After two days and as many sessions, the United States leads the International squad 8-2 heading into the weekend of the Presidents Cup. Which individual player — either team — has been the biggest disappointment thus far?
Alan Shipnuck: There are so many to choose from! The Internationals needed a big performance from Hideki Matsuyama, their top-ranked player, but he’s hit a series of awful shots. On a relatively inexperienced team, it was also crucial that the major champions lead the way, but Jason Day, Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel have all laid eggs. We knew the Internationals were going to lose but it’s bad manners to not even show up.
Jessica Marksbury: It seems unfair to call out a single player on the International squad when only ONE team has managed a full point in 10 matches, but I suppose you could make the case for Adam Scott, simply because, as an eight-time International team veteran, expectations are higher for him than others, and unfortunately he lost both the matches he played.
Josh Sens: Win as a team, lose as a team. This one calls for cumulative responsibility, but Matsuyama hit some cringe-inducing clankers in crucial moments down the stretch of a match that his team led for much of the day. Veterans Scott and Schwartzel have all looked anywhere from middling to awful. And not that anyone was expecting Lahiri to be the MVP, but his performance, with the quacker off the 1st tee and the DQ on the 3rd hole for practicing out of the sand, has to rank as the most agonizing so far.
Josh Berhow: It’s got to be Hideki. He just doesn’t have it this week. Maybe he’s exhausted coming out of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but lots of these other guys were there too. Hideki’s not playing in morning foursomes on Saturday—and I think that says it all.
Joe Passov: Hideki Matsuyama has been the biggest disappointment so far. I’ve backed him solidly since he turned pro, but the number of truly poor shots he has hit, relative to his world ranking, really stands out.
Jeff Ritter: The Internationals actually remind a little of the early-2000s U.S. Ryder Cup teams. They press and give away points late, and they can’t find a reliable partner for their best player, in this case Matsuyama. I agree with Shipnuck that the established major champs on the International side have been a letdown, but the U.S just looks unbeatable.
Dylan Dethier: My guy Anirban Lahiri. Gets the captain’s pick, comes fresh off the bench for the second day of matches and doesn’t even make it three holes before he got sent to the penalty box? Their 6 & 4 drubbing at the hands of kingslayers Hoffman and Chappell was the worst part of a tough International day.