his go for broke style and short game, if they were present, would be fun to watch. Then again, watching him crash and burn is pretty entertaining too.

Alan Olson
Charles Howell III. Hasn't done squat since The Masters, a trend which, unfortunately, continues in Montreal.

Dave Koster
David Toms. He has a horrible record in this event and hasn't been playing well at all this year. At least he has Furyk to lean on in the first match.

George Promenschenkel
Mickelson is already on vacation. He'll once again fail to show up (figuratively) for a team competition. Come on, Phil, prove me wrong!

JP Bouffard
I suppose to qualify as a disappointment, there have to be some expectations to begin with, but I still would say team-event rookie Woody Austin will be the number one bust for the U.S. He's a very talented golfer, but prone to emotional decompensations of the sort that make me think his memories of his first Presidents Cup will not be pleasant. Then again, perhaps the excitement of being named to an international team competition for the first time will bring out the best in him, especially when apathy may be a big factor for many players (see below).

Biggest Disappointment, International Team

Erik J. Barzeski
Mike Weir's game probably won't miraculously elevate to the level people hope it will, but he's not the biggest disappointment. That honor will belong to the only International major champion of 2007: Angel Cabrera. His play has declined this year and, unlike Zach Johnson, he's been unable to handle the pressure of being a major winner very well.

Jack Waddell
Mike Weir's game has left him and I doubt he'll find it in his own country. And that's too bad because he's a quality guy and doing well would mean more to him than anyone else. I just think the added pressure of playing in front of his countrymen will crack his fragile game.

Alan Olson
Retief Goosen. What the heck happened to this guy? Once one of the best golfers in the world has fallen off the face of the planet. Occasional flashes of brilliance but this won't be one of the times.

Dave Koster
Vijay Singh. You expect a lot out of this guy, but he's not very chummy and probably not the ideal "team" player. Plus he's another guy who stunk it up down the stretch during the FedExCup.

George Promenschenkel
Rory Sabbatini will struggle in his first Presidents Cup. Worse yet, his mouth may give the U.S. team plenty of bulletin board material.

JP Bouffard
Adam Scott, hands down. Can't seem to putt well enough to win the big ones, and the pressure will be on him to be a major factor for the Internationals. If he does manage to play anywhere near his "A" game, he'll make me look mighty stupid, though.

Key Factor or Matchup

Erik J. Barzeski
Our new-ish players (Mahan, Austin, Glover, etc.) versus their struggling players (Singh, Goosen, Weir, Immelman, etc.). Our top guys should beat their top guys at least 60% of the time, so if the guys struggling on the U.S. team - of which there are fewer - can hold their own against the struggling International players, the U.S. will win easily.

Jack Waddell
I think a key to an International victory will be Adam Scott finally showing a little backbone and an ability to putt under pressure. Trevor Immelman and Nick O'Hern will also have to come through. On the U.S. side, Glover, Mahan, and Howell need to show they deserve playing on this stage.

Alan Olson
Tiger Woods paired with Steve Stricker will be the #1 team for the U.S.

Dave Koster
Rory v. Tiger in the final pairing on the final day? Could you imagine it? While that would be a cool finish I think the big factor will be the play of the less Cup-experienced Americans. If Hunter Mahan, Stricker and the fiery Austin can come up big I think the margin will be even more than my predicted four points. We'll see early on how things go since Mahan and Stricker are out first. What a way to start for the U.S. A win there would be huge….

George Promenschenkel
Mike Weir… can his shaky game of late stand up under the pressure of Canada's hopes? A large portion of Canada will be watching just him. He can ride that enthusiasm and play over his head, or it can crush him. I think he might just rise to the occasion, and help keep the score close for a while. And although lots of people are anticipating a Tiger/Rory showdown, I think that's been pretty well covered this year. But I can't wait to see the hilarious hijinks when Woody and Rory square off!

JP Bouffard
This is going to sound cynical, but honestly, which team will have the most players who care enough to put forth their best effort? After a long golf season and the first ever season-ending FedExCup championship series, maintaining focus and intensity will be an issue for both teams. I think both teams will pick up the tone of their veteran stars, and so the play of Vijay and Ernie will be critical for the International Team's chance for victory.

Your Turn

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Discussion

  1. Boy...reading all of this would give me good knowledge to place a bet with a booky :lol:

  2. J Tung says:

    Mike Weir sure proved all of you wrong.

  3. Alex says:

    I think Woody did amazing as a first timer. I would be interested in seeing him make the Ryder Cup!

  1. [... The seventh edition of the Presidents Cup match play event begins today at Royal Montreal. Unlike their performance in recent years' Ryder Cup matches, the U.S. has had a pretty ...]

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