History of The Presidents Cup
Posted on October 2, 2017
The Presidents Cup is a professional golf tournament which occurs every two years. It features a United States team and an International team facing off in a series of matches. The International team is composed of professional golfers from around the world except for Europe. European players play against the United States in a similar tournament, the Ryder Cup. The tournament alternates between being held in the U.S. and Internationally.Each team consists of 12 players and a non-playing captain, usually a well-respected golf figure. For the United States team, the top 10 U.S. players with the most FedExCup points following the Deutsche Bank Championship earn a spot on the team. For the International team, the top 10 international players based on the Official World Golf Ranking following the Deutsche Bank Championship gain a spot on the team, excluding those eligible for the Ryder Cup European team. The final two spots on each team are determined by the captain.
The Presidents Cup is played as a match play event with a total of 34 points available. The tournament consists of a series of fourball matches, foursome matches, and individual matches played over four days. There are no playoffs for the fourball or foursome matches, instead the point is halved in the event of a tie. For singles matches, players will go into extra holes until a winner is determined. After the 2003 Presidents Cup it has been ruled that in the event that the teams are tied after singles matches, then the competition is designated a tie and the teams share the Presidents Cup.
At the Professional Golfers Career College our students and faculty face off against each other in our own version of the Presidents Cup. Each semester students first compete in a series of qualifiers to earn a spot amongst the top golfers of the school. Of the top ranked students, the highest ranked will play in the International Cup, a Ryder Cup style tournament between faculty and students. The next tier of players will golf against the faculty in our Presidents Cup. The PGCC Presidents Cup is a tradition dating back to spring 1996. Since its inception the faculty have won the cup 45 times while the students have outmatched the faculty 16 times.
History of the Presidents Cup
The inaugural Presidents Cup was played September 16-18, 1994 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia. Hale Irwin captained the U.S. team to a 20-12 victory over the International team, captained by David Graham. Members of the first U.S. team were: Fred Couples, Jim Gallagher, Jr., Jay Haas, Scott Hoch, John Huston, Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert, Phil Mickelson, Corey Pavin, & Loren Roberts. The first International team consisted of: Steve Elkington, Vijay Singh, Fulton Allem, David Frost, Nick Price, Bradley Hughes, Craig Parry, Robert Allenby, Frank Nobilo, Peter Senior, Tsukasa Watanabe, & Mark McNulty. The Honorary Chairman for the 1st Presidents Cup was Gerald Ford.
The second Presidents Cup in September 1996 was again held in Virginia at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. The U.S. was able to win under the leadership of captain Arnold Palmer. The International team was captained by Peter Thomson. The final score was U.S. 16 ½ to 15 ½ International. The next Presidents Cup in 1998 was played in December at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Taking advantage of having home-field advantage, the International team won the Presidents Cup for their first time with a score of 20 ½ – 11 ½. Peter Thomson was the captain again for the International team while Jack Nicklaus was the captain of the U.S. team.
In 2000 the fourth Presidents Cup returned to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in October. This was the first Presidents Cup that used a 4-day schedule instead of a 3-day schedule, but still included the same number of matches. The U.S. team was able to reclaim glory and take back the Presidents Cup from the International team. Team U.S. defeated the International team with the largest margin of victory in the tournament’s history, 21 ½ – 10 ½.
The next Presidents Cup was in 2003, play had been delayed an extra year due to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. The 2003 Presidents Cup was held in George, South Africa at The Links at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate. Upon completion of the regulation matches the U.S. and International team were tied at 17 points each. The U.S. team elected Tiger Woods to represent them in the sudden-death playoff against Ernie Els from the International team. However after three playoff holes, due to the impending darkness, the U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus and the International captain Gary Player decided to end in a tie and the two teams would share the Presidents Cup.
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player returned as captains for their respective teams at the 2005 Presidents Cup. The United States team was able to take home the Presidents Cup with an 18 ½ – 15 ½ win over the International team. In 2007 the U.S. team, again captained by Nicklaus, would emerge victorious over Player’s International team at Royal Montreail Golf Club with a score of 19 ½ – 14 ½, their first win at an international venue. During the 2007 Presidents Cup David Toms gained the most points for the U.S. team and Woody Austin garnered the nickname ‘Aquaman’ after falling into the lake on the 14th hole during a shot attempt. While the International team didn’t win, Canadian golfer Mike Weir excited the audience with a 1-up triumph over then World No. 1 Tiger Woods in singles competition.
The 2009 Presidents Cup was held in San Francisco, California at TPC Harding Park. Fred Couples captained the U.S. while Greg Norman headed up the International team, which was the first time both captains had previously participated in the Presidents Cup. The U.S. was able to successfully retain the Presidents Cup, winning with a score of 19 ½ – 14 ½. Tiger Woods scored the winning point to clinch the victory for the U.S.
In 2011 the Presidents Cup returned to the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; making it the first international venue to repeat host the competition. Fred Couples and Greg Norman returned to captain their respective teams. Jim Furyk had an outstanding performance going 5-0-0 in his matches. Tiger Woods clinched the Presidents Cup for the U.S. team with a 4-and-3 win over Australia’s Aaron Baddeley during the Sunday singles match. Woods joined Fred Couples in becoming the second player to score the winning point two consecutive times, Couples had done it at the 1994 and 1996 President Cups. The final score of the 2011 Presidents Cup was 19 U.S. to 15 International.
The 2013 Presidents Cup was in Dublin, Ohio played at the Muirfield Village Golf Club, which made it the first course to host the Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and Presidents Cup. Nick Price took helm of the International team while Fred Couples returned as captain of the U.S. team. Price had appeared as a player in five Presidents Cup prior to captaining the International team. Tiger Woods came through again for the U.S. team and sealed the victory for the third consecutive time, becoming the first player to accomplish that in Presidents Cup history. The U.S. team won with a score of 18 ½ – 15 ½.
In 2015 the Presidents Cup was hosted in Asia for the first time at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea. Nick Price returned as captain for the International Team and Jay Haas lead the U.S. team. For their sixth consecutive Presidents Cup the United States was victorious over the International team by a point, 15 ½ to 14 ½. The tournament format changed that year to 5 foursomes and fourball matches the first two days, four foursome and fourball matches on the third day, and the final day concluded with 12 individual matches. Bill Haas, son of U.S. captain Jay Haas, clinched the win for the United States in a thrilling conclusion on the final hole of the last match. Bill Haas earned the point over Bae Sang-moon.
At the 2017 Presidents Cup, Phil Mickelson made his milestone twelfth appearance, having competed in every playing since the inception. Mickelson was picked for the United States team by captain Steve Stricker. Nick Price returned for his third consecutive Presidents Cup as the International team captain. The United States team dominated the International team and only needed one point to seal the victory going into the final day of individual matches. After day three the score was U.S. 14 ½ over the International’s with 3 ½. Daniel Berger had the honor of scoring the point which officially won Team U.S. the Presidents cup at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey. However the International Team closed the margin of victory in the final matches, with the score ending up U.S. 19 to the International’s 11 points. This was the United States team’s seventh straight victory.
(Photos Taken from PresidentsCup.com)