There are couple ways of looking at this 2017 Presidents Cup, which has been over since the conclusion of the first session on Thursday. The first is the optimist’s spin — that it’s thrilling to watch excellence in action, and it’s true that this USA group may be starting out on a 10- or 15-year run of dominance in these team match play events. They’re so deep and so good, and even had Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee calling them the “best team ever assembled” in these things.
The pessimist’s view is quite obvious — this is an uncompetitive bore and the latest and most extreme example of what’s plagued this event. There’s no juice, no intensity, and no contentiousness because the history is so lopsided and this edition is the most lopsided of all. The Americans will go to Sunday’s singles session with a massive 14.5 to 3.5 lead. It’s the largest margin ever in any of these cup competitions, Presidents or Ryder, which has seen several blowouts over the decades.
The Americans needed to win 7.5 of the 8 available points on Saturday to pull off the improbable closeout before Sunday’s singles session even arrived. That’s unheard of — there are blowouts, but this was an entirely different universe. Sunday’s singles session being rendered meaningless, even with the USA as heavy favorites at the start of the week, was incomprehensible.
It’s hard to pick out the superlatives from the USA side. They’re just all good. The Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed duo continues to be an anchor for America in all these team events. But now we’ve got young combos that could also be considered top duos, such as Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler, or Thomas and Daniel Berger, and the big-hitting monsters of Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson. There are just so many freaking options here, and they’re all kicking ass against an overmatched International team. The formats don’t matter. That there are fewer matches, allegedly to protect the Internationals’ lack of depth, doesn’t matter. The venue doesn’t matter. The International side has not played well, but nothing was stopping this American train barreling through this week.
There are definitely some issues with this Presidents Cup, both this specific venue and the viability of competition overall. We’ll address some of those when it’s officially all over, but for now we’ll choose to just appreciate the dominance of these young American talents. Sunday should be quick. The Americans need just one point to win the cup, and they’ll have 12 opportunities to do it. That could come as early as 3 p.m. ET or so.
Here are your results from Saturday’s double session:
Session 4 — Four four-ball matches, USA wins 3 to 1, leads 14.5-3.5 overall
- INTL Louis Oosthuizen/Jason Day vs. USA Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed, USA wins, 2&1
- INTL Hideki Matsuyama/Jhonattan Vegas vs. USA Daniel Berger/Justin Thomas, USA wins, 3&2
- INTL Si Woo Kim/Anirban Lahiri vs. USA Kevin Chappell/Charley Hoffman, Intl Wins, 1 up
- INTL Marc Leishman/Branden Grace vs. USA Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka, USA Wins, 3&2
Session 3 — Four foursomes matches — USA wins 3.5-.5, leads 11.5-2.5 overall
- INTL Jason Day/Marc Leishman vs. USA Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed— USA wins, 4&3
- INTL Adam Scott/Adam Hadwin vs. USA Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar — USA wins, 4&3
- INTL Jhonattan Vegas/Emiliano Grillo vs. USA Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson — USA wins, 2&1
- INTL Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace vs. USA Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas — Halved
Session 2 — Five four-ball matches, USA wins 4.5 to .5, leads 8-2 overall
- INTL Hideki Matsuyama/Adam Hadwin vs. USA Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed, Halved
- INTL Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace vs. USA Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas, USA wins, 3&2
- INTL Jason Day/Marc Leishman vs. USA Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson, USA wins, 1 up
- INTL Charl Schwartzel/Anirban Lahiri vs. USA Kevin Chappell/Charley Hoffman, USA Wins, 6&5
- INTL Adam Scott/Jhonattan Vegas vs. USA Dustin Johnson/Brooks Koepka, USA Wins, 3&2
Session 1 — Five foursomes matches — USA leads 3.5-1.5
- INTL Hideki Matsuyama/Charl Schwartzel vs. USA Rickie Fowler/Justin Thomas — USA wins, 6&4
- INTL Adam Scott/Jhonattan Vegas vs. USA Dustin Johnson/Matt Kuchar — USA wins, 1 up
- INTL Si Woo Kim/Emiliano Grillo vs. USA Jordan Spieth/Patrick Reed — USA wins, 5&4
- INTL Louis Oosthuizen/Branden Grace vs. USA Daniel Berger/Brooks Koepka — International wins, 3&1
- INTL Jason Day/Marc Leishman vs. USA Kevin Kisner/Phil Mickelson — Halved