Ten Questions for 2011 #5: Will the U.S. Lose the Presidents Cup?

Will the International team win the Presidents Cup for the first time since 1998?

Thrash TalkThe Presidents Cup has and probably always will be overshadowed by the Ryder Cup, but despite the United States dominance in recent memory, the event has still become one to look forward to. It gives golf fans a great opportunity to see guys like Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Camilo Villegas, etc. play in a team competition every other year. Add in the extra day of competition compared to the Ryder Cup, and that’s a double bonus.

Other than the tie at the 2003 Presidents Cup, the United States has won every competition except 1998. That one was played at Royal Melbourne in Australia, and it just so happens the 2011 Presidents Cup will return to the land down under. International Captain Greg Norman will have the task of trying to end the losing streak against the Americans, and it’s fitting the competition will be in his homeland.

Can the International Team regain the Presidents Cup for the first time in over a decade and make this competition relevant again? There is still a lot of golf to be played before this year’s event, but something tells me Norman and crew will finally get the job done. Keep reading to find out why it’s possible.

The first reason it’s possible is Ernie Els. The Big Easy had a major resurgence in 2010, and he is arguably better right now than he has been in several years. He is currently at the top of the Presidents Cup qualifying, and while he is just one golfer, he is going to be able to lead this team like he did in 2003. I’ll never forget the match he had with Tiger Woods that ended in a tie. That is the Ernie Els fans want to see, and that’s the one who will be in attendance at this year’s Presidents Cup.

The second reason is the strong Australian contingency that will be playing at home at this year’s Presidents Cup. Adam Scott also had a minor resurgence in 2010, and he is playing better than he has since he was ranked third in the Official World Golf Rankings a couple years ago. In addition to Scott, Tim Clark and Robert Allenby are both coming off solid seasons. Clark finally picked up his first-career PGA Tour win, and he made it a great one at The Players.

Aussie Geoff Ogilvy wasn’t as good as he has been in recent years, but he just won in Australia to close 2010. He will be ready to go when the Presidents Cup gets here. Finally, Jason Day came into his own last season and will be a huge asset for the International Team later this year. He still has to qualify, but he shouldn’t have any problem if he plays like he did in 2010. He will bring much-needed attitude and swagger to a team that’s lacked it in recent competitions. The group of Aussies will be extremely strong in their homeland.

The third positive centers around the younger golfers who will likely be playing for the International side this year. Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen have come of age since the last Presidents Cup, and both will likely be making their debut in the competition. They will both bring a great presence to the event, and they can play a little golf as well. In addition, Ryo Ishakawa and Camilo Villegas could be in the mix as well. Both played in the 2009 Presidents Cup, and while Ishikawa did well for himself, Villegas went 0-4. If he qualifies this year, you can bet he won’t get shutout again.

Camilo Villegas

Keep in mind there is a lot of golf to be played before the teams are finalized, and the list could change quite a bit from now until November. I’ll be surprised if most of the players mentioned above aren’t on the team, however. And if they do make the team, they are going to give the United States a tougher time than in the past. The mix of veterans, youth, and Aussies will give this International side a great chance to regain the Presidents Cup for the first time since 1998.

The United States will also be motivated and ready to go, and they will be more than capable of dominating once again. That being said, who knows where Tiger will go from here. Also, Phil Mickelson doesn’t play a lot of golf in the month of November, and it’s hard to predict what he will do in team competition.

There are several young Americans coming up through the ranks, however, and they will surely be ready to take the torch in the near future. In the end, I expect a much closer Presidents Cup than what we have gotten in recent competitions. Whether or not the International side can get the job done remains to be seen, but I have a good feeling they will finally regain the trophy. All good things must come to an end right?

It’s your turn to tell me what you think about the article. It’s early, but do you think the International side will have enough firepower to regain the Presidents Cup later this year? Do you think playing at Royal Melbourne will be a factor? Do you expect Tiger and Phil to make an impact? If you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss it in the forum. Thanks for reading!

Photo Credits: © 2008 The Sand Trap .com.

1 thought on “Ten Questions for 2011 #5: Will the U.S. Lose the Presidents Cup?”

  1. The President’s Cup should be very competitive this year.
    Retief Goosen (15th in world golf rankings and 2010 scoring average 69.96), Stuart Appelby (win last year and 30th in Fed Ex Cup), and Louis Oosthuizen (British Open Champ 19th in world), have been playing well also. Then there’s Y.E. Yang,K.J. Choi, Charlie Wei, and Kim Kyung-Tae

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