Presidents Cup 101: A guide to this week's matches

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 26, 2017, 11:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about the Presidents Cup:

I thought the FedExCup marked the end of the PGA Tour season, but now I see there's a "Presidents Cup" on this week's schedule. What's that all about?

The Presidents Cup is a team event, similar to the Ryder Cup.

What's the difference?

In the Ryder Cup, the United States plays against Europe. In the Presidents Cup, the U.S. plays against an "International" team, meaning all countries EXCEPT Europe. The Presidents Cup is held every two years, in non-Ryder Cup years, which 2017 happens to be.

So, the Americans have to play one of these cup events every year, while the foreign players get every other year off? Why don't they just combine the two events?

Well, for one thing, they're the properties of different entities. The PGA Tour runs the Presidents Cup, while the Ryder Cup is a PGA of America production. And each event makes a lot of money for its owner.

Ah yes. "Show me the money." How much money is at stake?

Technically, none. Players do not receive money for participation in the Presidents Cup. Instead, the PGA Tour pledges to contribute to charities which are nominated by the players, captains and assistant captains from both teams.

When did this Presidents Cup start?

The first one was played in 1994. This is the 12th edition.

How does the series stand?

The U.S. leads, 9-1-1.

How are the teams chosen?

The teams are comprised of 12 players - 10 automatic qualifiers and two captain's picks. The U.S. takes the top 10 players from a points list determined by FedExCup points earned between the 2015 BMW Championship and 2017 Dell Technologies Championship with the points doubled for the 2017 season. The International team consists of the top-10 international players (non-European) in the Official World Golf Ranking at the conclusion of the Dell Technologies Championship. Each side then adds two captain's picks.

Who are the captains?

Steve Stricker for the U.S. and Nick Price for the Internationals.

Who are their players?

For the U.S., the automatic qualifiers are Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas. The captain's picks are Phil Mickelson and Charley Hoffman.

For the Internationals, the automatic quaifiers are Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa; Hideki Matsuyama of Japan; Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Jason Day of Australia; Adam Hadwin of Canada; Si Woo Kim of South Korea and Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela. Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and Anirban Lahiri of India are the captain's picks.

Is the format the same as the Ryder Cup?

It's similar, but not an exact duplicate. The Presidents Cup takes place over four days (Thursday through Sunday), with three days of team matches – alternate shot and better ball – followed by Sunday singles. The Ryder Cup takes place over three days. Also, while the Ryder Cup has a total of 28 points at stake, with the Presidents Cup, it's 30 (down from the former total of 34).

Perhaps most significantly, if the competition is deadlocked at the end of singles play, it will be deemed a tie and the teams will share the Presidents Cup. If a Ryder Cup ends in a tie, the team that last won the cup gets to retain it.

Where is this Presidents Cup being played?

At Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.

Who won the most recent Presidents Cup?

The United States defeated the International team, 15 ½ to 14 ½, at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea, for its sixth consecutive victory. The competition came down to the final match between a pair of captain’s picks – Bill Haas (son of captain Jay Haas) for the U.S. and South Korea’s Sangmoon Bae, who was playing in his last competition before starting two years of mandatory military service for his country. Haas led, 1 up, through 17 holes, and won, 2 up, when Bae made a mess of the 18th and conceded.

Last question: When and where is this all on TV?

Good last question. It will be on Golf Channel from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. It will be on NBC from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday (all times Eastern).

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."