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
Kevin Kisner, Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Putting (.391)

Although putting is week in and week out a determinant in who wins, over the course of a full season it is the least valid indicator of performance, measuring at less than 40 percent.

That being so, it’s difficult to generalize whether putting will be a large factor or a small one in determining the outcome of the Presidents Cup. But if it is a large factor, random chance will have a lot to do with it.

This much is for certain: The U.S. team enters the week with by far the superior putters.

Six of this week’s participants distinguished themselves in putting by at least one standard deviation from the Tour average during 2021-22. Five of those six play for the U.S. team.

The six are:

  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout, 1.962
  • Kevin Kisner, 1.667
  • Sam Burns, 1.641
  • Billy Horschel, 1.304
  • Max Homa, 1.051
  • Patrick Cantlay, 1.045

All but Bezuidenhout are on the side of the U.S. team.

By contrast, eight members of the field are sub-par putters, and six of those eight are internationals. Those eight are Americans Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa plus Internationals Si Woo Kim, Hideki Matsuyama, Mito Pereira, Taylor Pendrith, Sebastian Munoz, and Corey Conners.

Overall the U.S. team averages (.635) standard deviations superior to the Tour average, the Internationals just (.104). Discounting for the relative lack of importance of putting to scoring, that reduces to (.248) for the U.S. team, and (.041) for the Internationals.