The 12th Presidents Cup kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., as the Americans aim to defend their 2015 victory against the Internationals, which was won by an extremely close margin: 15.5 to 14.5.
A quick refresher on the 2015 match: Jay Haas’s Americans and Nick Price’s Internationals waged a dramatic battle at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in at Songdo, IBD, Incheon City, South Korea. The United States went into Sunday’s singles matches with a 9.5 to 8.5 lead.
The competition was tight throughout the afternoon, and with one match left on the golf course, the score was 14.5 to 14.5. South Korea’s Sang Moon Bae was locked in an intense battle with Team USA’s Bill Haas, the son of captain Jay Haas. To add even more intrigue, Bill did not qualify for the team on points and was on the roster as one of his father’s captain’s picks that week.
Bill managed to secure a half point for the U.S. on the 17th hole, and when Bae mis-hit a short chip on 18, Haas won the match 2 up and the Americans won the Cup.
It made for a poignant moment between father and son on the final green. In an interview with GOLF magazine, Bill called it “the best moment I’ve had in golf.” Jay said: “It was a moment I’ll never forget. I think about it almost every day.”
The win in 2015 was the Americans’ sixth in a row.
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s event:
What: Presidents Cup
Where: Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.
When: Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 28-Oct. 1
Defending champion: United States
TV Schedule (EST)
Thursday: 1-6 p.m. (NBC)
Friday: 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Saturday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC)
Thursday: Opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m., five foursomes matches beginning at 1:05 p.m.
Friday: Five four-ball matches, 11:35 a.m.
Saturday: Four foursomes matches, 7 a.m.; four four-ball matches, 12 p.m.
Sunday: 12 singles matches, 12 p.m.
Team captains select 10 players to make up five two-person teams for each session on Thursday and Friday. They match up against another two-person team from the other side to play four-ball (best ball) and foursomes (alternate shot). On Saturday the teams play a morning and afternoon session using both formats, and Sunday is reserved for 12 singles matches, in which every player on the roster competes. Winning a match is worth one point and halving a match is worth a 1/2 point. The first team to 15.5 points wins. In the event of a tie, the Cup is shared.
The Presidents Cup dates back to 1994, when the inaugural competition was played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince Williams Country, Va. Hale Irwin led the U.S. to a 20-12 victory over David Graham’s International squad.
The teams are comprised of players from the United States and countries from the rest of the world, excluding continental Europe, which competes against the U.S. in the Ryder Cup. (Ever since the Ryder Cup was canceled in 2001 and rescheduled for 2002, Ryder Cups are contested in even-numbered years and Presidents Cups are played in odd-numbered years.)
Of the 11 Presidents Cup matches played since 1994, the Internationals have won only once, in 1998, by a score of 20.5 to 11.5. That International team was captained by Peter Thomson, who defeated Jack Nicklaus’s Americans by a score of 20.5 to 11.5 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2003, there was a 17-17 tie between Gary Player’s Internationals and Jack Nicklaus’s Americans at the Fancourt Hotel and Country Club in George, Western Cape, South Africa—the only tie in the event’s history.
Players qualify for the teams based on points earned during the season, and the final spots are decided with captain’s picks.
Royal Melbourne Golf Club will host the 2019 Presidents Cup.
ROSTERS (Number of Presidents Cups)
Captain: Steve Stricker (1st as captain)
Dustin Johnson (3rd)
Jordan Spieth (3rd)
Justin Thomas (1st)
Daniel Berger (1st)
Rickie Fowler (2nd)
Brooks Koepka (1st)
Kevin Kisner (1st)
Matt Kuchar (4th)
Patrick Reed (2nd)
Kevin Chappell (1st)
Phil Mickelson (12th)
Charley Hoffman (1st)
Captain: Nick Price (3rd as captain)
Hideki Matsuyama (3rd)
Jason Day (4th)
Adam Scott (8th)
Louis Oosthuizen (3rd)
Charl Schwartzel (4th)
Marc Leishman (3rd)
Branden Grace (2nd)
Jhonattan Vegas (1st)
Si Woo Kim (1st)
Adam Hadwin (1st)
Emiliano Grillo (1st)
Anirban Lahiri (2nd)