Golf Presidents Cup Betting Guide (2020)

Taking place every two years, as an alternative to the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup is a biennial men’s golf event played in teams and featuring the United States against a team referred to as the Internationals.

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Trophy Golf Presidents Cup

 

Introduction to Golf Presidents Cup

Both teams are represented by twelve players meaning 24 of the world’s top golfers are in competition. Unlike the Ryder Cup, which is played between America and Europe, this International team can and does include anyone not from the United States or Europe.

Also unlike the Ryder Cup, the Golf Presidents Cup takes place over four days rather than three. Although this isn’t as highly regarded as the Ryder Cup and is in no way as competitive – the US team have won 11 out of 13 events  – the extra day over which this tournament is held is due to the fact that there are more points are on offer in this newer competition.

Whereas the Ryder Cup is comprised of 28 individual matches, the Golf Presidents Cup is played over 30 and has, in the past, been played over as many as 34 over its 25 year history. Conceived in 1994, the Presidents Cup is unique because there is no prize money and players are not compensated for their involvement. Instead, money is awarded to a player’s nominated charity and in total, the event has raised over $49.1 million for more than 450 charities in 16 countries worldwide over its lifetime.

 

Golf Presidents Cup Structure

Skipper Ernie

On the first day, the tournament usually gets underway with a round of fourballs before foursomes are held on day two. There will be two sessions on the third day with fourballs in the morning and foursomes from noon onwards. Finally, on the final day, normally a Sunday, twelve singles matches are held to round things off. This is also where the 30 points are up for grabs between the two sides, meaning that the winning team needs to find at least 15.5 points to win.

Presidents Cup Format

Clubs at the ready at Golf Presidents Cup

In the past, players have been required to compete in at least two matches prior to the Sunday singles. In 2019, this was changed to players needing to play in just the one. As outlined above, these matches are, in order from Thursday through Sunday including two Saturday sessions, fourballs, foursomes, fourballs and foursomes again before single matches on the Sunday.

Foursome and fourballs are alternate shot and best ball formats and each match, whether it’s a doubles or singles game, is worth one point. Tied games reward a half point to both players or teams just like in the Ryder Cup. The scoring system of the event is match play. If, after all that, the score ends up 15-15, the result can be a tie and the cup shared.

Most Recent Golf Presidents Cup 2019

Tiger Woods

Featuring 24 of the world’s top golfers, 12 from each team, the Golf Presidents Cup is a team match play competition that has raised almost $50 million for global charities. Most recently, 24 players met up at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club and took part in rounds of fourballs, foursomes and singles over three days. This was the third occasion that the Royal Melbourne has played host to the event having staged the cup here in both 1998 and 2011, making it the most prolific host venue for the Internationals.

South African legend Ernie Els was elected to be the International Captain, while Tiger Woods served as the United States Presidents Cup Captain. In Woods’ case, he will also be a participating player for the Americans. The teams were made up of eight ranked players, plus four captains’ picks, sometimes referred to as wildcards.

The American team have won the previous seven events our of 12. The International team have won just the once, in 2011, in Melbourne. Save for a tie in South Africa in 2003, the US team has won every other event and almost all of those have come on North American soil, with the exception of Melbourne in 2011 and 2019, as well as dramatically, in Incheon, South Korea in 2015.

The twelve players selected by both teams were made up by eight automatic qualifiers plus the captain's picks. For the US, this meant the top eight players on a FedExCup points list earned between the 2017 and 2019. In the case of the International team, these are recruited by earning the most Official World Golf Ranking points between 2018 and 2019.

Controversially, this has led to the omission of Jordan Spieth, who wasn’t even selected as wild card by captain Tiger Woods. This is even more bizarre given that Bubba Watson was not in attendance. For the internationals, there will be no Jason Day who was withdrawn due to a back injury.

2019 Presidents Cup Teams

Australian Adam Scott at Golf Presidents Cup

United States Presidents Cup Team

Player FedExCup Points NationalityWorld Ranking
Brooks Koepka8,310 USA 1
Justin Thomas 6,949 USA 5
Dustin Johnson 6,643 USA 4
Patrick Cantlay 5,898 USA 6
Xander Schauffele 5,753USA 9
Webb Simpson 5,532 USA 11
Matt Kuchar 5,520 USA 23
Bryson DeChambeau 5,341USA 12
Tony Finau Captain’s Pick USA 15
Gary Woodland Captain’s Pick USA 17
Patrick Reed Captain’s Pick USA 16
Rickie Fowler Captain’s Pick USA 22
Tiger Woods Captain’s Pick USA 7

 

International Presidents Cup Team

PlayerWorld Golf Rank Points Nationality World Ranking
Marc Leishman 192.94 Australia27
Hideki Matsuyama 187.11 Japan20
Louis Oosthuizen 184.68 South Africa 24
Adam Scott 180.30 Australia 18
Abraham Ancer 160.39 Mexico38
Li Haotong 128.63 China63
Pan Cheng-tsung 125.77 Taiwan 62
Cameron Smith 124.17 Australia52
Sungjae Im Captain’s Pick South Korea 33
Byeong-hun An Captain’s Pick South Korea 42
Adam Hadwin Captain’s Pick Canada47
Joaquin Niemann Captain’s Pick Chile57

 

2019 Presidents Cup Captains

The most recent tournament was in 2019 and drew together two of Golf’s biggest names and, coincidentally, the stars of one of its most famously dramatic events in its history, which took place at the 2003 event (see below). Yes, last time out the captains were Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. Woods captained the US side and Els, from Johannesburg, South Africa, lead the Internationals. Prior to the tournament starting, it was also announced that Tiger Woods would be playing as well as captaining pleased golfing fans, especially those in attendance, enormously.

