All the President's Men

Mike Wilson looks ahead to the 12th staging of the Presidents Cup, which will take place at the Liberty National GC in New Jersey and predicts not only another victory for the Stars & Stripes but also a high profile for the current Commander in Chief

2017 Presidents Cup Captains - Steve Stricker and Nick Price

Like the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup mimics in almost every way, strength in-depth is vital, especially when it comes down to the Sunday singles. And, although the top three in the International Team, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day are in the top 10 on the OWGR, with Adam Scott inside the top 20, the top two Americans Johnson and Spieth and six in total in the top 15 of the OWGR with eight more in the top 30.

And, whilst the three South African International Team probable - Oosthuizen, Schwartzel and Grace are all redoubtable performers, especially in match play, Australian Marc Leishman, Korean Si Woo Kim, South Americans Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) and Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) are neither individually or collectively likely to strike fear into American hearts. Especially on home soil with huge jingoistic galleries fired up for what they will see in the US versus the rest-of-the-world.

And that’s the small matter of two captain’s picks.

Stricker has at his disposal the man with the best Presidents Cup record of all time; Phil Mickelson has made the most appearances, the most overall points as well as the best return in foursomes and fourballs.

Stricker then has one to pick from Patrick Reed, Brian Harman, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Ryan Moore, Bubba Watson, JB Holmes, Webb Simpson et al., a veritable embarrassment of riches.

For his part, International skipper Price can add a Korean spine to his team with Byeong Hun An, (#65) and Jeunghuan Wang (#72). Or create a Japanese heart by adding Hideto Tanihara (#52) and Yuta Ikeda (#68) to Shoo-in Matsuyama, but, beyond that, his options are limited.

Alternatively, he may opt for experienced Canadian Adam Hadwin and/or the ever-steady Graham DeLaet (or even Austin Connelly), or look to Asia for the fearless young Chinese star Li Haotong following his third place in the Open Championship. Adding Danny Lee to a strong Australian presence, take a chance of Anirban Lahiri or go for outright experience with Thongchai Jaidee.


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