2022 Presidents Cup: Why the numbers love the U.S. Team this week

2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow, Team USA,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow, Team USA,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Presidents Cup, Quail Hollow, 2022 Presidents Cup, U.S. Presidents Cup Team, International Presidents Cup Team
Collin Morikawa, 2022 Memorial Tournament, Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Approach The Green (.686)

This most influential aspect of scoring – the relationship between a player’s performance in this category and his stroke average exceeded two-thirds in 2021-22 – also gives the U.S. team its most decided statistical advantage.

Nine members of the Presidents Cup field gained at least one full stroke on their Tour competitors thanks to their approach play during 2021-22; six of those nine play for the U.S. team.

Start with Collin Morikawa,

Among the top three approach game players in the world since 2020. Morikawa rated 2.16 standard deviations better than the field last season. At 2.064 standard deviations of superiority, world No.1 Scottie Scheffler was not far behind.

Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Hideki Matsuyama, Mito Pereira, and Corey Conners all also advantaged themselves by margins exceeding 1 full standard deviation. Only Matsuyama, Pereira, and Conners play for the International Team.

Three players, Americans Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel, and International K.H. Lee, produced negative standard deviations in their approach game.

The team averages reflect the decided disparity in this skill that makes the U.S. team the prohibitive favorite. The dozen Americans averaged 1.023 standard deviations better than the Tour average this season, a score that adjusts to (.702).

The Internationals averaged just (.668), a score that adjusts to (.458). That makes the Americans nearly half again as efficient in the critical approach aspects as their International foes.