SAN FRANCISCO – On paper, the Americans are heavily favored to win the Presidents Cup.
Internationals assistant captain Frank Nobilo said the atmosphere reminds him of 1998, when the Internationals upset the Americans in a rout in Australia.
“We were written off then, and our guys are aware,” Nobilo said. “Some people have said the match is going to be over by Saturday.”
The Americans have the three highest-ranked players in the world (No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Phil Mickelson and No. 3 Steve Stricker) and five of the top 10. Australian Geoff Ogilvy is the only International among the top 10 in the rankings, and he’s barely in at No. 10.
The Americans have won 19 PGA Tour events this year to six for the Internationals. The Americans arrive competitively hotter. Six of the top seven players at the Tour Championship were Americans. The lone player who cracked that bunching was Padraig Harrington, a European. Ernie Els was the best International, who finished ninth.
Of course, on paper, Y.E. Yang never had a chance at the PGA Championship but outplayed Woods in the final round.