Top 5 Tips for Golf Presidents Cup Betting

Jason Day golfing

As you might expect, the US team are, more often than not, overwhelmingly the odds-on favourites to win the Presidents Cup yet again. If you are wondering why the United States team are so heavily favoured, simply look at our history of the event below. The Americans have, after all, won the competition on ten out of 13 attempts. That’s not to say that the International team don’t stand a chance, this is first class sport after all and anything can happen.

Fortunately, online bookmakers will run odds on more than just the “who will win” market. This will help provide a range of decent value bets for bettors to enjoy which is why golf is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the world.

Top Player

Bookmakers will allow you to bet on the top performing player from either side, but who will it be?

Correct Score

This is a tough one, because you will need to name the exact final score, not just the winner. The odds will be longer though.

Who will lift the trophy

Bet on who the winning captain could be or could they tie once again?

Top combined scorer

Who could score the most points over the tournament, regardless of winning?

Top three finish

Which player from which team might make the top three?

Fourballs and Foursomes

As with all golf bets, once we know the pairs for the foursome and fourball matches or the matchups for the final day’s singles, we can bet on individual match outcomes too.

Singles

As with the fourballs and foursomes, as soon as we know whose Sunday matching pairs are, we can bet on each one as many as we like in an accumulator.

A Brief History of the Golf Presidents Cup

Bubba teeing off at Golf Presidents Cup

The tournament started out in 1994 when the inaugural competition was held at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia, USA. Over the intermitting 25 years, the world's best players, excluding Europeans, have come together to contest their talents for team and country while donating appearance fees to charity and competing for the Presidents Cup trophy.

The USA have traditionally been massively dominant, winning all but two of the previous events and even one of those was a tie. In 2000, the Cup was extended from three days to four and from 2015 onwards the event has been constructed of a total of 9 foursome doubles matches, 9 fourball doubles matches, and 12 singles matches. Let’s take a brief look at how, historically, things have played out.

1994 Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Virginia

The first running of the Presidents Cup was in Virginia and was won by the US team by a score line of 20-12. The American team featured the likes of Fred Couples and Phil Mickelson and was captained by Golf Hall of Fame member Hale Irwin. Another Hall of Famer, David Graham captained an International Team that included Vijay Singh and Robert Allenby but without their biggest star, Australia’s Greg Norman, who was side lined with the flu, there was nothing they could do to prevent the US from becoming the first team in history to win the Presidents Cup.

1996 Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Virginia

Arnold Palmer was installed as Presidents Cup captain for the United States in 1996 having served twice as the captain of winning American Ryder Cup teams in 1963 and 1975. The US team again consisted of Mickelson and Couples but they also joined by the likes of Mark O’Meara, Davis Love III, Tom Lehman and Justin Leonard. Peter Thomson’s strong International squad, which this time did include Greg Norman, included Ernie Els, captain for the upcoming 2019 event. This event was the closest score in tournament history, save for the draw in 2003, until 2015 when the tourney was won on the final hole. Back in 1996 however, Couples narrowly and dramatically won his singles match to give the Americans a winning score of 16.5-15.5

1998 The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne

In 1998 the Presidents Cup was won for the first and only time by International Team under the direction of Peter Thomson. Jack Nicklaus was in charge of the visitors who, despite having the likes of David Duval, Mark O'Meara and Tiger Woods in their ranks, were shot down by a score of 20.5-11.5 in one of the largest margins of victory in the cup's history.

2000 Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Virginia

Peter Thomson captained the International Team for the third and final time in 2000, having been narrowly defeated in one and recording a big win in the other in what must feel like the golden years for the Internationals. Ken Venturi led the Americans who won in a rout 20.5-11.5, a reverse of the previous competition’s score. This will long be remembered for the singles match between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh whose caddie took the odd decision to wear a baseball cap with “Tiger who?” stitched on the back, inspiring Woods to victory, although by then the Cup was all but sorted anyway.

2003 Fancourt Hotel and Country Club, George, South Africa

The 2003 Presidents Cup took place in South Africa, for the first time and saw local hero Gary Player selected as captain for the Internationals. Player was up against Jack Nicklaus' United States team in what was to be the last time that the US didn’t win the Cup. In what fans will hope was a forecast of how this years event might play out, this tournament was famed for two players in particular, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. The event had gone into playoffs and these were the two stars carrying their teams hopes on their shoulders. With the two unwilling to be beaten, Nicklaus was heard to tell the PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, “Everybody's comfortable that this is the most unbelievable event the game has ever seen, we should share the Cup.” So they did.

