So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance.
There are 12 singles matches at tomorrow’s Presidents Cup. In order to raise the Cup, the International team has a simple goal: Win every single one.
Just how tall is this task? It would already be essentially impossible if these were two evenly-matched squads. But as we’ve seen the last three days, they, uh, aren’t even that, which makes things even harder for Nick Price’s squad.
It’s one thing for Adam Scott to stare down Brooks Koepka, or for Jason Day to go toe-to-toe with Charley Hoffman. Asking Emiliano Grillo to stare down Rickie Fowler is a whole ‘nother type of thing.
As you can see below, the first two matches of the day are the only ones in which the Internationals are favored to win; they’re underdogs in the other ten. And with even a single halved match dooming the efforts of their team, it’s certainly an uphill battle.
Let’s check out the odds our friends at PaddyPower have put on the final day’s matches, with odds to win in parentheses:
12:04: Kevin Chappell (6/4) vs. Marc Leishman (4/5). Implied probability: 55.6%
12:15: Charley Hoffman (7/4) vs. Jason Day (4/6). Implied probability: 60%
12:26: Justin Thomas (8/11) vs. Hideki Matsuyama (13/8). Implied probability: 38.1%
12:37: Daniel Berger (4/6) vs. Si Woo Kim (7/4). Implied probability: 36.36%
12:48: Matt Kuchar (5/6) vs. Charl Schwartzel (11/8). Implied probability: 42.11%
12:59: Patrick Reed (1/1) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (6/5). Implied probability: 45.45%
1:10: Dustin Johnson (4/6) vs. Branden Grace (7/4). Implied probability: 36.36%
1:21: Brooks Koepka (8/11) vs. Adam Scott (13/8). Implied probability: 38.1%
1:32: Jordan Spieth (4/9) vs. Jhonny Vegas (11/4). Implied probability: 26.67%
1:43: Kevin Kisner (8/11) vs. Anirban Lahiri (13/8). Implied probability 38.1%
1:54: Phil Mickelson (4/5) vs. Adam Hadwin (6/4). Implied probability: 40.0%
2:05: Rickie Fowler (1/2) vs. Emiliano Grillo (12/5). Implied probability: 29.41%
Assuming these are independent probabilities (even though they aren’t, really) we can combine the percentages to find that the Internationals have a .001465% chance of winning the Cup. That’s about 1 in 68,259.
There are some variables involved, of course. The American squad could run into a nasty bout of food poisoning, say, or a dozen crippling hangovers after a night of early celebration in Manhattan. Plus, there’s no telling what a dynamic pump-up speech from Captain Nick Price could do to inspire his men.
It’s likely that PaddyPower would offer quite a payout on that result. So, International fans — how much do you believe?