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Presidents Cup Preview

The week sees the biennial edition of the Presidents Cup in which Team USA faces off against golfers from the rest of the world, excluding Europe, in a matchplay format.

USA won by one point 2 years ago, and the Internationals have only managed to win on one single occasion in 11 previous runnings - that being back in 1998 when captained by the Australian five-time Open champion, Peter Thompson.

You can watch the highlights of the Americans' 2015 win in South Korea below:

This time around the Americans can boast three 2017 major winners, as well as three of the current top four in the Official World Golf Rankings. Dustin Johnson sits at the head of these rankings and has done so since his win at the Genesis Open back in February of this year.

Venue: Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey
Par: 71
Yardage: 7,328 yards

The golf course is built on the site of a former Hudson River landfill and is a former FedEx Cup Playoff event venue - hosting The Barclays in 2009 and again in 2013. It would have been the host site for The Northern Trust this year (won by Dustin Johnson) but for the fact that it was chosen as the location for the Presidents Cup.

Players to watch

Patrick Reed

Patrick 'Mr Matchplay' Reed is every inch a fearsome competitor. His huge heart and never-say-die attitude were abundantly evident during his 2016 Ryder Cup appearance at Hazeltine National - most notably when embroiled in a gargantuan tussle with Rory McIlroy.

The pair traded blows in one of the most memorable match-ups in modern Ryder Cup history. On the 8th hole, when all square, they both holed impressive putts and went, well, a little nuts.

Catch a reminder below:

Phil Mickelson

As one of Steve Stricker's wildcard picks, Mickelson is playing in his 12th Presidents Cup and, as it happens, has been in every single edition of the tournament since its inauguration back in 1994.

A fierce competitor, the five-time major winner's inclusion in Team USA will provide experience and guile in their quest to make it seven wins on the bounce and nine without defeat.

Hideki Matsuyama

The Japanese superstar has come off the boil post-Erin Hills where he managed a T-2 and despite being a multiple winner on Tour this year.

While that's the case, very few on the US team will underestimate his ability, and he has the game to beat anyone on their day. Hideki comes into the Presidents Cup as the highest ranked International player and could have a talismanic role if both Adam Scott and compatriot Jason Day continue with their sketchy 2017 form.

Marc Leishman

Arguably the in-form man in the International side, Marc Leishman has been a model of consistency all year and comes into this week with a strong showing in the FedEx Cup Playoffs under his belt.

A career-high 16th in the Official World Golf Rankings is reflective of an impressive year on Tour and, with his swing right where he wants it to be, the big Aussie is a match for any of his rivals.

Could we see an upset?

Of course, we could all be left open-mouthed by the end of Presidents Cup week. Will we be though? We aren't so sure.

With that said, players do need to perform and, despite the seemingly yawning gap between the standard of the players on both sides, there are some high-quality golfers on the International team.

In reality, though, this could more conceivably turn out to be the one-sided romp most expect it to be. There's very little that would suggest otherwise. Phil Mickelson himself has mentioned that if his side gives the Internationals the respect that they deserve and play to their strengths, this should be a comfortable win.

If the Internationals are to threaten a USA team unbeaten in almost 20 years, they will need to fire on all cylinders from the off. Players like Day, Scott and Matsuyama will have to lead from the front and give their team some guidance throughout what seems the steepest of uphill tasks - from the outside looking in at least.

Who will win this year's Presidents Cup? Is it one-sided 'walk in the park' for the Americans? Let us know in the comments below.


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