Twelve of the best golfers from the USA will compete against a dozen talented golfers from around the world in the 2022 Presidents Cup this weekend. The tournament will tee off on Thursday, Sept. 22 and run through Sunday, Sept. 25.
There are 30 points available for both teams to score over the 30 matches that will be contested. There will be five team matches on Thursday, five on Friday, eight on Saturday, and 12 singles matches on Sunday.
One thing that is consistent is how the event is scored: If a team or player gets a lower score, they win the hole. If the teams tie, the hole is “halved.” And it doesn’t matter if you lose the hole by one shot or 10: Each hole is a completely separate entity, and the final score on that hole is all that matters.
Whomever wins the most holes wins the match. If it’s tied after 18 holes, both teams will each get a half-point. Each golfer must play in at least one foursome or four-ball match before the singles competition on Sunday.
Thursday, September 22 to Sunday, September 25
Foursomes (or Alternate Shot): 9 points available (5 on Thursday, 4 on Saturday)
Each International and American team will consist of two players. One player on each team will tee off on the odd-numbered holes, and the other on the even-numbered holes. If Player A tees off, Player B will then hit the second shot. Then Player A will hit the third, etc, until the ball is in the hole or the final putt is conceded*.
Something to keep an eye on: Discussion of which player uses which golf ball. Since these players often compete as individuals, two guys that use a different ball in a regular event might be forced to use the same one in this format. It’s always a factor.
* You’ll see a lot of tap-in putts and such not actually ever go in the hole. That’s because the traditions of golf often have the opposing team say “you’re good” or “pick it up,” which means they give you credit for making the putt even when you don’t.
Four-Ball: 9 points available (5 on Friday, 4 on Saturday)
Two players of two teams each. Everyone plays their own ball, but only the low score on the hole between the two teammates counts. So the risk-reward factor increases in this format. If Player A tees off first and hits a nice drive, you might see Player B take a rip and go for an even more aggressive line in an attempt to get the lowest score for the team.
Look for this especially on the Par 3s, where if your partner puts it on the green with a 10-foot putt, you might as well try and fire at the flag.
Singles Matches: 12 points available (Sunday)
There’s 12 players on each team, and the team captains will select who competes in each match in a snake draft format, with one captain choosing his golfer first for the first match, the other choosing first for the second match, and so on.
Do you send your worst golfer in the No. 1 spot knowing he’ll likely lose, but avoid having a weaker matchup somewhere else? Do you try and put your strength at the end of the day or the beginning? There will be much ruminating here.