2005 Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Virginia

As with every other event since this one, the US won the trophy. Once again, Jack Nicklaus was in charge of the US and Gary Player captained the Internationals. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Club hosted the event for the fourth time in the competition's history and Nicklaus, who lost and tied in his first two years captaining the Americans, finally earned his first victory when his team beat the Internationals 18.5-15.5.

2007 The Royal Montreal Golf Club, Quebec, Canada

2007 saw the third and final occasion that the legendary captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player would lead out their teams in President Cup action. Canadian Mike Weir, at number 20 in the world rankings, was a captain's pick for the internationals as they played hosts in his homeland. Despite the Americans holding a huge lead going into Sunday, Weir faced Tiger Woods in the singles and, with a nation watching, made a birdie to square the match on the 17th. On the next, Woods pinged his ball into a water hazard much to the delight of local fans draped in Maple Leaf flags. It was a fleeting, but brilliant, joy for the Internationals and Canadians in particular, as the United States would retain the cup with a 19.5-14.5 score.

2009 Harding Park Golf Club in San Francisco, California

Team USA won the 2009 Presidents Cup after Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Anthony Kim lost only two matches between them, and in Woods and Mickelson’s case, none at all. Despite this Presidents Cup being tightly fought for the first two days, with only one American point separating the teams, the singles quickly destroyed any hopes Greg Norman’s Internationals might have had of claiming a win for the first time in nearly a decade. In the first four matches alone, the USA, led by Fred Couples for the first time, picked up 3.5 of a possible 4 points on their way to a 19.5-14.5 score line.

2011 Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia

The 2011 Presidents Cup pitted Greg Norman's International side against Fred Couples' US team. The Americans continued their dominance in the competition despite the tournament being held back in Melbourne, scene of the only ever International victory. Controversial Captain's pick, Tiger Woods, scored the point to clinch the cup for the American team by defeating Australian Aaron Baddeley 4-3 as the US completed a 19-15 point win.

2013 Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio

In 2013, Fred Couples and Nick Price went head to head as captains of their respective teams. The United States went into the Sunday singles needing just 3.5 points to secure victory once again and, although it wasn't easy, the American team did just enough to get what was required and win by 18.5 points to 15.5. It was Presidents Cup legend Tiger Woods who sealed the deal with a 1-up win over Richard Sterne to give the Americans their fifth straight Presidents Cup victory and the third time in row Woods was the man to put the winning shot and see off the International team.

2015 Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, Incheon, South Korea

The 2015 Presidents Cup was contested in South Korea for the first time. Fittingly, the first event staged in Asia was held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. The US team was led by Jay Haas and at the helm of the International Team was two-time captain Nick Price who was unable to prevent his team losing 15.5 to 14.5 on the final hole. As before, the Americans raced ahead early on, winning four matches on Day 1, but this time the International team fought back and went into the final day with it all to play for. With the cup coming down to the final hole of the final match, which was played between the captain’s son Bill Haas and Sangmoon Bae, Haas, who found the bunker with his second shot, hit the ball to within 6 feet to and allow his side to clinch the Cup in a dramatic finale.

2017 Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, New Jersey

For the first time in the event's history, the Presidents Cup was held at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. The International team was led by captain Nick Price for a third time, while the U.S. team was led by Steve Stricker. Following the four-day competition on the banks of the Hudson River, the U.S. team claimed victory with a 19-11 margin. The Americans took the largest-ever lead into a Sunday singles session at a Presidents Cup making the final day a mere formality.

Pro Golfer Adam Scott

 

 

Golf Presidents Cup FAQs

💳 What is the Golf Presidents Cup format?

In 2019, there was a minor format change that resulted in each player only being required to play a minimum of one match prior to the final-round singles matches. On the opening Thursday, there were five fourball matches, followed by five foursome matches on the Friday. On Saturday, over two sessions, there were four more fourballs in the morning and four extra foursomes in the afternoon. On Sunday’s final day, twelve singles matches took place in which all players took part. All matches were worth one point each, making a total of 30 points with no playoffs and each side receiving a half point if a match ended up tied after 18 holes.

🏆 How many points are needed to win the Presidents Cup?

There are a total of 30 points available to win so just over half – 15.5 – is enough to win the trophy.

🎁 Can you tie the Presidents Cup?

Yes, since 2003 when the Cup was indeed tied after it was agreed that nobody should lose, the cup can be tied although this has yet to happen again.

 

Conclusion

Although this competition hasn’t been very competitive over the past 20 years, it remains an exciting feature on the PGA circuit. While it may lack the history and heritage of its more prestigious relative, the Ryder Cup, it still manages to thrill spectators the world over and has thrown up some incredibly dramatic moments over its 25 year history.