The main PGA Tour season is over now that Justin Thomas has claimed the Fed Ex Cup trophy. The PGA Championship winner finished second at East Lake, but that was enough to give him the points required to take the honours as Xander Schauffele, an outstanding young talent, won the TOUR Championship on Sunday.
Thomas will take his place in the USA team for the Presidents Cup, a biennial event that pits the cream of American golf against an International team made up of players from around the world (but not Europe, as it would basically then be the Ryder Cup!).
It’s supposed to be a semi-serious knockabout, rather than the full-on patriotic warfare of the Ryder Cup, although these American players and supporters tend to get carried away a bit. It’s no wonder they’ve won nine of the eleven Presidents Cup renewals and all six on home turf.
This USA team contains three of the year’s four major winners (Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka) as well as the world number one in Dustin Johnson, so can the Rest of the World boys give them a run for their money?
Matsuyama to Lead from the Front
The International team is a blend of youth and experience, with veterans like Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott playing alongside Adam Hadwin and the mercurial Si-Woo Kim.
Along with Jason Day, it is Hideki Matsuyama who is perhaps the standout player on the Rest of the World team. The Japanese ace is one of the brightest talents in golf, and it is a matter of time before he opens his major account.
A multiple time PGA Tour event winner, he won’t be fazed by playing on American soil and at 15/2 is great value to take the honours in the Top International betting market.
Reed Proud to Wear the Stars and Stripes
Golf is, of course, an individual sport, and as we know certain personality types thrive in such an environment.
Others prosper when playing as part of a team, particularly when representing their country, and Patrick Reed is one such player.
He’s a fine talent, make no mistake about it, but he really doesn’t win as many tournaments as his ability suggests he should. But, in team-based golf, few have excelled quite like Reed in recent times.
The Texan was the top point scorer for America at both of the Ryder Cups in 2014 and 2016, and clearly pulling on the uniform of his beloved nation brings out the best in this patriot.
Reed is 12/1 to be the UA’s top point scorer once again, and at place terms of 1-2-3 and 1/4 he is certainly worth backing with relish.
Team America Just Too Strong
Even when unfancied on paper, the International team always seems to perform better than the sum of their parts, and while they have only won one of the eleven editions of the Presidents Cup, and one tie, they do at least often make it close. In 2015, for instance, they lost by just one point.
But this American squad is just so strong, and there really are no weak links in it with all 12 playing decent golf in the past few months. The International team features numerous players making their Presidents Cup debuts, and as the European team at the Ryder Cup found there really is no substitute for experience when playing in front of a passionate home American support.
The price isn’t great, but the 2/5 available on an American win simply cannot be ignored.