The Americans are going to win the Presidents Cup this week in Korea.
I already made the case that the addition of J.B. Holmes is a critical one for the U.S of A. Just think, if Brooks Koepka was on this squad, the 12th-ranked player in the world (and @nolayingup petition board member), the American team would be even better set to romp down the
European International side.
Sorry, Ryder Cup still on the mind.
But before I go there….
First Look: The Course
The course to host the 2015 Presidents Cup is the first Korean host in Presidents Cup history– the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. It’s about 40 miles west of Seoul, close to the town of Incheon.
Open to play since 2010, this private layout features a 7,300 yard “challenge to players of all playing levels,” according to Jack’s official design website. The course is the focal point of an environmentally focused green space program in place to preserve some of the beautiful natural habitat in South Korea– a country growing in population and shrinking in available real estate.
Minimalistic, this course is not. A lot of soil was moved and a lot of water hazards come into play– in fact, hazards are in play on 9 of the 18 holes. Nicklaus challenges players off the tee with classic fairway bunkering along with utilization of the nice elevation change in Korea.
Check out these videos and familiarize yourself with things:
Hole-by-hole with Jack Nicklaus:
Now let’s dive into some American themes for the Presidents Cup.
5 Reasons the Americans are going to win the Cup:
The Americans get to play team golf every year, something that seems to be somewhat of an advantage during Presidents Cup years and a disadvantage during Ryder Cup years. But I say it benefits them this year.
Spieth has played with, and knows, Patrick Reed. Kuchar has been on every team since 2010. Watson and Fowler are pals. The Johnsons have paired up.
There’s natural chemistry already somewhat in place. And these awesome headcovers can do nothing but completely strengthen the positive vibes, right??
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) October 6, 2015
2. Veteran Leadership
Phil Mickelson was brought in as a “good locker room guy,” a Presidents Cup team member based on career accolades and less on current form. But his ability to unite players (even if it means against a captain, like in Tom Watson’s case last year), is something that can’t be over looked.
Players are signed to NBA and NFL rosters based on “veteran leadership” and although I know golf is different, it’s not that different, is it?
Mickelson’s presence will be a positive one (read on his “intangibles”).
Looking even further at the list of assistant captains in Freddy Couples and Steve Stricker, this American team will have a lot of positive influence and experience flowing through the team discussions and battle rooms. It will aid them greatly.
3. Better talent, Plain & Simple
Look at the Official Golf Rankings. Before Furyk dropped out, they had 6 of the world’s top-10 players. Even without Furyk, they have nine of the top-20 players in the world.
The Internationals can’t match that– plain & simple.
4. Rickie Fowler is here
We can all remember back to when Fowler was peach(ier)-faced and full of steam heading into the 2010 Ryder Cup. He set Europe on fire with a bizzaro finish for the ages.
If the American team can get a similar effort from the 26-year old, they’ll be sitting really pretty. Fowler has never played in a Presidents Cup, but he may have some of the best experience on the team. What do I mean?
In October 2011, Fowler won the Korean Open by 6 strokes over Rory McIlroy. He knows how to win in Korea.
Now whether there’s any familiarity to take there and apply, I don’t know, but the fact that Fowler has navigated courses in this foreign land and won doing so, is an encouraging notion.
And he’s excited…
5. Combination of playing styles
The Americans have youth. They have experience. They have aggressive. They have conservative. They have bombers (in number). They have tacticians. They can be creative in playing style combinations and personalities in a way the Internationals can’t.
I know, at the end of the day, it’s about getting the ball in the hole. But I think when looking at advantages of a match, being able to do different things with your team is one to look at. Sometimes it’s the slightest of advantages that can swing a team event like these.
Jay Haas has that luxury.